About us


We are Highways and byways 

A community of service

We support people and communities experiencing hardship and disadvantage, especially in rural Australia. We do this through our Annual Grants Program and through longer term initiatives in small rural communities where we may partner with a local organisation.

Highways and Byways – a Community of Service (formerly the John Wallis Foundation) continues the work of the Missionary Sisters of Service  who are an Australian congregation founded by Father John Wallis in 1944.

Highways and Byways are a national organisation based in Melbourne, Victoria.


Strengthen community relationships and networks in marginalised communities.


Develop local leadership.

Our mission


Empower people to meet the challenges that confront them in our complex world.


Reflect the sprit of the Missionary Sisters of Service in all we do – their deep faith, their grounded, relational and respectful ethos, and their history of being with people in their ordinary and everyday lives.

our history

Highways and Byways – a Community of Service is the initiative of the Missionary Sisters of Service (MSS).  Their motto, “Into the highways and byways”, has taken that community into many areas of Australia, reaching out to people in all kinds of places and situations, from the city to the outback and beyond, always with a pastoral approach and a deep respect for the dignity of every person.


John Corcoran Wallis, was a priest in the Archdiocese of Hobart.  In 1944 he founded a community of women whose mission would take them into the highways and byways of Australia and beyond. 

Father John died in 2001 at the age of 91.  A fuller outline of his life can be found here

Our Key Documents

Highways and Byways – A Community of Service acknowledges the lifelong trauma of abuse victims, survivors and their families, the failure of the Catholic Church to protect, believe and respond justly to children and vulnerable adults, and the consequent breaches of community trust.

Highways and Byways – A Community of Service is committed to fostering a culture of safety and care for children and vulnerable adults.

Keep up to date with all the latest news of Highways and Byways.