Historical timeline

Six Sisters of Mercy arrive in Brisbane

​With only four days’ notice in which to pack and prepare for a journey halfway around the world, six women left Ireland in 1860 to join Bishop James Quinn in Liverpool for a journey to Queensland.  They arrived in 1861, by small boat which brought them to the Brisbane River.  These women founded the Sisters of Mercy who later that year opened All Hallows' School in Fortitude Valley.

Opening of the railway to Cleveland

​Integral in the development of Wynnum and Manly townships was the railway line to Cleveland.  It enabled further development in the region which created the demand for a religious presence.  The Wynnum South railway station opened in 1898.

Commencement of Catholic Masses in Wynnum

​The first Catholic Masses were held in the Wynnum Shire Hall (now demolished) on Tingal Road and the Sisters of Mercy began visiting to teach the children of families residing in the area.

Guardian Angels' Catholic Church is erected

​His Grace, Archbishop Robert Dunne donated the land on Bay Terrace Wynnum (across the road from Mt Carmel Centre) for the construction of a Catholic Church.  The building was designed by prominent architect Richard Gailey and is still in use today.

Guardian Angels' School opens

​Following the formal establishment of the parish of Wynnum in 1913, a new school was added alongside the Church in Bay Terrace.  This building was also designed by Richard Gailey.

The Convent is officially opened

​On the 8 August 1915. the Convent of Our Lady of Mt Carmel was solemnly blessed and dedicated by His Grace, Archbishop Duhig.

It was designed by Hall and Dods Architects (1896 - 1916), a prominent Brisbane firm led by architects Francis Richard Hall and Robert (Robin) Dods who were highly regarded for their early 20th century ecclesiastical work including St Brigid's Catholic Church, Red Hill and the Mater Misericordiae Hospital.

The Convent was built by Mr William Richard Juster, completed within a year and at a considerable cost of £8,000.  This investment demonstrated the importance of a school presence for the Wynnum community, who had limited schooling options for children at this time.

During the opening ceremony, a collection was taken up for the furnishing fund, which realised £110.

Sisters acquire adjacent building

​The Presbyterian Church building, which was located behind the school, was relocated and converted into a new girls' dormitory.  It was demolished in 1986 and in its place a Poinciana tree was planted to commemorate its story.

Mt Carmel Secondary School opens

​On land situated behind the Convent, the Mt Carmel Secondary Girls’ School is opened and operated by the Sisters of Mercy with an initial class of 21 students.

Alterations made to the Convent

​Modifications are made to the Convent with the advent of building improvements. These changes included enclosing verandahs at the rear with glass windows.

Mt Carmel Secondary School closes

​Reportedly due to the falling numbers of school-aged children in the area, the school closes, leaving the Sisters as residents at the Convent.

The Convent is listed on the Queensland Heritage Register

​On the 27 August 1999, the Convent was added to the Queensland Heritage Register and became protected under the provisions of the Queensland Heritage Act 1992, for its historic, aesthetic, scientific, social and historical values.  At the time, it is reported that only four Sisters were permanently in residence and it was mainly used as a holiday centre for Sisters of Mercy in the Southern Queensland region.

Convent advertised for sale and sold

​Now with only two Sisters permanently residing on site, the Sisters of Mercy listed and sold the Convent.

Renovations undertaken by the new owner for B&B accommodation

​The new owner undertook extensive renovations to remodel the building as a residence with additional functions as a bed-and-breakfast and student accommodation.

Brisbane Catholic Education purchased the property

​The Convent celebrates 100 years and is purchased by Brisbane Catholic Education.

Works commence to return the building to sound condition for school, parish and community use.

Mt Carmel Centre opens as a Corporate Learning and Development Venue

​With Brisbane City Council approvals granted, the newly named Mt Carmel Centre continues the journey of connecting the community through education and engagement.