Membership and conferences

Membership and conferences

Members of St Vincent de Paul Society belong to conferences and meet regularly to share their experiences and reflect on their service.

Membership and volunteering

Members of the Society are passionate about helping those in need in their local community. We are a lay Catholic organisation, but we welcome people of all backgrounds and beliefs to get involved.

There are three categories of membership and volunteering for the Society:

  • Conference members belong to the grassroots groups within the Society known as conferences. They live their Catholic faith in action through the spirit of Christian charity.
  • Associate members are committed to the ethos, mission, aims and objects of the Society and assist our work, but do not attend conference meetings.
  • Volunteers respect the ethos, mission, aims and objects of the Society and give their time to volunteer in any of our works.

This table outlines the level of service and involvement that our members and volunteers commit to:

Membership Option Table

St Vincent de Paul Society membership

Members of St Vincent de Paul Society tackle real issues impacting low income, socially excluded Australians and help navigate the Society in the modern world.

Our members connect through Conferences (local groups based in local communities) with the common mission of helping people who are disadvantaged, marginalised or living in poverty.

Our members are drawn from diverse backgrounds, experiences and beliefs. They bring empathy, understanding, expertise and compassion to their service and involvement with the Society.

Training and support is available for all members to assist them in their ongoing work helping those most vulnerable in their local communities. Our members are guided by The Rule, the governing document of the St Vincent de Paul Society internationally which is written for members and volunteers. 

How to join

Complete the form to express your interest in joining Vinnies and your local state or territory office will contact you.

Join Vinnies form

What does a Vinnies member do?

The Society would not exist without our members, who live their faith in action. Depending on local needs, our members have the opportunity to get involved in services including:

  • Advocacy
  • Budget counselling
  • Disaster relief
  • Education, training and supported employment opportunities
  • Home visitation
  • Homeless services
  • Housing support and emergency accommodation
  • Material assistance
  • Mentoring and social support programs
  • Mobile and fixed meal services
  • Migrant and refugee services
  • Youth programs, including family, teen, kids, and young carers camps, ‘Buddies Days’, mentoring programs, tutoring and homework clubs.

Meetings and conferences

The Society’s founder, Blessed Frederic Ozanam, strongly believed that for each act of service to be a true expression of faith and love, members must come together in prayer, to explore and grow their personal and Vincentian spirituality.

'The poor have much to teach you. You have much to learn from them.’ - Saint Vincent de Paul

Our members meet regularly through their conference to share their experiences, reflect on their service and monitor and discuss local needs.

Vinnies Conferences

Our members work together in groups known as ‘conferences’ that are usually attached to:




Social groups


Groups of individuals from the local area

A conference can be established within any community, provided they are endorsed by an appropriate Council within The Society.

Conference members meet regularly – at least fortnightly – and they support based on the needs of the local community. In this instance, no work of charity is foreign to them. Together they visit people in their homes, hospitals, institutions or wherever support is being sought. 

Members also meet and pray together at other times to strengthen their relationships and spirituality, underpinned by Catholic Social Teaching.

Interested in our advocacy work?

See how we make a difference

Find out other ways to get involved

There are lots of ways to make a difference

Volunteer with us

There are many ways you can get involved

Find out about Vinnies Youth

Ages 16 to 35 years old

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