The Good Shepherd Sisters were founded by Archbishop Polding in the House of the Good Shepherd, Pitt Street, Sydney on 2 February 1857. The Good Shepherd Sisters were the first institute of religious women founded in Australia. The Sisters ran the Home of Good Shepherd and the Roman Catholic Orphan School. In 1866 the Sisters changed their name to the Sisters of the Good Samaritan to avoid confusion with an older Order of the same name that had arrived in Australia.
The Archbishop's special concern in colonial Sydney was the care of needy women. A women's refuge had been established in 1848 called The House of the Good Shepherd and was staffed by the Irish Sisters of Charity with the help of charitable ladies. The ability of the Sisters of Charity to continue this work was jeopardised when several of their number died. In order that the work of the House of the Good Shepherd would continue, Archbishop Polding set about establishing his own foundation. The first members of the Order began their religious training at Pitt Street under the guidance of a Sister of Charity.
1857 - 1866 Good Shepherd Sisters
1866 - Sisters of the Good Samaritan
Sources used to compile this entry: Thinee, Kristy and Bradford, Tracy, Connecting Kin: Guide to Records, A guide to help people separated from their families search for their records [completed in 1998], New South Wales Department of Community Services, Sydney, New South Wales, 1998, http://nma.gov.au/blogs/inside/files/2011/02/connectkin_guide1.pdf.
Prepared by: Melissa Downing
Created: 7 March 2011, Last modified: 20 February 2015