The Ursulines of the Roman Union is an international Religious Institute of Pontifical Right founded by Angela Merici in Brescia, northern Italy in 1535. Our General Government is located in Rome, Italy. As Ursulines of the Roman Union in Australia we constitute one province of the international Institute. It is a Public Juridic Person under Canon Law and has two major civil entities. In Queensland our civil entity is the Community of Ursuline Nuns under Letters Patent of the Queensland Parliament 1947. In NSW our civil entity is Trustees of the Ursuline Nuns of the Roman Union of Ursuline under the Roman Catholic Church Communities’ Lands Act 1942 (ARBN 077 101 136). Our trading name is The Ursuline Community (ABN 52 645 093 903). We generally refer to our province as the Australian Ursulines.
The Australian Ursulines are part of the Asia Pacific regional network of our international Institute. We share the governance of an inter-provincial community in Cambodia with the provinces of Thailand, Indonesia and China. We do not have any Australian sisters living in this community though we do provide the Local Community Co-Ordinator who assists the community with their living and ministry and maintains contact between the community and the four provincials.
The first Ursuline community in Australia was established in Armidale NSW in 1882. During our time in Australia we have:
1. established primary and secondary schools (including boarding schools) and a university college
2. worked in parish and diocesan schools as teachers, administrators, counsellors, chaplains, support staff
3. worked in universities both Catholic and secular
4. worked in health facilities such as hospitals, clinics, health support services
5. had positions in administration and pastoral ministry in dioceses, parishes, social services and aged care facilities in other Catholic organisations such as Catholic Care, Social Services, St. Vincent de Paul Society
Currently, the Australian Ursulines do not have governance responsibility for specific ministries such as schools. Any encounters with children or adults at risk is through participation in ministry (both voluntary and stipended) under the governance of another organisation e.g. Catholic Education Office, Archdiocese, Parish. Each of these organisations has its own responsibilities in relation to the National Catholic Safeguarding Standards. We do however, by the nature of our living and our ministry have contact with children and adults at risk.