Abbotsford Convent Tours
The Abbotsford Convent Tours initiative was established as a resource for the community to further engage with this arts, culture and learning precinct. Run entirely on the goodwill of volunteers, tours have generated over $100,000 worth of donations towards the restoration project. Some of our guides have been volunteering since 2005, and many of them donate their time towards other projects, not just the tours.
Social History Tours
The Abbotsford Convent Foundation is passionate about sharing the history of this culturally significant site. On the tours, curious community members discover the diverse history of the Convent: from its use as a meeting point for the Kulin Nation; to its days as a convent when the Good Shepherd Sisters ran a closed monastic site for over a century; to its establishment as an arts, culture and education community. Living memories have been collected from former residents and caretakers of the land, which volunteers share during the tours. Social History Tours run every Sunday at 2pm.
Tours in French
The Convent now offers history tours in French – the native language of The Sisters of the Good Shepherd. Convent tenant Delphine Laboureau-Ormancey of French Tête à Tête guides participants through the dramatic interiors, serene grounds and unrestored dormant spaces – giving insight into the different lifestyles that existed throughout the Convent’s history. These tours are aimed at students in Year 10 or above and French speaking adults. By appointment (bookings of 10 or more).
Creative practitioner Mary Peacock invites participants to wander through the buildings and gardens – popping into artists’ studios, rehearsal and performance spaces, c3 Contemporary Art Space and St Heliers Street Gallery. These tours are focused on what’s happening now at the Convent, whilst also offering an opportunity to meander through the unrestored spaces and hear about the Abbotsford Convent Foundation's plans for the future. By appointment (bookings of 10 or more).
The ACF would like to thank our volunteer guides, past and present:
Clive Rumney, David Simpson, Delphine Laboreau-Ormancey, Ilona Hamilton, Jan Williams, Janet Bennett, Julian Stow, Madonna Grehan, Mary Peacock, Moyna Wilson, Rema O’Neill, John Price and Sandra Del Monaco.
Sign up to the Convent’s monthly e-news, The Humbug, to keep abreast of what’s on at the Convent.