The order of the Sisters of St Joseph was founded in 1866, at Penola in South Australia. Its first member and Superior was Mary MacKillop.
The Sisters of St Joseph began their work in Victoria in 1889, at Numurkah. In 1890 the Sisters of St Joseph commenced their involvement in child welfare, when they took over the administration of the St Joseph's Home for Destitute Children at Surrey Hills. Previously, the Home was run by the Society of St Vincent de Paul.
In 1901 the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne purchased at Broadmeadows a large homestead known as "Kerrsland", with 28 acres of land, to develop as a babies home run by the Sisters of St Joseph. Kerrsland had been a dairy farm and, until 1950, the Josephite Sisters had their
own dairy herd to provide milk for the babies and their carers.
St Joseph's Receiving Home opened in 1905 when the Archdiocese purchased two terrace houses at 101 Grattan Street in Carlton, close to the Royal Women's Hospital, to be developed as a home for expectant mothers.
The St Joseph's Babies Home at Broadmeadows closed in 1975 and the Sisters moved to Glenroy to continue their work in fostercare and adoption.
The Sisters of St Joseph are one of the three founding congregations of MacKillop Family Services, which has provided out-of-home care since 1997.
In 1997, records of the Sisters of St Joseph were transferred to MacKillop Family Services. These included records of the various orphanages, homes and other residences run by the Sisters of St Joseph. While custodianship of the records about people in 'care' became the responsibility of MacKillop Family Services at this point, it was formally agreed that the intellectual property in these records would not change hands.
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30 November 2021
Cite this: http://www.findandconnect.gov.au/guide/vic/E000045
First published by the Find & Connect Web Resource Project for the Commonwealth of Australia, 2011
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