Archived News Item

Moving Forward- Australasian Mercy Archivists’ Gather in Sydney


L to R: Top Row: Kay Lane rsm, Bernard Medley, Denise Corrigan, Mary Kleinschafer rsm, Stephanie Kitching rsm, Joanne Ng, Anita Meale, Annie Medley, Carmel King rsm L to R Bottom Row: Joanne Molloy, Daljeen Jassal, Olivia Parkinson, Belinda Pesa, Bronte Laffin-Vines, Jane McGee



Mercy archivists met in Sydney on September 7-8 for their bi-annual gathering.  It was appropriately called ‘Moving Forward’ as many of us find ourselves facing challenging times in archives and heritage. 


This year the gathering was hosted by Institute Archives and Heritage staff headed by manager Jane McGee, beginning at the Stanmore office for welcome drinks giving all a chance for an informal re-union before the formal meetings the following day.


ISMAPNG Archivist, Joanne Molloy rsm presented a talk ‘Recalling the story of the Mercy Archivists’ Group’ looking at the historical context of the group and reminding us in her presentation about the background of it’s inception and it’s long history going back to the first 1995 Mercy Archivist’s Conference in Adelaide. She also reminded us of the Sisters who became qualified archivists at that time and whom we owe a great debt to; Deidre O’Connor in Adelaide, Mary Ryan in Bathurst and Margaret Barry in North Sydney.  During these early years the preservation and organisation of records in religious archives became a hot topic of discussion worldwide amongst many congregations.


‘Mercy Archives Today’, a presentation by Olivia Parkinson and Bronte Laffin-Vines from ISMAPNG Archives and Heritage, Alphington, Victoria looked across the world at what is happening in Mercy archives and heritage today.  This was a wonderful overview and was well received and appreciated by all present. This was followed by ‘Our Evolving Story’ a panel sharing and open discussion, with panelists sharing their personal experiences of working with archivists.


The guest panelists were – Margery Jackman – Professional Standards, ISMAPNG;  Cynthia Mulholland – Events Manager, Sacred Spaces Singleton, MML; and, Sr Stephanie Kitching rsm, Archivist, Nga Whaea Atawhai o Aotearoa Sisters of Mercy New Zealand. The panel gave some real insights into what they have appreciated  in the support and work carried out in many different contexts across the Mercy archives world.


One participant I am sure summed up the sentiments of those gathered by saying, “it was a wonderful opportunity to meet and gather with all the Mercy archivists from Australia and New Zealand”.


Written by Annie Medley, Cultural Collections Curator – ISMAPNG Southern A


Messages to: Institute Archives and Heritage


Clockwise from top: Cynthia Mulholland, Anita Meale, Carmel King rsm, Mary Klienschater rsm, Kay Lane rsm, Stephanie Kitchung rsm, Theresia Tina rsm, Joanne Molloy rsm, and Sally Bradley rsm.


Anne Derwin RSJ (Facilitator) and Mary Kleinshafer rs


Stephanie Kitching rsm and Margery Jackman


Mary Kleinschafer rsm leading the final prayer of the gathering


Olivia Parkinson and Bronte Laffin-Vines speaking on current development in Mercy Archives around the world.