Level One – opposite Mary Cecilia’s Room

An immersive installation showing the footprint of the Sisters of Mercy in Queensland, the first chapter of Our Working Hearts features the story of Mother Mary Vincent Whitty.

Drawing on her own thoughts and words you will come to know Mother Mary Vincent (Ellen) Whitty as indefatigable and human.

Mother Vincent, the first Queensland Mother Superior of the Sisters of Mercy in Brisbane, arrived in 1861 from Ireland with five companions and a daunting mission ahead. Mother Vincent’s 30 years as Mother Superior in the early days of Queensland laid the foundations for education, healthcare and welfare in the State and in particular for those most vulnerable — the poor, children and women.

Mother Vincent faced enormous challenges and uncertainty with resourcefulness and steadfastness leaving a lasting legacy that continues today. Her obituary reflected her impact on Queensland and the remarkable woman she was:

“Her beauty of character, her sweetness, her tenderness, are known to thousands in Queensland. How many hearts has she not healed? How many of the weak and desolate have found in her a true Sister of Mercy indeed?”

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