The Cathedral School of St Anne & St James, formerly known as St Anne’s Church of England Girls’ School, was established in July 1917 by the Sisters of the Society of the Sacred Advent to provide a much-needed secondary education for girls in North Queensland. 

The sisters quickly built up a reputation for educational excellence based on honour to God and development of the whole person – spiritually, mentally, socially and physically. 

The original school was located in the city, on the site now occupied by the Townsville City Council, but in 1942, St Anne’s School was evacuated to Ravenswood for three years – partly to continue the girls’ education in the relative safety of this small inland town, but also to surrender their city buildings to the military. 

By the early 1950s it was obvious that the school was outgrowing its city premises and would have to move again. A magnificent 23-acre site (former home of the Heatley family) was acquired in Mundingburra, and the school was relocated in August 1958.

The school expanded rapidly and new facilities were added to accommodate the growing numbers of boarders and day students. 

After 62 years of noble service, the sisters withdrew from the school in 1978, and a lay principal, Mr Neil Tucker, was appointed, with a commitment to uphold the school’s ethos and religious focus.

In 1980, enrolment was opened to boys in all year levels, and the school’s name was changed to The Cathedral School of St Anne & St James to reflect its new identity as a co-educational school, whilst retaining the links between the original St Anne’s School and St James’ Cathedral. 

The school is now a modern independent Anglican school providing first class education and personal development for students from Early Childhood to Year 12. In 2017 the school will celebrate its centenary.

We invite you to explore our Centenary website further to hear stories from our past students over the last 100 years, find out about our upcoming events and special functions and learn about our centenary project, “The Connection Place”.