CARITAS Australia, the international aid and development agency of the Catholic Church in Australia, is celebrating 50 years of standing in solidarity with the world’s most vulnerable communities.
Caritas Australia started in the early 1960s among lay Catholics who wanted to make a difference on issues of social justice.
To tackle the issues of hunger and poverty, they created the Catholic Overseas Relief Committee in 1964.
The same year parishes collected money to assist a Diocesan Priest working in Peru, Latin America and the Newman Institute conducted a parish-based Lenten appeal across Adelaide, raising nearly 1000 pounds for a deep-sea fishing boat for First Australian communities off Bathurst Island.
Caritas Australia is part of one of the largest humanitarian networks in the world, Caritas Internationalis, a confederation of 165 national Caritas organisations, with over one million staff and volunteers.
Caritas Australia’s humanitarian assistance and long-term development programs have supported communities in nearly 120 countries across Africa, Asia, the Pacific and Latin America, as well as First Australian communities.
Over the decades, Caritas Australia has also worked to achieve God’s vision of a just and compassionate world by deepening public understanding of poverty, aid and development in Australia.
This work has enabled supporters to care, love and partner with the world’s most marginalised in the name of Jesus.
Caritas Australia chief executive officer Paul O’Callaghan said Australian Catholic schools and parishes have been instrumental in achieving significant change with partner organisations in First Australian communities and overseas.
“For 50 years, our volunteers, supporters, partners and staff have worked alongside some of the world’s poorest communities. All human beings are part of God’s family and each of them is worthy of respect and dignity. We work with them on that basis,” he said.
The Catholic Leader is an Australian award-winning Catholic newspaper that has been published by the Archdiocese of Brisbane since 1929. Our journalism seeks to provide a full, accurate and balanced Catholic perspective of local, national and international news while upholding the dignity of the human person.
The Catholic Leader acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the First Peoples of this country and especially acknowledge the traditional owners on whose lands we live and work throughout the Catholic Archdiocese of Brisbane.