Our Lady’s Nurses for the Poor

Eileen O’Connor College

The Brown Nurses Tile

The Brown Nurses

Upcoming Events

Our Lady’s Nurses for the Poor

Our Lady’s Nurses for the Poor

Our Lady’s Nurses for the Poor, has extended practical care to the sick poor in their own homes for over 100 years.

The order was co-founded by Melbourne born, Sydney woman Eileen O’Connor and first priest in charge of Coogee parish, Fr Edward McGrath MSC, working from Randwick Parish in April 1913.

At a time when no publicly funded healthcare was available, the order was dedicated to caring for the sick and dying poor in their homes.

More commonly known as the Brown Nurses because of their distinctive brown cloaks and bonnets, the order’s work continues to this day in Sydney, Newcastle and Macquarie Fields.

The Sisters extend practical care to all who seek help, without discrimination and in the spirit of the Good Samaritan of the Gospel.

Their Ministry

Our Lady’s Nurses exercise their ministry by:

  • Caring: Home nursing, visiting, hospitality and being a comforting presence.
  • Friendship: Supporting families and individuals facing hardship, broken relationships, bereavement or isolation.
  • Advocacy: Standing with those unable to oppose unjust structures and systems.
  • Listening: Responding to the needs of the poor who require specific skills and diversity of expression.

The Brown Nurses

Established in 2008, the Brown Nurses is an independent ministry of Our Lady’s Nurses for the Poor, offering home care and support to the most disadvantaged in the City of Sydney Local Government Area.

Many of their clients live with debilitating physical and mental illnesses or are at risk of homelessness and the Brown Nurses is their last chance to live independently.

Landmark Moments for Our Lady’s Nurses for the Poor

Eileen O’Connor College

Executive Principal Ian Jackson and campus principal Gail Story with kindergarten students at Eileen O’Connor Catholic College Lewisham. Photo: Alphonsus Fok

Executive Principal Ian Jackson and campus principal Gail Story with kindergarten students at Eileen O’Connor Catholic College Lewisham. Photo: Alphonsus Fok

Eileen O’Connor College in Lewisham is the only school of its kind in the Sydney Archdiocese catering for young people with an intellectual disability in a Catholic environment.
The school was established in 2016 with 19 students from Years 7-10 and has now grown to over 100 students offering places from kindergarten to Year 12.
It offers a comprehensive curriculum including Religious Education, English, Mathematics, Science, Personal Development, Health and Physical Education, Human Society and its Environment, Languages and Creative Arts.
The school has been named in honour of Eileen O’Connor since she knew first hand how challenging it can be to struggle with a disability and she offers inspiration to the students at the school.

The Brown Nurses

Brown Nurses Mary, Wendy and Deb at work in inner Sydney

Brown Nurses Mary, Wendy and Deb at work in inner Sydney

The Brown Nurses is an independent ministry of Our Lady’s Nurses for the Poor. Established in 2008, we provide in-home care and support to the most disadvantaged and marginalised in the City of Sydney Local Government Area.

Many of our clients live with debilitating physical and mental illnesses, or are at risk of homelessness. Being in the care of the Brown Nurses may be their last opportunity to live independently.

Support is offered in line with the charism of Eileen O’Connor and the social justice teachings of the Catholic Church, which upholds the dignity of the individual and their right to fullness of life.

Our mission is to:

  • Offer holistic nursing care to the sick poor in their own homes
  • Advocate for access to appropriate health and welfare services
  • Build trusting relationships
  • Offer hope and compassion
  • Journey with the individual to restore their dignity and self-worth

Upcoming Events

Mass to close off the Centenary Celebrations

October 17 @ 10:30 AM - 12:30 PM