This site

This site offers information specific to schools and youth communities in NSW who are interested in learning more about the support services, social justice advocacy and other work of the St Vincent de Paul Society NSW. For more information on the broader St Vincent de Paul Society in Australia visit

Our Mission

The St Vincent de Paul Society is a lay Catholic organisation that aspires to live the gospel message by serving Christ in the poor with love, respect, justice, hope and joy, and by working to shape a more just and compassionate society.

Our impact

The St Vincent de Paul Society is committed to actively and passionately speaking out against the causes of poverty and inequality on behalf of the people we serve.

Across Australia, Vinnies offers support across a range of social justice issues. Click here for more info on the direct support and advocacy offered across:

  • Low-income Support
  • Housing and Homelessness
  • Refugees, Migrants and People Seeking Asylum
  • Health Matters- Indigenous Australia
  • Children and Education
  • International Impact
  • A Wider Impact

Our Vision

The Society aspires to be recognised as a caring Catholic charity offering “a hand up” to people in need. We do this by respecting their dignity, sharing our hope, and encouraging them to take control of their own future through opportunities to learn, engage with their community and find positive direction.

Our story

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 continue 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 people experiencing disadvantage all around Australia.

Learn more about the founders and patrons of the Society.

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 differences such as cultural, religious or political beliefs.

What does the word Conference mean?

A Conference is a group of members who come together to fulfil the Mission of the Society. A Conference may be established within any community, such as a parish, town, suburb, school, university, workplace or social group.

Where does the money come from?

The Society raises money through community donations, proceeds from items sold at Vinnies Shops, donations from the public, fundraising events, grants and government funding.

If I donate 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.

How big is the St Vincent de Paul Society?

The St Vincent de Paul Society is an international organisation operating in 149 countries and has over 950,000 members worldwide. The Society has a presence on every continent in the world with the exception of Antarctica of course.

Is the Society government funded?

The core work of the Society is carried out by members and volunteers and does not receive government funding such as home visitation and running Vinnies Shops. These services are funded through donations, fundraising activities and enterprises run by the Society.

However some of the St Vincent de Paul Society’s Special Works do receive government funding i.e. aged care facilities, housing and homeless services, and supported employment for people with disabilities.

The Society does not receive any direct funding from the Catholic Church.

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 is assisted through local groups and schools.

Is a volunteer a member?

The Society recognises that the level of involvement members and volunteers can commit to will vary depending on their personal circumstances such as; study, work, and family commitments. For this reason, the Society holds three forms of membership:

  • Conference members committed to living the Society mission and serving those in need and attending regular conference meetings.
  • Associate members committed to living the Society mission and serving those in need but do not attend conference meetings.
  • Volunteer members support the mission of the Society through acts of voluntary service in any of the Society’s programs – including Vinnies Shops.

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 click here or by calling the 13 18 12. Donations of $2 and more to the Society are tax deductible. Donations of clothing and household goods can also be made at your local Vinnies Shop. This donation will go towards assisting people in your local area.

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.

What services does the Society provide?

The Society provides a range of services for people experiencing disadvantage:

  • Budget counselling
  • Care and support centres
  • Children’s activities and holiday programs
  • Counselling
  • Disability services
  • Disaster recovery
  • Drug and Alcohol rehabilitation
  • Emergency accommodation
  • Employment and education support services
  • Home and hospital visitation
  • Homeless accommodation and support services
  • Migrant and refugee support services
  • Mental Health Programs
  • Overseas support programs
  • Professional case management
  • Tutoring program for refugees
  • Vinnies Shops and Assistance Centres
  • Volunteer programs
  • Youth programs