The St Vincent de Paul Society is a Catholic religious organisation with a volunteer base who work to assist people in need and counter social injustice. The Society of St Vincent de Paul established its first conference in Australia in Melbourne in 1854. The Society has a long involvement in child welfare across Australia, operating orphanages, family group homes, children's homes and maternity homes.
In 1854, Father Ward established Australia's first conference of the St Vincent de Paul Society in Melbourne. Immediately the St Vincent de Paul Orphanage, Prahran was opened to care for Catholic orphans. This was quickly followed with the building of St Vincent de Paul Orphanage on Emerald Hill. The conference lapsed upon the death of Father Ward in 1858 but work continued under the auspices of the St Vincent de Paul Society in Victoria, until it was formally reformed in 1885.
Sources used to compile this entry: Connecting kin: a guide to help people separated from their families search for their records, from their families. It provides information about where records are kept and how to access them., New South Wales Department of Community Services, 1998, https://clan.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/connectkin_guide.pdf.
Prepared by: Cate O'Neill
Created: 30 July 2009, Last modified: 8 February 2022