The first Catholic school in Australia was founded in October 1820 by Irish Catholic priest John Therry. The school, which Catholic historians believe was in Hunter Street, Parramatta, taught 31 students – seven of whom were Protestants. An Irish Catholic convict, sent to the colony being convicted of embezzlement, named George Marley opened the school for Fr Therry and ran it for three years. This school was transferred to the site of the present Parramatta Marist School junior in 1837. Parramatta Marist High School, now located in Westmead NSW traces it origins back to this first school. It seems at least two other Catholic schools were established in New South Wales before the school opened by George Marley. One school is thought to have opened between 1803 and 1806, the second early in 1817. However, both schools were closed by 1818. Photo: Old Parramatta School Classroom, Circa 1900s