New developments regarding Twinning for the St Vincent de Paul Society in Australia
With a long history of being part of the global Vincentian network of charity, relationships between the St Vincent de Paul Society in Australia and its overseas partner countries have grown over time. Relationships between it and Society’s partners in Oceania will evolve further with an important new development.
Historically, international engagement by the Society in Australia involved sending physical resources to people in need in countries overseas. This changed circa 1960 when, at the request of Council General International
(CGI) and with the support of Members, Conferences and Councils, the Society in Australia began its engagement in what was then known as the Adoption of Overseas Conference Program. Under this Program the Society in Australia initially established an ongoing relationship with 12 conferences in India.
Growing from these small but important beginnings, the National Council of Australia now oversees the Society’s Overseas Partnerships Program (OPP) supported by the enthusiasm and hard work of Members and their Conferences and Councils at State and Territory levels.
The strength of the OPP can be seen in its current levels of participation and support.
In the calendar year 2022, Conferences and Councils across the Society in Australia sent quarterly remittances to 1,549 ‘twinned’ Conferences and Councils in 10 countries across Asia and the Pacific, supported 23 Community and Emergency Relief Projects in four countries and provided educational support for 1,436 students in six countries.
In a significant development for the Overseas Partnerships Program, the National Council of Australia is working with the CGI’s Oceania team, the National Council of New Zealand and the National Councils of Federated States of Micronesia – Chuuk, Fiji, Kiribati, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Timor Leste, Tonga and Vanuatu to collaborate in the establishing of a partnership to further the mission of the St Vincent de Paul Society in Oceania through the Society of St Vincent de Paul Oceania Program. This initiative arose from the St Vincent de Paul Society Oceania Meeting held in Sydney in April 2023.
While the focus is on our nearest neighbours in the Pacific, the Society in Australia will continue to work to strengthen its engagements with its partner National Societies in Asia.
This will include the potential for Australia’s State/Territory Councils to twin with Overseas National Councils in Asia or the Pacific, with the first three Twinnings already in formation.
Updates about the National Society of Australia’s Overseas Partnerships Program and the Society of St Vincent de Paul Oceania Program will be shared via its networks and on the National Council’s website.