Balranald is a service town for the rural population of the district. The town is located 130 kms south west of Hay and 50m kms south of the Victorian border in New South Wales. The town relies heavily on the agriculture industry. Farming in the area includes wheat, cotton, sheep, cattle, a vineyard and other smaller crops. The majority of the families rely on the land and general services such as the Balranald Shire, hospital and health services and schools for employment. There is also passing tourist trade with Balranald on a major highway leading west to Adelaide, south to Melbourne and east to Sydney, as well as Yanga National Park and Mungo National Park. The population remains stable at 1 400, but a percentage of these people are transient.
St Dympna's Church brick chapel was erected in Mayall Street in 1875 and services were conducted by a visiting priest. James Joseph Huggard was the first priest in 1882.
Further extensions occurred in 1926 to the chapel and James Keeley donated a bell tower. The last major extension to the church took place in 1973, resulting in the present structure. The blessing and opening was officiated by the Bishop of Wilcannia-Forbes at the time, Bishop D. Warren, D.D.
The Sisters of St Joseph's taught in the late 1880's, followed by the Sisters of Mercy in 1894. The last Mercy nun to teach at St. Joseph's was Sister Patricia Higgins in 1984. The sisters were brave and courageous women of deep faith and dedication to the education of children. They gave service to St. Joseph’s for 90 years. Lay teacher have now replaced the nuns.
St Joseph's is a co-educational Catholic school from Kindergarten to year 6 and is part of the Wilcannia-Forbes Diocese. The school community aims to make all its members feel welcome and happy in its environment, to nurture faith in God and to provide a sound and challenging educational curriculum based on the needs of the students. The enrolment for 2015 is 55 students. The students are organised into three classrooms (K/1, 2/3 and 4/5/6) and at times two classrooms (K/1/2 and 3/4/5/6).
Our school motto is 'Follow Mary.' Liturgical celebrations including Sacraments are school based. The Sacrament of Reconciliation to year 2 students,Confirmation is offered each year to those students in year 3, and the Sacrament of First Communion to year 4 students.
As well as NAPLAN and the University of NSW, ICAS exams, students have the opportunity to be involved in a variety of academic programs including an extension program for selected year 6 children joining with BCS students. The students are involved with various community activities such as the ANZAC Day Ceremony, Remembrance Day Ceremony and the Five River's Festival.
All students are encouraged to and have the opportunity to participate in a variety of sports and compete in Southern Cluster, Diocesan, Inter-Diocesan and State Athletic and Swimming Carnivals.
St Joseph's encourages parents to become involved in the education of their children and the decision making of the school. St Joseph’s operates a ‘Parents & Friends’ involved in raising funds and organising social events for the school.