Our mission

Who we are:  We are a Catholic healthcare service inspired by the spirit and vision of Mother Cabrini and the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

What we believe:  We are a community of care, reaching out with compassion, integrity, courage and respect to all we serve.

What we do:  We provide excellence in all of our services and work to identify and meet unmet needs.

St Frances Cabrini founded the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (MSC) to be a witness of God’s love for people through compassionate action. Today, this mission reaches around the world and includes Cabrini Australia. Cabrini Health strives to fulfil this MSC commitment to the healing mission of the Catholic Church and provide compassionate care for people in need, through our health care services and our outreach services.  

Our Ethic of Care Booklet

Mother Cabrini

Our values

Our values form the base of our mission, are built around what we believe and drive how we act. They are drawn from Mother Cabrini’s life and reflect her heart, her spirit, her conviction and her approach.

Compassion:  Our drive to care is not just a professional duty to provide excellent quality care but is born of a heartfelt compassion for those in need, motivated by God’s love for all people.

Integrity:  We believe in the power of hope to transform people’s lives and remain faithful to the bold healing mission and legacy of Mother Cabrini.

Courage:  We have the strength, determination, vision and conviction to continue the work of Mother Cabrini and the Missionary Sisters.

Respect:  We believe that every person is worthy of the utmost respect and the best possible health care. We know that our resources are entrusted to us to use for the benefit of others.

We strive to meet the healthcare needs of the community through with a deep commitment to progress and leadership.

Our Promise Booklet Hope & Human Flourishing at Cabrini

VIGIL – The Heart of Cabrini

VIGIL - The Heart of Cabrini, a sculpture by prominent Melbourne artist Simon Perry, was officially unveiled by Cabrini Health in November 2021.

The sculpture was designed to celebrate the life and work of Mother Cabrini, the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart and the doctors, nurses and staff of the Cabrini hospital, who have provided support and healthcare to our community for more than 70 years.

Celebrating the centenary of the death of Mother Cabrini in 1917, the story behind the 7.4-metre monument is to speak heart-to-heart to people coming into the hospital day and by night, whether as patients, volunteers, visitors or staff.

The artwork utilises various themes from the history of Mother Cabrini’s life, a patron saint immigrants, such as the sacred heart, and combines them with more contemporary references relating to medicine and technology, including the heart rhythm graphs seen on electrocardiogram monitors. The resulting form is comprised of a series of interconnected vertical spires, which vary in height and resemble an unfolding landscape.

A heart-shaped crown is on top of each spire and are designed to slowly move in the wind. As they turn, the reading of them shifts between the open heart-shaped motif and a stylised head. They are also reminiscent of ship propellers, making reference to the role of international shipping, immigration and Mother Cabrini’s many ocean journeys around the world.

The materials used include polished bronze sheets for the heart shapes with the spires/masts/figures constructed from stainless steel clad with bronze sheet.

Perry also selected a constellation pattern, Ursa Minor, to be fixed into the body’s surface. This constellation contains a very bright star, known as The North Star, which represents a metaphorical symbol of Mother Cabrini’s guiding light and visible strength.

VIGIL – The Heart of Cabrini sculpture, positioned near the main entrance to our Malvern hospital, was partly funded by the Cabrini Italians of Melbourne.

To our Cabrini community, the sculpture is a means of re-telling, or re-imagining the story of Mother Cabrini.

About Simon Perry

Simon Perry is a British born sculptor and academic who has been living and working in Melbourne for the past 30 years. Best known for his large-scale public artworks for urban space in Australia and overseas, Perry has received a number of awards and prizes including The Prix de Rome, the RA Gold Medal for Sculpture and the Landseer scholarship award. In 2020 he completed a PhD at RMIT University.


Our heritage story

Francesca Cabrini was born in northern Italy in 1850. Inspired by her deep faith in Jesus Christ, she was a woman of great compassion and courage. She saw her life as a mission to relieve suffering and serve those in need – particularly the poor and excluded. She established health, education and care centres in the USA and Latin America, in Europe and in England, becoming an inspiration to all whose lives she touched. She was the first citizen of the USA to be canonised a saint. At age 30, she founded the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus to show God’s love for people through their compassionate action in the world. Today their mission reaches around the world, and includes Cabrini Health in Australia.

Our Cabrini story started in 1948, when ten Cabrini Sisters arrived in Melbourne to take over St Benedict’s, a small hospital in Malvern. The journey from Italy took ten days as the plane could only fly during daylight hours. The Sisters thought they were taking over a fully functioning hospital but unfortunately, this was not so.

Without losing spirit, they worked hard to equip and make the place presentable so that they could re-open the facility. At the time, Melbourne was not the multicultural city that we know today. People were cautious of these Italian Sisters who dressed and spoke differently to the Australian religious of the time. Despite their best efforts, in the first few months there were many complaints about their strange ways. However, the Sisters recognised there were people in need and, with courage and determination; they laid the foundation for the comprehensive healthcare service we have become today.

In 2017, we celebrated the centenary of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini MSC (1850-1917), Universal Patron Saint of Immigrants and founder of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. In 2018, we celebrated the arrival of the Cabrini Sisters and the establishment of our diverse organisation.

We celebrate our heritage each year in November, with events scheduled around the Feast of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini on 13 November. Celebrations include a Feast Day Mass, service recognition ceremonies to acknowledge service milestones reached by employees, and a commemorative service for employees, volunteers and members of our Cabrini community who have recently died.

Another significant celebration is the Feast of the Sacred Heart, which occurs 7 weeks after Easter Sunday and falls on a Friday. During Mass, the Sisters renew their vows and we affirm our commitment to our shared mission.


St Frances Cabrini

In 2014, Cabrini Health commissioned St Frances Cabrini: a passionate life to make this remarkable woman accessible to a new generation of employees, supporters, friends and benefactors.