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Kirsty Robertson (Caritas Australia)

Caritas Australia is celebrating 60 years since it was founded as the Catholic Overseas Relief Committee in 1964. 

That same year, Catholic parishes in Adelaide conducted the first Lenten appeal, raising money for a fishing boat to support the needs of the communities in the Tiwi Islands. That Lenten appeal has grown to become Project Compassion, with its iconic fundraising boxes now recognised across every Catholic school and parish in Australia.

Caritas Australia now works in 36 countries across Africa, Asia and the Pacific, as well as with First Australian communities here at home. It is part of one of the largest humanitarian networks in the world, Caritas Internationalis, a confederation of 162 member organisations with programs in 200 countries and over one million staff and volunteers. 

“Caritas means love and compassion in Latin and these two powerful words have guided us for the past 60 years as we have worked hand-in-hand with our partners to help the world’s most vulnerable,” Caritas Australia CEO Kirsty Robertson said.

“Today, love and compassion have never felt more needed, with poverty on the rise, and conflict, divisiveness and suffering rife.

“For staff, volunteers, and supporters, this is a time to be grateful for our part in the Caritas Australia story, and the purpose it affords us even when the world seems overwhelmingly dark. This purpose sees us united in hope, love and light as we seek to end poverty, promote justice, and uphold dignity – across the world and for decades to come.”

Details: Caritas Australia’s 60th anniversary celebrations.


Caritas Australia celebrates 60 years of love and compassion in action (Caritas Australia)