The Sisters of Mercy first came to Australia in 1846 and to Papua New Guinea in 1956. Dedicated to serving people who suffer from injustices related to poverty, sickness or lack of education, Sisters of Mercy have always endeavoured to respond to a range of local and global needs. For the sake of this mission, in December 2011, fifteen of the Mercy congregations formed the Institute of Sisters of Mercy of Australia and Papua New Guinea (ISMAPNG).
This reconfiguration brought together over nine hundred Sisters of Mercy and their associated ministries. These ministries range from large organisations employing thousands of people, to much smaller local concerns that may engage only a few. These works fall under the following major mission areas: