A Redfern artist, John Jewell, pictured in the Sydney Morning Herald
The Australian government will protect the Mary MacKillop name by legislative measures to outlaw commercial or other exploitation.
It provides the highest available level of protection for an individual Australian's name, raising her to the same exclusive status as Sir Donald Bradman, said a Sydney Morning Herald report.
The Mary MacKillop brand has already been the subject of trademark applications, by the order she founded, the Sisters of Saint Joseph, to cover the stickers, pendants, T-shirts and even wine bearing her name.
But under the federal measure, the use of her name will be subject to even stricter curbs requiring government approval for any use of a company name that suggests a connection to Mary MacKillop.
The Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, an atheist, will announce the measures today as a step reflecting ''the significance of the canonisation of Mary MacKillop for millions of Australians''. Her office says that a name does not have to include ''Mary MacKillop'' in full to attract a ban.
A Redfern artist, John Jewell, has already made six hand-painted busts of Mary Mackillop and wants to ship another 194 out the door to celebrate her canonisation this month. He was furious yesterday when he was told of the crackdown on traders making money from using the Australian nun's name without ministerial approval.
''That's absolutely absurd, it's ridiculous,'' Jewell said. ''I've already spoken to the [Josephite] sisters and they're happy with what I'm doing.''
The making of a saint (Sydney Morning Herald)
Image from the Sydney Morning Herald report