Yalgoo (1922), Mingenew (1932), Reedy (1941) and Morawa (1955). The latter also included the staffing of the small St Joseph's School, Perenjori.
Just as the original Sisters in 1206 had a clear vision of their vocation – to contemplate Christ’s Word and share it with others, so, too, did these Sisters, as they moved from one foundation to another in the isolated and harsh gold-mining area of the Murchison and later in the wheat growing regions of the Mid-West. They were courageous, dedicated and filled with the love of God and a strong desire to spread his love and his truth, through education, wherever they were called to serve.
It was in July 1901 that the Sisters opened a convent at Dongara and established it as the head house and novitiate in the hope that they would be able to develop there a significant school and college that would offer a wider range of academic and cultural subjects than had previously been possible.
For the next 70 years the Dominican Priory with its boarding and day school for girls became well-known for the high standard of education it provided, first on a small scale, but, after 1928, for its well-equipped and attractive building, the Dominican Ladies College, set in lovely surroundings and for the quality teaching of the Sisters who served Catholic and non-Catholic families of the inland farming and gold-mining areas of the Geraldton Diocese and beyond.
As early as 1917, the Sisters experienced the traumas and difficulties associated with living close to a river that periodically burst its banks.
Although there were other floods from time to time, it was the more damaging one caused by Cyclone Mavis in 1971 that was the catalyst that finally saw the closure of the Dominican Priory at Dongara and the termination of the Dominican Ladies’ College at the end of that year, after serving the area for 70 years.
However, the continuing association of Dongara ex-students with the Sisters is a treasured remnant of a happy past, and annual reunions and other events provide occasions for recalling that past for those who still call Dongara “home”.
By that time, a number of the convents and schools founded in the gold-mining towns of Yalgoo, Meekatharra, Leonora, Gwalia, Cue, Day Dawn and Reedy were suffering from the decline in the mining activities of their districts and accompanying loss of population. This was gradually reflected in the number of students enrolled. There was no choice for the Sisters in these circumstances but to close the schools and withdraw.