Rosemary Taylor attended St Aloysius College from 1951-1955 and joined the Sisters of Mercy immediately after graduation. She studied at Adelaide University, followed by teaching appointments at St Aloysius College and Mercedes College.
Rosemary decided to leave the Sisters of Mercy in the 1960s and worked as a missionary in Alaska for seven months before returning home to Adelaide. In 1967 she joined a World Council aid team to work with women and children living in refugee camps in Vietnam. When she saw first-hand the suffering of the poor and underprivileged, she decided to dedicate her life to improving their circumstances.
She began working as a volunteer in Phu My, a Catholic refuge for 1500 adults and children, including the homeless, the destitute, the incurably ill and the dying, as well as an orphanage and centre for children with polio. The Vietnam War was having an enormous impact on the civilian population; so Rosemary and her staff up nurseries in large houses, saving as many children as possible by arranging overseas adoption for abandoned children. In 1973, the program was registered as Friends for All Children (FFAC).