The St Vincent de Paul Society members are passionate about helping people in need.

By working in groups within their local community, known as conferences, our members provide support to  individuals and families by visiting them in their homes or in the community. This practice is known as home visitation and is a core work of the Society.

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“The strongest bond of true friendship is charity, and the exercise of good charity is the practice of good works.”

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- Blessed Frederic Ozanam

What are conferences?

Conferences are the backbone of the St Vincent de Paul Society, helping the people we support in a number of ways such as giving them a ‘hand up’ to make life-changing decisions as well as providing material aid to address their immediate requirements. 

As an entity, a conference is a group made up of a diverse local people, known as the members, who volunteer their time to carry out the ‘good works’ of the Society throughout Victoria.

The conference is the grassroots entity of St Vincent de Paul Society life and its members provide the assistance required within their own locality.

In Victoria, we have more than 250 metropolitan and regional conferences with 3,900 members and associate members providing care to people who are disadvantaged and marginalised.

What do they do?

Conferences continue the work of our founder, Blessed Frederic Ozanam, by recognising the people in greatest need within the community and our members bringing comfort and support where they can.

Internationally for more than 190 years, Home Visitation and Emergency Relief has remained the core work of the Society.

Our conference members continue to visit people in their homes or within Assistance Centres to provide support, friendship and material assistance.

The conference responds to someone's needs on a person-to-person basis; assessing the specific needs of the individual/family and providing help where possible. This assistance can include food vouchers, utility bills support, advocacy, clothing, material aid, education support or connection to services.

The strength of the conferences comes from the commitment and dedication of the members and associate members.

As well as home visitation, conferences may also be involved in Special Works such as visits to hospitals, aged care facilities and prisons, tutoring in education programs or assisting on soup vans.

Where do they operate?

Conferences operate in the geographical area where they are based.

Some conference members also provide their services in areas where there is no local conference or where the number of visits to people seeking assistance exceeds the availability of local members to cope with these.

In country areas, conferences may operate from an Assistance Centre located at a particular place where people needing help can go to receive this.

Interested in joining us in these good works? 

Click the buttons below for find out more about becoming a member or complete the form to register your interest in becoming a member.

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