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A Safe Haven For Syrian Refugee Families

October 2016

St Vincent’s Health Australia and CatholicCare Melbourne today welcomed Victorian Housing Minister Richard Wynne’s announcement to approve a planning permit that will allow Syrian and Iraqi refugees to be housed temporarily on the site of St Vincent’s Care Services’ Eltham Village.

St Vincent’s and CatholicCare have partnered to help settle vulnerable humanitarian entrants fleeing the conflict in Syria.

St Vincent’s will provide affordable, refurbished accommodation in 60 units that had fallen into disrepair and were vacant. CatholicCare will provide tenancy and settlement services to support the families to transition to permanent living arrangements.

“With this project St Vincent’s is playing a small part in helping the 12,000 Syrian refugees being welcomed by the Federal Government get on their feet in their new home” St Vincent’s Health Australia Group CEO, Toby Hall said.

“This project reflects our mission to serve the most vulnerable members of our community. We have received great support from local community groups who also want to welcome refugees to Eltham”.

“CatholicCare is excited to be collaborating with St Vincent’s on the refugee housing project”, said Fr Joe Caddy, CatholicCare CEO.

“People who have fled the conflict in Syria are among the world’s most vulnerable people. We are committed to providing safe haven for these families, and to support them to build a new life in Australia.”

The units that will house the refugees are stand-alone and separate to the existing aged care facilities and independent living units on the site. No residents have been displaced by this project and the accommodation will transition to affordable housing for senior Australians after two years (2018).

It is expected that refugee families – made up of single women, single mothers with children, and couples with one child – will commence moving into the accommodation in the coming months. There will be no single men moving into the accommodation.


  • Abbie Clark, St Vincent’s Health Australia | 0437 701 413 |
  • Bernadette Garcia, CatholicCare | 0409 708 823 |

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