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Journeying with people in hope, love and support...

The John Wallis Foundation continues the work of the Missionary Sisters of Service supporting people and communities experiencing hardship and disadvantage. 

We are inspired by a world which demonstrates compassion, justice and love in equal measure to all.

The Foundation runs an annual Small Grants Program, a series of inspiring speakers events, and other activities to strengthen community relationships. 

The Foundation is named in honour of Father John Wallis, founder of the Missionary Sisters of Service.

John Wallis Foundation Annual Reports 

The 2015 - 2016 John Wallis Foundation Annual Report is available now.
e report on another rewarding year's work, with deep appreciation and gratitude to the many people - friends, supporters, donors and volunteers -  who enable the Foundation to carry on its great mission.   Click on the image to read and download the report.

JWF Annual Report 2014 - 2015

JWF Annual Report 2013 - 2014

JWF Annual Report 2012 - 2013

JWF Annual Report 2011 - 2012

Our Books

The Silent Book: A Deaf Family and the Disappearing Australian-Irish Sign Language by Bernadette T Wallis MSS,  is the engrossing story, both deeply personal and historical, of the disappearing Australian-Irish sign language told through the experience of Bernadette’s own Deaf family. The story is embedded in the Australian landscape and its Aboriginal past.   In writing this multi-layered story, Bernadette invites the reader into the vibrantly alert and alive silent world of her Deaf parents.  

Reviewing the book, Margaret Coffey, broadcaster and journalist writes:

The Silent Book will be revelatory for most of us, as we learn of the history of a ‘threatened’ language once so vital in Australia. It is a fascinating tale in diverse ways: in its closeness to the colonial and rural context of its protagonists, its respect for indigenous naming and knowledge of that same landscape, its careful induction of the reader into a chronology of thinking about deafness and ways of educating deaf children. It adds another rich element to the extraordinary story of those 19th century lay and religious builders of Catholic community in Victoria and NSW.  With all this, at its heart The Silent Book is a moving account of family life and love and hopefulness.

Click here to download an order form for The Silent Book


Around the Kitchen Table with the Missionary Sisters of Service (MSS) is a portrait of the spirit and the heart of this Tasmanian-born, Australian-grown Congregation of Religious Women, written by Penelope Edman.

The MSS is the only religious congregation to be founded in Tasmania (1944) and one of only a few to be founded in Australia. Using story as its base, Around the Kitchen Table is told as a celebration of being different. The Sisters were missionaries in their own country, called to go “into the highways and byways” to families beyond the reach of Catholic schools in rural and outback Australia. Even as their mission focus has broadened, they remain in the highways and byways of life, their ability to be with people in their everyday lives still the hallmark of their call.

Click here to download an order form for the book. 

John Wallis Memorial Lectures

The John Wallis Foundation annually holds a memorial lectures in various parts of Australia.   These lectures honour the memory of Fr John Wallis, Founder of the Missionary Sisters of Service.   Speakers are chosen to present contemporary topics in the context of lived experience and the light of the Gospel.   They continue to touch the hearts of their audiences in places such as Tasmania, Toowoomba and Melbourne.  Through these lectures the Foundation endeavours to nourish hope and extend the vision of people.   Texts of a number of these lectures are available below.


 Fr Max Vodola

Fr Max Vodola

 Martin Flanagan

Martin Flanagan

Martin Flanagan's Lecture

Presented at Genezzano FCJ College, Kew, Melbourne, Australia

11 June 2013.   Click to download  

Spirituality in a Secular Society



 Frank Brennan SJ

Frank Brennan SJ

Frank Brennan SJ's  Lecture

Presented to a very appreciative audience in Hobart and Launceston, Tasmania, in October 2013.  Click to download

Pope Francis and Australia's Social Justice Agenda



Highways and Byways Song

Singer Songwriter Peter Kearney wrote the story of Fr Wallis and the Missionary Sisters of Service in song.   The Song is part of the collection on the CD entitled The Common Good. Click below to listen. 

  Peter Kearney

Peter Kearney

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