Sister Janet Mead To Get Her Own Street In Adelaide

29 May 2024 | 11:25 am | Jeff Jenkins

The campaign was sparked by The Music’s story on Australia's favourite singing Nun.

Sister Janet Mead in the 'Lord's Prayer' video

Sister Janet Mead in the 'Lord's Prayer' video (Source: YouTube/@Carl F. Trinidad)

Last month, The Music ran a story celebrating the 50th anniversary of Sister Janet Mead hitting the US Top 5 with The Lord’s Prayer – the first Australian-produced song to sell one million copies in America.

Last night, the City of Adelaide voted to honour Sister Janet with her own street.

The campaign was led by Adelaide journalist Mara Blazic. After reading The Music’s story, Blazic contacted the local breakfast show on ABC radio.

“Her life was all in the city of Adelaide,” Blazic said. “She was born in Adelaide, died in Adelaide, lived in Adelaide and made Australian music history. Why haven’t we honoured her with a laneway?”

Joyce Van Der Sman, the co-executor of Sister Janet’s estate, immediately embraced the proposal. “I think it’s a beautiful idea; it fills our hearts with great joy.”

Adelaide councillor Phil Martin picked up on the push and moved a motion at last night’s council meeting. “I was among the many thousands of people who heard Mara speak about this, and I thought, wow, what a great idea,” Cr Martin said.

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“Her impact on this city has been profound.”

Ms Van Der Sman, who works at Sister Janet Mead’s Adelaide Day Centre for Homeless Persons, spoke in support of the motion. “I’m so glad that you’re considering naming a street for her. For those who don’t know her, they will feel inspired to learn about her.”

Cr Carmel Noon recalled “being dragged to church” as a young girl but being inspired by Sister Janet’s “innovative rock mass”.

“She brought a fresh, contemporary sound to traditional religious music.”

Cr Noon also highlighted Sister Janet’s work for homeless people and commitment to social justice. “This has nothing to do with a particular religion,” she said. “We have a major road for a cricketer [Sir Donald Bradman] and a few musicians. How about a road/lane that reminds us there was once a saint that walked amongst us?”

The motion was passed unanimously.

The council’s quick response showed why Adelaide is rightly recognised as an official UNESCO City of Music. Adelaide has already named lanes after The Angels, Cold Chisel, Paul Kelly, Sia Furler and No Fixed Address.

The council will now consult with the community to work out which street should be named after Sister Janet.

Sister Janet Mead – who died in 2022, aged 84 – was the music teacher at St Aloysius College in Adelaide, where The Lord’s Prayer video was filmed. One of her students was Clare Moore – who would later find fame alongside her partner Dave Graney.

The ABC breakfast hosts, Sonya Feldhoff and Jules Schiller, have suggested that Chancery Lane, next to St Aloysius College, could be the appropriate site for Sister Janet Lane.