Since coming to Australia in 1846, the Sisters of Mercy have undertaken works of mercy to help people in need. When the Institute of Sisters of Mercy of Australia was formed in 1981 it became actively engaged in ministries among aboriginal communities, refugees and people in developing countries.

Their activities depended on the generous financial contributions from the Mercy congregations. Engagement was through the direct service of sisters in areas such as education, health care, community development and advocacy.

Over time, these significant aspects of the Institute’s life were known as Mercy Overseas Aid and Cross Cultural Ministries. However, in 2000 they became part of a new single entity called Mercy Works Incorporated.

In 2011 the Board of Mercy Works Inc. made the decision to change the legal status of the agency to a company limited by guarantee under the Corporations Act (Cth), Mercy Works Inc. is now Mercy Works Ltd., but generally referred to as Mercy Works. This structural change reflects more authentically the international and national flavour of Mercy Works and offers greater flexibility to expand and undertake a variety of works.

Mercy Works is now a common project of all Sisters of Mercy in Australia and Papua New Guinea.

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