Permanent Exhibitions

The Mary MacKillop Museum is comprised of an orientation room and four consecutive gallery spaces. The Museum tells the story of Mary MacKillop, Australia’s first saint, with emphasis on her time in Victoria, as well as the work of the Sisters of Saint Joseph of the Sacred Heart. Mary’s story is told through a curated collection of relics, artefacts, books, textiles, artwork, and audio-visual display.

The Temporary Gallery

This gallery changes on a regular basis three to four times within the year.

Displays mounted in the gallery focus on specific topics related to Mary MacKillop or groups and associations that are involved with the charism, spirit and work of the Sisters of Saint Joseph of the Sacred Heart.

Current Exhibition: Collection Highlights

The Mary MacKillop Heritage Centre presents a diverse selection of museum objects, many on display to the public for the first time within the Temporary Gallery. Objects include handmade crochet pieces produced by Sisters of Saint Joseph, a series of dolls representing changes to the Josephite habit over time, and the painting Mary MacKillop in Rome by artist Wendy Black (pictured).

Artist Wendy Black

Past Exhibitions

Albert Street Providence | July – October 2023

Albert Street Providence built upon a previous display highlighting the four Victorian Providences whilst also further exploring the heritage and architectural significance of our Albert Street property.

Mary of the Cross | April – July 2023

Mary of the Cross explored the significance of the Cross in Mary’s life. Visitors were able to view objects from the museum’s collection of Josephite emblems and crosses, while activity sheets were available for students to enjoy.

Julian Tenison Woods | November 2022 – April 2023

Julian Tenison Woods focused on the ten years Father Woods lived and worked as a priest in Penola and the surrounding South Australian countryside. The exhibition explored Wood’s work as a missionary priest, his scientific endeavours and advocation of Catholic education for the poor. Items from the museum’s Penola and Tenison Woods collections were displayed, and activity sheets were available for students to enrich their learning.

 Mary Trusted in God’s Providence | August – November 2022

Mary Trusted in God’s Provenance looked at the four Melbourne Providences established by Mary and her Sisters between 1891 and 1902. Items on display were connected to the fourth and current Providence at Albert Street, East Melbourne, where the museum is located. An interactive activity board allowed students to create their own hashtags and play with the composition of figures from early Melbourne.