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Founded in Paris by Frederic Ozanam in 1833, the St Vincent de Paul Society was established by like-minded individuals who wanted to put their faith into action.

Frederic, along with his university colleagues, wanted to respond in a practical way to the hardship and poverty he was witnessing. He sought advice and support from Sister Rosalie Rendu, a nun who had herself devoted and established many charitable services to counter poverty, visiting people in their homes offering them friendship and support. She had taken vows to serve God and the poor, and spent over 50 years living out those vows. She opened a free clinic, a pharmacy, a school, an orphanage, a childcare centre, a home for the elderly and a youth club for young workers.

Sister Rosalie’s experiences were priceless for Frederic Ozanam who was guided by her work, and would visit families in need that she would choose. This practice, known as Home Visitation remains the core activity of the St Vincent de Paul Society members and volunteers today.

For over 150 years, the St Vincent de Paul Society here in Western Australia continues with the same compassion and vision that our founder shared. These foundations of our committed and dedicated 3,700 members and volunteers, come from the belief in our mission, vision and values, working towards a more equal and just society to improve the lives of over 55,000 disadvantaged Western Australians every year.

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