Gethsemane works with appropriate State and Community agencies, in a form of practical partnership, when issues arise in regard to mental wellbeing.


In 1990, Myree Harris RSJ became coordinator of St Francis House in Stanmore which had been founded by Pauline Fitz-Walter SGS.

After six months of operation at Stanmore, the Community moved to rented premises in Enmore Road Marrickville, where Gethsemane Community was formed.

In 1991, Gethsemane became a registered charity and soon after a Public Benevolent Institution. Later it was incorporated and this governed by a Constitution under the control of a Management Committee and with a requirement of an annual audit of its finances.

Gethsemane had reported to the Office of Charities, the Department of Fair Trading and the National Charities and Not-For-Profit Commission (ACNC). Now, Gethsemane reports to only ACNC.

Gethsemane remained at rented premises on Enmore Road for nine and a half years.

In 1997, Sr Myree Harris met Mrs Joy Connors, then an employee of Churches Community Housing Inc (CCH).

CCH was making submissions for partnerships between community groups and NSW Housing.

A proposal was developed requesting NSW Housing to provide a house suitable for Gethsemane and in return Gethsemane would provide support for the residents.

NSW Housing strongly endorsed the proposal through the advocacy of its Minister Mr Craig Knowles and his then advisory support Ms Jennifer Westacott, the current Chief Executive of Business Council of Australia. In 1998, NSW Housing acquired a house at 5 Oxford Street Petersham. The acquisition was structured under a lease framework between NSW Housing and Amélie Housing Ltd (which has recently merged with Amelie Housing, a work of the St Vincent de Paul Society.)

NSW Housing then renovated the property to ensure it was fit for purpose to accommodate Gethsemane operational needs.

The NSW Housing and Gethsemane union was one of the first successfully completed by CCH.

The Petersham house was officially opened by Hon Andrew Refshauge in May 1999 and Gethsemane moved in and commenced operation.