Services for former residents

We provide a free, confidential service to former residents through our Heritage Engagement program. We acknowledge people’s diverse experiences, including loss and trauma, and are continually learning about how to reach out and listen to people who have been affected.

National Redress Scheme

The Sisters of the Good Shepherd welcome the National Redress Scheme. They are taking the necessary steps to join the Scheme with the aim of beginning participation by mid-2019.

The Scheme was introduced by the Australian Government in response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse to help people who have experienced institutional child sexual abuse gain access to services and compensation.

The process of joining the Scheme can take up to six months to complete, at which time the Sisters will be listed on the National Redress Scheme website as a Participating Institution.

The Sisters continue their commitment to Good Shepherd's Heritage Engagement program. This free, confidential service provides former residents with access to their records.

Through the National Redress Scheme or Good Shepherd's Heritage Engagement program, former residents of Good Shepherd homes will have pathways to services and individualised support.

For more information visit the National Redress Scheme website or read more below.

Acknowledging former residents

Good Shepherd played a significant role as a residential welfare provider in Australia from the 1800s to the mid-1900s. We’re on a continuing journey in our relationship with former residents, providing access to records, creating memorials, acknowledging individual experiences and making public the life stories of former residents.

The Memorial Garden at Good Shepherd Chapel, Abbotsford acknowledges the women and children who lived in Good Shepherd homes, and will honour them for generations to come. It is open every day of the year to all.

The Heritage Centre at Good Shepherd Chapel, Abbotsford is another place for former residents to connect with our shared story. 

Click here to read our apology to former residents who suffered in our care.


Supported access to personal records

Our Heritage Engagement program is a free, confidential service.

It provides:
• Access to historical records of former residents of Good Shepherd institutions across Australia
• Individualised support to access personal historical records
• Referrals to other services if required

This specialist service is based on best practice in “supported access to care-leaver records”. It is holistic and trauma informed.

Our Heritage Engagement Coordinator is the first point of contact for former residents and their families.

Contact us
Please call our free 1800 812 702 number in Australia or email if you want to access your records, find out about reunions, ask about our heritage engagement program or learn more about a family member who lived in a Good Shepherd home.

We acknowledge people’s diverse experiences, including loss and trauma. We are continually learning about how to reach out and listen to people who have been affected.

If you have an issue concerning your experience in a Good Shepherd home not related to personal records, please email


The Good Shepherd Archive is located in Abbotsford, Melbourne. It manages the records of the Good Shepherd Sisters in Australia and New Zealand dating from 1863 until the present day.

The Archive offers a research service to former residents, to their relatives and to people interested in the Good Shepherd mission in Australia, New Zealand and Tahiti. The research service operates part time and operates by mail.

Please contact our Heritage Engagement Coordinator at:
Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand
PO Box 182
Abbotsford Vic 3067
Australia | Phone: 1800 812 702 in Australia


Our Memorial Committee works with former residents and local communities to remember, honour and acknowledge the thousands of women and children who lived in Good Shepherd Homes across Australia and New Zealand from 1863 to the 1980s.

Memorial events and community projects are announced on the “News & Events” page of our website and local social media.

Other links

Open Place: website

Find and Connect: website




A safe place to be

You have the right to be safe whenever you spend time with us, use our services or visit our workplaces. If you want to tell us about an experience you had, call 03 9270 9700 or email