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Order of Malta Australia


A Garden of Mercy in Adelaide


For some twenty years members of the Order in South Australia have supported the development the community garden on the site of the former Adelaide Gaol in inner Adelaide. The garden was formerly tended by prisoners until the gaol closed in 1988.

Founded in 1841 the Adelaide gaol was one of the last of the colonial prisons and the scene of many hangings prior to the abolition of capital punishment in SA in 1976. Mercy Sister Sister Janet Mead and a dedicated group of helpers  redeveloped the garden as part of the works of the Adelaide Day Centre for homeless persons. Over the intervening years the garden has grown and is now a source of fruit and vegetables and flowers for the luncheon program at its Moore Street premises in the Adelaide  CBD. Food hampers are also delivered each week to many families and people in acute need.

The garden is cared for by clients of the Adelaide Day Centre and at present there is a waiting list for volunteers. The Order has for many years provided funds for equipment for the garden. These  funds have been supplemented by matching grants from the Macquarie Bank Foundation through the dedicated involvement of Confrere Nicholas Pyne. The latest contribution from the Order was two commercial lawnmowers.

The garden also houses farm animals. Recently a second garden was established in the suburb of Richmond.
The Order’s annual film afternoon has been the main source of funds to support the Adelaide Gaol garden.
The garden is officially named the Dame Roma Mitchell Garden a great friend of the Sisters of Mercy in Adelaide, a former Governor of SA and Australia’s first woman Supreme Court Judge. Dame Roma was honoured by the Order of Malta in 1997.

The Australian Association

The Australian Association, formed in 1974, currently has in excess of 300 members and aspirant members across every State and Territory of Australia. We also have ongoing and strong links with the Order’s National Associations throughout the Asia Pacific Region including in Singapore and the Philippines and with members of the Order in New Zealand, Hong Kong SAR, Thailand and Korea. The Order of Malta is committed to serving Our Lords the Poor and Sick worldwide and has done so for over 900 years. This website shares with you the history, mission and current activities of the Order of Malta in Australia, and provides links to the work of the Order world-wide.