Unconventional Women

(Trade paper)
Dispatches on 2/07/2024

In the 1950s and 60s, six young women left their families to join a strictly enclosed order of nuns in Melbourne. They could leave the convent only for medical appointments and rarely received visitors, who they would meet from behind a partition built into the parlour. Their lives were confined by the convent walls, the rhythms of the Divine Office and the dictates of the Mother Superior. By the late 1960s, this community of women was upended by the reforms of the Second Vatican Council, and by the changing times. Their convent threw open its doors on a new world and the women wanted to be part of it. The personal accounts of the six nuns and ex-nuns in Unconventional Women are unusually candid, giving a rare insight into the world of the convent, and exploring their changing relationship with both God and the world.