St Maria Goretti Catholic Parish dates back to 1949 when it was determined that Inglewood and Yelarbon parishes would separate from the Texas parish. Fr Vincent Maher was appointed as our first Parish Priest. Prior to the establishment of this new parish, the land on which our school now stands was purchased.
Not long after the Inglewood/Yelarbon Parish was formed, the new parish school was blessed and opened by Bishop Roper on 28 January, 1951. This achievement was a tribute to the tireless dedication and passion of the Sisters of St Joseph who were committed to delivering Catholic education to the area. Mary MacKillop had founded the Sisters of St Joseph especially for the education of children in the bush, and once again her dream and vision was touching and enriching many young lives from the time the Sisters arrived in Inglewood in 1951.
The patron saint chosen for the new school was the young Italian girl, Maria Goretti, who had been canonised in Rome the previous year. It would have been a popular choice given the large number of Italian families whose children attended the school during the tobacco era. The annual Feast Day of Maria Goretti is the 6 July.
There was an enrolment of 51 children in that first year. By the end of that year, enrolments increased to 61 and in 1952, there was a further increase to 90 students, so it became necessary to extend the school. A large school room was added to the original building, together with front and back verandas.
1985 marked a big change for St Maria Goretti School. This was to be the last year of service from the Josephite Sisters in the school. After 35 years dedicated service by the Sisters, the transition of lay teaching staff was to begin in 1986.
By 1995 the school was raised to its current level and the classrooms modernised. With enrolments steadily increasing, another classroom was added in 1999, complete with airconditioning to maximise student comfort. The rest of our school is also airconditioned with thanks to our Parent and Friends Association.
With the introduction of the Preparatory year of schooling in 2006, our school underwent further improvements. These improvements included a new Prep classroom and administration building, complete with airconditioning. In 2010, through the Building the Education Revolution stimulus funding by the Commonwealth Government, the undercover area and covered walkways were added, the library relocated and several refurbishments and repairs were undertaken.
In 2010, St Maria Goretti School celebrated the canonisation of St Mary MacKillop, a significant event for the Sisters of St Joseph and Australia, and for our school.
In every way the school continues to be true to its motto ‘Let Your Light Shine’. We believe that for everyone to ‘shine their best light’, we need to promote the very best learning in the most caring and supportive environment.