St Joseph's Convent was constructed in 1912-14 for the Sisters of Mercy, who had established a foundation in Cairns in 1892. The 1914 building replaced two earlier cottage convents. The impetus for construction of a new convent came from Bishop James Murray, Vicar Apostolic of Cooktown 1898-1914. Construction of St Joseph's Convent at Cairns was considered one of his finest achievements. The new convent was designed by architect, civil engineer and surveyor E Gregory Waters. St Joseph's Convent was opened officially by James Duhig, Archbishop of Brisbane, on 22 March 1914. [Bishop Murray had died on 13 February 1914, prior to the opening.]
Queensland Government: Queensland Heritage Register. (2016). St Joseph's convent.