documents, Forgotten Australians, memories, objects

M’o’mento of slavery

The Sisters of the Good Shepherd ran commercial laundries which serviced many businesses, including hopsitals, hotels and wealthy households. Doing all the unpaid, hard labour in hot conditions were teenage girls who were sent the convent because they were considered to be in ‘moral danger’.

The Good Shepherd laundries operated at the Mt Maria Centre, Mitchelton, Brisbane; Abbotsford Convent, Melbourne; The Pines, Plympton; Leederville, Perth and Mount Saint Canice in Hobart.

Rachael Romero, in 1968, aged 15, was an unpaid labourer in the laundry while resident at The Pines. Below is a laundry slip she kept – one of those used by the Good Shepherd Sisters to charge for their laundry services.

Laundry slip from the Home of the Good Sheperd, Plympton, South Australia
Laundry slip from the Home of the Good Sheperd, Plympton, South Australia

 

For more information on the commercial laundry services run in Catholic Children’s Homes, see Allan Gill’s 2003 article in the Sydney Morning Herald, Bad girls do the best sheets.

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