In February 1892, the Christian Brothers arrived and took up residence in Ipswich. They taught only in the original building, St Mary’s Christian Brothers’ College, on the corner of Elizabeth and Mary Streets from that time until 1961.
In the early 1960s, it became obvious that the demand for higher secondary education was going to increase and for the second time in the history of the Christian Brothers in Ipswich, a meeting of parents resolved to follow a far-reaching course of action.
It was resolved that, in order to solve the problem of severely over-taxed accommodation, a new secondary school would be built (owned not by St Mary’s Parish but by the Christian Brothers) to serve as a central boys’ college for all parishes in the district.
With the support of the Parish Priest of St Mary’s, the building of the new College commenced and on 21 February, 1965, the first of the buildings financially supported by the newly formed Parents and Friends’ Association was blessed by Rev. Sir James Duhig Archbishop of Brisbane and the Foundation Stone laid by the Mayor of Ipswich, Alderman J T Finimore. At this time the name of the College was changed to St Edmund’s Christian Brothers’ College.
The strength and consistency of the support given to the College by its parent body has been of a very high order since that time and has made possible the provision of many facilities.
By the turn of the millennium, the Christian Brothers, in line with a mandate to deploy their men where they could more readily serve the marginalised of society, began to withdraw from the administration and staffing of schools. In 1998, Br Ted Magee was the last Christian Brother Principal of St Edmund’s College. In 2006, the final Christian Brother to serve on the staff of St Edmund’s, Brother Ambrose Purcell, moved on to a missionary role in the Sudan. The Trustees of the Christian Brothers Oceania continue to administer the College under the governance of Edmund Rice Education Australia (EREA) which has had the responsibility for Catholic Schools in the Edmund Rice tradition since 1 October 2007.