Kanabea – Community of the Holy Family

Responding  to the teachings of the Second Vatican Council, the Melbourne Archdiocese, under the leadership of Cardinal Knox, undertook the staffing and maintenance of the Kanabea mission, in the mountains of the Gulf Province of PNG.

The Sisters of St Joseph of Cluny were invited to be part of the team, and in 1971 the community was formed, with the Sisters being responsible for the school, the clinic, and various evangelisation activities.

Religious Education in the Diocese is co-ordinated by one of the sisters. This involves visiting the schools, and animating retreats and workshops for the teachers and students.

With the localisation of primary education, the sisters moved their educational involvement to the Flexible, Open Distance Education (FODE) program, successfully helping students to upgrade their secondary marks to enter tertiary institutes.

When the education policy caused the primary schools to commence at Grade 3, many young students in the villages were without education. The sisters initiated and oversee the Literacy Schools Project, supported by Melbourne Overseas Mission. High School graduates who did not go on to further studies or employment volunteered to teach basic literacy and numeracy to the village children, preparing them to enter the primary school at Grade 3.

The Health Centre at Kanabea serves a population of about 80,000 people. One of the sisters is involved in its laboratory diagnostic services and its management.


Sisters of St Joseph of Cluny
Kanabea Private Bag
Lae Post Office
Morobe Province, PNG