Australian Embassy
Holy See
Holy See

Welcome to our new Deputy Head of Mission

Ms Alison Edye commenced on 10 October 2016 as Deputy Head of Mission at the Australian Embassy to the Holy See.  The Embassy welcomes Ms Edye to Rome.

Welcome to our new Australian Ambassador

On 5 May 2016 Foreign Minister Julie Bishop announced the appointment of Ms Melissa Hitchman as Australia's next Ambassador to the Holy See.

Ambassador Hitchman took up the position on 18 July and presented credentials to His Holiness Pope Francis on 8 September 2016.

The Embassy welcomes Ambassador Hitchman and her family to Rome.

Sport for Humanity

Australian indie band Sheppard's single, Geronimo, opened the Holy See's Faith and Sport in the Service of Humanity Conference on 5 October.  His Holiness Pope Francis, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, International Olympic Committee Chair Thomas Bach, Allianz CEO Oliver Bäte and religious leaders from many faiths attended the Opening Ceremony.  Allianz supported the Humanity Sports Club launched at the Conference to promote six principles in sport and life: joy, love, respect, compassion, enlightenment and balance. The Conference continued until 7 October.  Among the Australians participating over the three days, Monsignor John Woods, Administrator of St Christopher's Cathedral in the Archdiocese of Canberra-Goulburn, briefed the diplomatic corps afterwards at the Australian Embassy to the Holy See.  The Conference was arranged by Pontifical Council for Culture President Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi and colleagues.  Further information is available is at Sport for Humanity.

Australian Catholic University Rome Centre

Dr Adrian Hitchman, Australian Ambassador to the Holy See HE Melissa Hitchman and Canberra-Goulburn Archbishop Christopher Prowse celebrate the official blessing of the Australian Catholic University (ACU) and Catholic University of America Rome Centre on 25 September 2016.  Further information is available at the ACU Rome Centre.

Holy See Curia, Diplomatic Corps and Australia celebrate the presentation of credentials of HE Melissa Hitchman to His Holiness Pope Francis on 8 September

Ambassador and Dr Hitchman hosted Holy See Curia, the Diplomatic Corps and Australians at the official residence on 8 September 2016.  Ambassador Hitchman outlined the key objectives for her term as (1) promoting the convergence between an innovative Australian Government and reformist papacy (2) raising the profile of the broad agenda Australia and the Holy See have on issues such as conflict prevention, peacebuilding, anti-human trafficking and gender empowerment among many others (3) leveraging the value add Australian religious – some global leaders of their congregations – provide in Rome not only by bringing Australia to the Holy See, but the Holy See to Australia and (4) harnessing the new dimension in the bilateral relationship with the establishment of the Australian Catholic University’s Rome Centre, which attracts students and mid-career professionals to study and contribute to greater understanding between Australia and the Holy See. 


Among the guests were Archbishop of Boston and President of the Pontifical Council for the Protection of Minors, His Eminence Seán Patrick Cardinal O’Malley OFM Cap (above left), Dean of the Diplomatic Corps, HE Armindo Fernandes do Espirito Santo Vieira (above centre), and Australian member of the Pontifical Council for the Protection of Minors, Kathleen McCormack AM (above right).

Canonisation of St Teresa of Kolkata

Ambassador-designate Melissa Hitchman attends the canonization of St Teresa of Kolkata on 4 September 2016 at a mass celebrated by His Holiness, Pope Francis, at St Peter's Basilica.  The Missionaries of Charity, which St Teresa founded, is active in Australia, providing services to women and children in crisis, indigenous communities and the disadvantaged.  In 1982 then Mother Teresa was made a Companion of the Order of Australia.  On her death in 1997, then Governor-General Sir William Deane wrote a message of condolence on behalf of all Australians.  Missionaries of Charity Sr Tessila and Sr Bridget have been in Rome assisting with preparations for the canonization for several months.  The Embassy congratulates them and their congregation on their founder's canonization.

Domus Australia

Ambassador-designate Melissa Hitchman meets Father Terry Bell, Rector of Domus Australia, on 29 July 2016.  The former Marist student house was purchased in 2008 by a group of Australian Archdioceses led by the Sydney Archdiocese and now welcomes visitors of all faiths and nationalities to Rome.  Further details are available at Domus Australia, Via Cernaia 14/B, 00185 Roma Italia, +39 (0) 6 4201 4830 or 02 9390 5980 (if calling from Australia), or

The Jubilee Year of Mercy

8 December 2015 to 20 November 2016

© Copyright Pontifical Council for the Promotion of New Evangelization. All rights reserved.

The Jubilee Year of Mercy, which commenced on 8 December 2015 and will conclude on 20 November 2016, is expected to see an influx of international visitors, tourists and pilgrims to Rome.

Overall responsibility for the Jubilee rests with the Holy See’s Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization and details of the event can be found at the Council’s Jubilee website, including a section on pilgrim registration

The Embassy will post updated information from time to time.

Following are news and articles on the Embassy's events and activities.


Useful information about visiting the Holy See:

Visiting the Vatican - general information on booking various Vatican tours and tickets for events presided by the Pope
Past News Items - items previously published on the front page