Although evidence show that attempts were made to establish Catholic schooling in Wallaroo prior to 1869, the arrival of the Sisters of St. Joseph heralded the beginning of a school that boasted the longest continuous involvement of Josephites in Australia.
The first resident parish priest, Father William Kennedy, had arrived in 1867 and it was both his and the people's wish that Catholic schools in the area be run by the Sisters. So it was that in March 1869, schools were opened in Wallaroo and Kadina with a combined enrolment of about 200 children.
They were named St. Mary's School and Sacred Heart School. The following year a school was opened at Moonta, but this was closed just ten years later. At this time, the Sisters at Wallaroo lived in a convent in Young Street and used the church to house their students. During the early years Mary MacKillop and Father Julian Tenison Woods visited the schools.
The Wallaroo and Kadina schools continued to operate until 1975, when they amalgamated. St. Mary's at Wallaroo was upgraded to accommodate children from both schools. A new name, 'Kalori School' was chosen. Kalori is an aboriginal name meaning 'message stick'.
In 1990, the old convent was demolished and the new school was built bringing all classrooms, library and administration onto one site facing Young Street. The building was opened by Her Excellency, the Governor, Dame Roma Mitchell on 19th March, 1991.
In recognition of our belonging to the Catholic Education system, in 1999, the school name was amended to 'Kalori Catholic School'.
Mary MacKillop became Australia's first Saint on October 17th 2010. To acknowledge this school’s special connection with Mary MacKillop herself and the Josephite Sisters, this connection unbroken since establishment in 1869, the school’s name was changed to St Mary MacKillop School on the date of her canonisation.
The badge was designed about sixty years ago by the late Sister Maria Ferguson for the uniforms of the students at St Joseph's School, Port Lincoln.
It was adopted by the Sisters of Saint Joseph for use in all their South Australian schools.
"In omnibus caritas"
This translates as "In all things, love".
Gold represents the divine and human love referred to in the motto.
Blue is symbolic of Mary, the Mother of God and spouse to Saint Joseph.
Red represents the blood of Christ.
Early reproductions of St Joseph in both picture and statue form have shown him holding a lily. The name 'Joseph' means 'growth' so the lily is the central symbol in the monogram. It represents the growth potential of each student.