The Sisters of the Good Shepherd arrived in Western Australia in October 1902 from Abbotsford, Victoria. The Order originally came from France. The Sisters of the Good Shepherd had established Homes for 'destitute women and girls' throughout the world. Residents worked in the laundries run by the Sisters. In WA, the Sisters ran the Home of the Good Shepherd in two sections: a reformatory (from 1909) and a women's home (from 1902). The reformatory and laundry attracted criticism at government inquiries into out of home care. In the 1970s, they ran a centre for teenagers (Neuville) which was less 'institutional' in its approach. After 1979, the Sisters no longer ran residential programs in WA, but they have continued to be involved in social justice activities and education in the State.
To support their institutions, the Sisters of the Good Shepherd ran commercial laundries in which the residents of their Homes worked. This laundry work had attracted controversy since the early 1900s and its legacy has continued to draw criticism in government inquiries in Australia and elsewhere.