Catholic Education was first established in Bunbury by the Sisters of Mercy in 1898. Their tradition of faith and service was continued when St Mary's opened in South Bunbury in 1904, and again when the Marist Brothers opened a college for boys in 1954. In 1972 a School Board was formed to review the provision of Catholic Education in Bunbury and to plan for future needs. The following year the Marist College became the co-educational Bunbury Catholic College.
In 1978 the junior school, which had been established at St Thomas' in Carey Park, was amalgamated with St Mary's, catering for all the junior primary children in Catholic schools in Bunbury. St Joseph's, in the centre of town, was the site for middle and upper primary children. The Sisters of Mercy were, by then, ready to move into other areas of service in Bunbury. So the central town site, focused on the old convent, was sold and the present St Joseph's building was commenced on the boundary of Glen Padden on four hectares of land made available through the generous donation of Deacon Michael and Phyllis Flynn.
The school moved out from town in 1982. In 1985 separate School Boards were formed for secondary and primary schools and over a transitional period, St Mary's and St Joseph's developed the resources to accept enrolments for Pre-Primary to year 7 children on each site. At the end of 1992 Bunbury Catholic Primary School ceased to exist and St Mary's and St Joseph's became fully independent primary schools.
St Joseph's is a double stream primary school catering for approximately 560 students. The school is located four kilometres from the main Mass centre, being the St Patrick's Cathedral site. The school has a purpose-built Chapel which is used for weekly staff prayer and year level liturgies. The covered assembly area is used for whole school Masses. Whilst the Cathedral is being rebuilt, sacramental celebrations are being held either in the school's covered area or at the Bunbury Catholic College hall.
During recent years the school has experienced steady student population growth. Strong housing development in the southern Bunbury region, particularly in Dalyellup, has impacted on the school with numbers increasing from about 380 to the present 560 students. Generally, this increase in enrolments has resulted in some classes reaching capacity, with a current waiting list, whilst others are in the vicinity of 30 students.
Reminds us that our school continues a tradition of dedication and service brought to Bunbury by the Sisters of Mercy almost 100 years ago. The "Ms", which form 'spires' on our crest, remind us of the two great teaching orders which were involved in the Catholic Schools in Bunbury: the Sisters of Mercy and the Marist Brothers. The cross conveys the centrality of Christ and Church to our school. The rising red and green spires reflect the presence of the Church and of our own hopes of growing towards God.
Living: We try to live the way that Jesus showed us to and it gives us our incentive to behave and succeed to the best of our ability.
Loving: Reminds us that we must love everyone equally and forgive those who do us wrong.
Learning: We learn the way of God through working to our maximum capacity.