The origins of the present day Ursula Frayne Catholic College can be traced back to 1899 when a group of Sisters of Mercy, led by Mother M Clare Buggy, left from Derry, Northern Ireland for the shores of Western Australia. Their first school was established in a wooden cottage on the current site of the Duncan Street Campus and was known as St Joachim's. In 1926 the Sisters commenced a secondary school under the name of Our Lady of Mercy College.

In 1936, to meet the educational needs of children in the new area of East Victoria Park, Our Lady Help of Christians Primary School was opened with Sr M Ambrose Lorkin appointed as the Principal.


Realising the need for a regional boys' school in the south-east suburbs of Perth in the early 1950s, the Archbishop, Dr Prendiville, wrote to the Provincial of the Christian Brothers in Sydney asking for help in this important matter. At the same time the Archbishop formed a committee of local priests for the implementation of the project. Land to the value of two thousand pounds was donated by the parish of East Victoria Park and in 1953, St Francis Xavier College for boys, staffed by the Christian Brothers, opened for business, with Br Baptist Quirke named as the first Principal.

Meanwhile in 1955 it was decided that the two schools - St Joachim's Primary School and Our Lady of Mercy College, should both come under the same name of St Joachim's. Six years later there was a remarkable increase in numbers for the secondary classes and it was suggested that a new high school should be built on the vacant block on the corner of Duncan and Teague Streets.


Over in East Victoria Park, there was a worry about the small numbers of enrolment of boys at Xavier. This factor, together with other issues, signalled that a review of the College structure was a high priority. It was no coincidence, either, that enrolment matters were on the mind of the Principal and Board of Our Lady Help of Christians with whom Xavier shared a lot of families, a lot of history and a back fence! In 1981 both schools amalgamated to become Xavier College Incorporating Our Lady Help of Christians.

In 1990, St Joachim's High School, St Joachim's Primary School and Xavier College merged to become Ursula Frayne Catholic College and under the guidance of Mrs Anne Parker took its first tentative steps as a fully Kindergarten to Year 12 co-educational institution. The name of the school reflects the first Sister of Mercy to set foot in Australia when Mother M Ursula Frayne arrived in the Swan River Colony with a group of Sisters from Ireland in 1846.


During the first year the students remained on their current site, with the exception of the Year 11 and 12 students who became co-educational when the boys from Xavier moved to the St Joachim's site. In 1991, the two campuses become a specific Secondary school, now known as the Duncan Street Campus and Primary school, now known as the Balmoral Street Campus.

The present day structure is of a Preparatory School (Kindergarten-Year 2), and Junior School (Years 3-6), situated on the Balmoral Street Campus and a Middle School (Years 7-9) and Senior School (Years 10-12) situated on the Duncan Street Campus.

It is appropriate that the College's motto is 'Centred in Christ', as the foundation schools leading us to where we are today have a rich heritage in strength, tenacity and spirit just like our namesake, Mother M Ursula Frayne.