Our Story

The St Vincent de Paul Society was founded by a 20 year old student named Frederic Ozanam in 1833.

The Society was established by like-minded individuals who wished to put their faith into action.

Frederic’s 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.

“Vinnies walks with the community to help end poverty with compassionate hearts, helping hands and non-judgmental minds.”

– Johanna, Spiritual Advisor


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.


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 destiny.

“I love the Vinnies mission of living out the gospel by providing a non-judgmental hand up. I also love that at Vinnies we link charity with our campaigns for social justice and societal change.”

– Bec, Wollongong Youth Representative

Our Values

Commitment – Loyalty in service to our mission, vision and values.

Compassion – Welcoming and serving all with understanding and without judgement.

Respect – Service to all regardless of creed, ethnic or social background, health, gender or political opinions.

Integrity – promoting, maintaining and adhering to our mission, vision and values.

Empathy – Establishing relationships based on respect, trust, friendship and perception.

Advocacy – Working to transform the causes of poverty and challenging the causes of human injustice.

Courage – Encouraging spiritual growth, welcoming innovation and giving hope for the future.