State Library of NSW
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John Bede Polding (1794-1877) was appointed vicar-apostolic of New Holland, Van Diemen's Land, and the adjoining islands in 1834. He arrived in Sydney in September 1835 at a time when there were only three Catholic priests in New South Wales and one in Tasmania. Polding immediately started to organise the vast diocese, as well as the reform of religious services and Catholic education. He also undertook missionary work among the large number of Catholics in the convict community. Polding was elevated to the rank of Archbishop in 1841.