Mater is Queensland’s largest Catholic, not-for-profit network of hospitals and healthcare services, bringing together our collective expertise across health, education and research with a shared vision to live better lives through improved health and wellbeing.
Mater is committed to a culture of compassion and care inspired by God’s mission of mercy to help those in need. In the spirit of Catherine McAuley and her legacy which has been carried forward by the Sisters of Mercy, we embrace opportunities to provide healing and hope to the communities we serve.
By uniting our health, education and research expertise across the state, Mater has greater capacity to collaborate to ensure the highest quality of care and find new ways to meet unmet community need.
History of the ministry
When the Sisters of Mercy first arrived in Brisbane in 1861, they found themselves in a community in desperate need of services, including healthcare. Recognising this need, the Sisters purchased 10 acres of land at South Brisbane in 1893 with a view to building a hospital in the future. On 4 January 1906 the Sisters of Mercy officially opened Mater’s first Queensland hospital, a small 20 bed private hospital, referred to as ‘Aubigny’, in Brisbane’s North Quay.
‘Aubigny’ was a temporary facility until the Sisters of Mercy could raise enough money to build a hospital at the South Brisbane site. It was this small fee-paying private hospital that provided the much-needed funds for the Sisters of Mercy to realise their vision and opened their first hospital at South Brisbane in 1910.
Through this spirit of innovation characterised by the Sisters of Mercy, Mater has continued to grow to meet the needs of the community. More than a hundred years later, Mater’s network of hospitals and healthcare services extend across Queensland, impacting the lives of hundreds of thousands of people each year.
The ministry today
Mater comprises of an extensive network of both public and private hospitals, health centres and related businesses, a nationally accredited education provider, a world-class medical research institute and philanthropic support.
Mater Health—is a network of hospital and healthcare services across the state, with hospital facilities in Townsville, Mackay, Rockhampton, Bundaberg, Redland, Springfield and South Brisbane and a personalised community-based allied health and nursing service delivered by Mater at Home.
Mater Education—is committed to supporting quality healthcare service delivery through excellence and expertise in education and continuing professional development of healthcare staff and students.
Mater Research—is an internationally competitive institute, attracting scientists from around the globe and more than $12 million in competitive grant funding.
Mater Foundation—is the community-based fundraising organisation that underpins the work of Mater Health, Mater Education and Mater Research, by harnessing community support and philanthropic partnerships to support Mater’s provision of healthcare, education and medical research.
In delivering the healing ministry of Jesus Mater not only responds to, but actively seeks, to support individuals and families disadvantaged by health or social circumstances. Mater is able to meet these needs by reinvesting any revenue from the business back into the provision of healthcare services.
The Rockhampton Sisters of Mercy Congregation and The Townsville Mercy Congregation transferred canonical governance of Mater Hospitals in Central and North Queensland to Mercy Partners in 2011, and The Sisters of Mercy Brisbane Congregation transferred canonical governance of the Brisbane Mater to Mercy Partners in April 2013.