On 24 June 1863 the first four Good Shepherd Sisters landed in Melbourne, having travelled from Angers in France at the request of Bishop James Goold of Melbourne, to establish a female rescue home. They purchased a property at Abbotsford, from which they ran an industrial school, commercial laundry, and provided accommodation for female juvenile offenders, and poor and homeless women. In 1976, the Sisters' work with children and families became the responsibility of the newly-established Good Shepherd Youth and Family Service. In 2008, the Sisters established Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand.
In 1973 the Good Shepherd Sisters adopted a policy of deinstitutionalisation. They went on to provide hostel accommodation for the girls and women. The Good Shepherd Sisters worked in such areas as youth, family and financial counselling, emergency housing, and prison, hospital and industrial chaplaincies.
The work with children and families carried out by the Good Shepherd Sisters became the responsibility of the Good Shepherd Youth and Family Service which was established in 1976.
As part of their succession planning, the Sisters established Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand in 2008 to create a formal framework for sustaining and developing the Good Shepherd mission into the future.
1863 - 2008 Sisters of the Good Shepherd
2008 - Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand
Sources used to compile this entry: Dalton, Anne, 'Sisters of the Good Shepherd', in eMelbourne: the city past and present, Encyclopedia of Melbourne online, The University of Melbourne, 2008, http://www.emelbourne.net.au/biogs/EM01378b.htm; 'Our history', Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand, https://goodshep.org.au/about-us/good-shepherd-history/.
Prepared by: Cate O'Neill
Created: 20 February 2009, Last modified: 22 August 2017