Our Story


The St Vincent de Paul Society is an international lay Catholic organisation dedicated to tackling poverty and disadvantage by providing assistance to anyone in need.

The Society was founded in France by a group of young men in 1833, the principal founder being a 20 year old law student, Blessed Frederic Ozanam. The Society became known as the Society of St Vincent de Paul in deference and reverence to St Vincent de Paul and had a key purpose of serving the poor in Paris.

This compassionate outlook, enthusiasm and vision continues today with the Society having more than 950,000 members in 150 countries. With thousands of people across Australia who every day share their time and energy, who care for humanity, and who seek to make a difference in the lives of disadvantaged people all around Australia.

The first Australian Conference was formed in 1854 in Victoria, 21 years after the founding of the first Conference in Paris. By 1949 every Australian State and Territory had founded a Conference. The first in Queensland was in Red Hill in 1894.

Being a volunteer-based charity, volunteers are at the heart of what we do. Volunteers who belong to Conferences and visit people needing assistance in their homes, or who welcome people in our support centers, are called Vincentians.  St Vincent de Paul Society Queensland is made up of 2,921 Vincentians in 210 Conferences, who offer people in crisis a hand up, not a hand out.

In addition to our Vincentians, we also have volunteer members and employees who dedicate their time to serving Queensland communities, enabling us to carry out our good works.

Our wholly owned subsidiary Ozcare, improves people’s quality of life through the delivery of personalised health and human services in the spirit of St Vincent de Paul Society Queensland.

Vinnies Housing is a second wholly owned subsidiary whose mission is to relieve poverty, distress and disadvantage through a renewed and strengthened focus on the provision of subsidised housing options and affordable housing and support services to people experiencing housing stress, who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

This year the Society in Queensland

will celebrate its 125 year anniversary