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$1 million donation helps Mater towards establishing Family Wellbeing Service to support Queensland families

Friday 20 November 2020

With the help of generous donors through Mater Foundation, Mater is progressing plans to transform the historic Mater Convent into a much-needed perinatal mental health service to support Queensland families experiencing mental health challenges in the period immediately before and after birth.

A $1 million donation has been gifted to Mater by philanthropists Maha Sinnathamby and Bob Sharpless and their wives to mark the 95th birthday of Sister Angela Mary. The gift will go towards establishing the Mater Family Wellbeing Service to support Queensland families experiencing mental health challenges in the period immediately before and after birth.

Springfield City Group (SCG) Chairman Maha Sinnathamby and Deputy Chairman Bob Sharpless together with their wives Yoga and Belinda, announced the donation whilst attending a tour of the Mater convent, hosted by Sr Angela Mary. The Mater convent, where Sr Angela Mary lived for many years, will undergo significant renovations to become the new home of the Mater Family Wellbeing Centre.

This beautiful historic building has been home to more than 300 Sisters of Mercy throughout the past century; and aims to be a centre of excellence in Queensland in the mental health and wellness  of mothers, babies and families. The new service, to be known as Mater Family Wellbeing Service, will focus on providing the 'best possible start' during the early years of life and offer a spectrum of care that promotes wellness, parental mental health, healthy relationships and child development.

The reimagined building will be named Catherine’s House in honour of Catherine McAuley, the founding and first Sister of Mercy who began her life-long work in helping the community in 1831.

The redevelopment of the convent is planned to commence early next year as the first stage of the Mater Hill Master Plan; a long-term conceptual plan that aims to transform Mater Hill into a world-class, contemporary health, education and research precinct that reflects the changing healthcare needs of our community. 

For more information about the convent’s redevelopment and the Mater Hill Master Plan please email


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