37 Bladensburg Avenue
Phone/Fax: (07) 4775 4122

Charters Towers

25 Ryan Street
(PO Box 59)
Phone/Fax: (07) 4787 1238

Palm Island

Catholic Convent
Phone (07) 4770 1176


MacKillop House of Spirituality
113 Goldring Street
P.O. Box 192
Phone/Fax (07) 4741 3369

In the Townsville Diocese

The Sisters of the Good Samaritan of the Order of St Benedict have ministered in the Townsville Diocese since the year 1900.

In 2015, Good Samaritan communities are currently situated in Townsville, Charters Towers, Palm Island and Richmond.

Ministries the Sisters are involved in include Parish Pastoral Ministry, School Counselling, Liturgy, Spirituality, Community Animation, and Hospitality.


Charters Towers

The first community in the diocese was established at Charters Towers in 1900 in response to an appeal from Bishop Higgins of Rockhampton to take up the challenge of providing teaching personnel for Charters Towers. On 1 February, 1900, 700 children enrolled at Saint Columba's Primary School and at this time the Sisters became responsible for a flourishing Boarding School at Saint Mary's.

Soon after the arrival of the Sisters, St Patrick's Primary School opened at Millchester and two Sisters travelled there daily from St Mary's Convent, until 1914, when the population dwindled. The Sisters left Saint Mary's at the end of 1978 and a lay principal took over responsibility for Saint Mary's day and boarding college. Saint Mary's, St Columba's Primary and Mount Carmel College were amalgamated in 1997 to become Columba Catholic College, under lay principalship.

The Sisters moved to a new community house in Ryan Street and are still resident there, working in pastoral ministry, community animation and school counselling.


In October 1900, six Sisters travelled to Hughenden to provide education to the children of 'lawless' Hughenden. The school opened in the church with an enrolment of 120 children, which soon rose to 175. From 1905 to 1968, Saint Francis Convent provided boarding facilities for primary boys.  In March, 2014 our presence in Hughenden ceased when the two remaining Sisters moved in to Charters Towers community.


The Sisters of the Good Samaritan arrived in Ayr in 1912. Catholic Primary Schools were opened in both Brandon and Ayr, and the Sisters resided at Brandon. In 1920 the Sisters moved their community house to Ayr. In 1945 the Sisters opened Saint Francis Xavier Girl's High School, and taught there and in the primary school and were engaged in pastoral ministry until they finally withdrew at the end of 1996. The Sisters had also taught in the pre-school and infant school at Parkside for a number of years from 1975


The first community arrived in Townsville on 7 January, 1936. They took up residence in 'Woodlands Estate' on the corner of Bayswater Road and Charters Towers Road, and began school immediately with thirty pupils from babies to commercial.

A new church school was blessed and opened by Bishop Maguire on 10 May, 1936. It began with 75 pupils, and by the end of that week, the number had increased to 120. Each weekend the school was transformed into a church until the present parish church was built.

On the occasion of the Silver Jubilee of Saint Margaret Mary's primary school, Bishop Hugh Ryan announced that the new high school for girls would be commenced. The school opened in 1963 and the Sisters have taught there continuously, with lay administration in recent years.

The Sisters live in community at Annandale.

Palm Island

Over a number of years Good Samaritan Sisters have been involved in primary education at St Michael’s.  With the withdrawal of the Franciscan Sisters of  Mary in 2011, a community of two Good Samaritan Sisters was established to live and minister on Palm Island


In 2013 a Good Samaritan Sister took up the Diocesan appointment of Co-Ordinator of MacKillop House of  Spirituality at Richmond

General Information

The image 'Creation' is by Anne Kearney © 1997. It reflects the energy, richness and diversity of life as a Sister of the Good Samaritan.

Who are the Sisters of the Good Samaritan?

We are a group of women who were founded as a Catholic Religious Congregation in Sydney in 1857. We were established by Archbishop Polding, a Benedictine monk, to respond to the social needs of the times.

We, the Sisters of the Good Samaritan of the Order of St Benedict, believe that the yearnings of the human heart are a call to seek God. Our desire is to share with others the richness of our Benedictine tradition.

What do we believe in?

Guided by the Gospel, we value:

  • community
  • individual and communal prayer
  • peace
  • a simple lifestyle
  • compassion
  • social justice
  • ecological awareness

What do we do?

Aware that all of us need support and assistance at various times in our lives, we aim to respond to others in a spirit of mutuality and service.

Today we are active in:

  • social work
  • respite and residential care
  • education
  • parish work
  • administration
  • centres of spirituality
  • nursing

What is our role in the 21st Century?

Life as a Sister of the Good Samaritan is a quest to seek God. It's about personal, spiritual and professional growth within a supportive community. It's about a pro-active approach to meeting social needs.

We see ourselves as women responding in faith to the issues and demands of a modern, changing world.

We have begun to explore new ways in which women and men can pray and work with us.

Further Information

We have over eighty communities located throughout Australia and communities in Japan, the Philippines, Timor Leste and Kiribati.