St Vincent de Paul Society (NSW & QLD)

Good Works
Also known as
  • St Vincent De Paul Society
  • VInnies
  • Society Of St Vincent De Paul
  • Vinnies
Business Summary
The St Vincent de Paul Society in Australia has more than 60,000 members and volunteers, who work hard to assist people in need and combat social injustice across Australia. Internationally, the Society operates in 153 countries and has over 800,000 members.
About Us

The St Vincent de Paul Society was founded by a 20 year old student named Frederic Ozanam in 1833. It was established by like minded individuals who wished to put their faith into action.

This compassionate outlook, enthusiasm and vision continues today in Australia. There are thousands of people who every day share their time, care for humanity and energy to make a difference in the lives of disadvantaged people all around Australia.

The St Vincent de Paul Society provides a 'hand up, not just a hand out' to people in need.

The St Vincent de Paul Society is a non-profit organisation that is dedicated to serving the most disadvantaged and underprivileged people in our community.

What We Do

The Society's members and volunteers provide financial and practical support, advocacy and friendship to the most vulnerable in our communities. This support is delivered through local groups, known as 'conferences', as well as through our human services and Centres of Charity (Vinnies shops).

Services include:

Aged persons support, child and family support, disabled persons support, drug and alcohol rehabilitation, emergency and transitional accommodation, emergency relief, food distribution and low cost food outlets, medium to long term accommodation, migrants and refugee support, overseas development, youth support, home visitation, indigenous support, financial services (budget counselling and No Interest Loans)

Who does the Society help?
The St Vincent de Paul Society’s members and volunteers reach out to the most vulnerable in our community through our Conferences, Special Works and Vinnies shops. Members and volunteers assist people in need and do not discriminate against cultural, religious or political beliefs.
How big is the St Vincent de Paul Society?
The St Vincent de Paul Society is an international organisation operating in 153 countries and has over 950,000 members worldwide. The Society has a presence on every continent in the world with the exception of Antarctica perhaps.
How is the St Vincent de Paul Society staffed?
The Society’s work is carried out by members and volunteers and is supported by a small number of professional staff.
Is the St Vincent de Paul Society a part of the Catholic Church?
The Society is a lay Catholic organisation and does not receive any direct funding from the Catholic Church. The Society enjoys a close relationship with the Catholic Church and is assisted through parishes and schools.
Funding - Where does the money come from?
The Society raises money from its members, through Parish poor boxes, proceeds from items sold at Vinnies shops, donations from the public and some government funding.
How do I donate to the St Vincent de Paul Society?
You can donate to the Society by using the online donation facility provided on this website or by calling the 13 18 12. Donations of $2 and more to the Society are tax deductible. Donations of clothing, furniture and household goods can also be made at your local Vinnies shop. This donation will go towards assisting people in your local area.
If I donate money does it actually go to those who need it?
When you donate to a specific Special Work we ensure that it goes directly to where you want it. The Society prides itself on ensuring all funds donated are used specifically for what they are intended. We have the lowest administration fees of any other Australian charity because of our huge volunteer
What happens to goods donated to Vinnies Shops?
Vinnies shops resource local conference activities, providing clothing or furniture free of charge to struggling families or individuals identified through the home visitation process. Goods donated at Vinnies shops assist this process but remaining stock is also sold to the public at reasonable prices thus generating revenue which helps fund the Society’s work within the community.
Who/what are members of the Society?
A member of the Society is a volunteer who joins a conference and attends regular meetings which include scripture discussion, prayer, reflection and how to improve assistance given within the local conference area. A member takes part in the work of the Society providing assistance through charitable works including home visitation.
Who founded the St Vincent de Paul Society in Australia?
The St Vincent de Paul Society was founded in Australia on 5 March 1854 at St Francis’ Church, Lonsdale Street, Melbourne by Fr Gerald Ward. Fr Gerald Archbold Ward was born in London 1806 and migrated to Australia on the 787-ton Digby on 7 September 1850 with Fr Patrick Dunne and 42 other passengers. Fr Ward died the 14 January 1858 at the age of 52.