For more than 160 years, Mission Australia has been an integral part of Australia’s social fabric, creating lasting change in the lives of vulnerable people by reducing homelessness and strengthening communities.
Town and Country Mission – later known as Brisbane City Mission – is established to respond to need in the community at grassroots level.
Benjamin Short, appalled by the poverty he witnesses in Sydney, establishes the Sydney City Mission to address the spiritual and physical needs of the city's inhabitants:
“Christian friends, we have called you together because we desire to submit for your serious consideration the question, ‘Is it not desirable that there be established in Sydney a City Mission, somewhat similar in character to the London City Mission?’ … We feel that something must be done, and that the Christian Churches of Sydney cannot be held guiltless if they neglect to stretch out a helping hand to rescue those who are perishing around them.”1
1The Sydney Morning Herald. 12 July 1862. p. 7
Adelaide City Mission is founded with a similar goal of addressing spiritual and physical need among the poor and disadvantaged in the city.
During the recession of 1890 and the Great Depression of the 1930s, Mission halls overflowed with people in need.
By the middle of the 20th century, the City Missions recognised the importance of finding long-term solutions to disadvantage.
Green Valley Community Centre opens in Miller NSW, funded through the sale of two mission halls, donations and state government funding. Today it is known as the Mission Australia Centre, Miller
Perth City Mission, known as Jesus People Welfare Services, is founded.2
2“Jesus People Welfare Incorporated” https://www.jeffreyhopp.com/jesus-people. Accessed 7 December 2018.
Campbell House, now known as the Mission Australia Centre Surry Hills, is established with funding from property consolidation and a federal government grant.
The iconic Missionbeat homelessness outreach service launches in Sydney, funded by the Sydney City Mission.
Triple Care Farm youth rehabilitation service opens in the Southern Highlands, funded by Sir Vincent Fairfax.
Wollongong City Mission and Wagga Wagga City Mission are founded.
The Sir David Martin Foundation is established in honour of the former Governor of NSW to support Sydney City Mission’s youth services.
Hunter Mission is established, building on community service programs provided by Mayfield Baptist Church.3
3Chambers, Charles, Coming Together, Chapter 6, pp119-120, Mission Australia, Sydney
Services begin from Wattle House in Maddington WA, funded through property consolidation and corporate donations.
Mission Australia is formed, bringing together Adelaide City Mission, Hunter Mission, Perth City Mission, Sydney City Mission, Wagga Wagga City Mission and Wollongong City Mission.
Brisbane City Mission joins Mission Australia.
Charles Chambers Court homeless aged care facility is established in Surry Hills, with private, federal and state government funding.
Northern Territory and Tasmania state offices open.
The inaugural Mission Australia Youth Survey is conducted to understand issues of importance for young people.
Victoria state office opens.
Mission Australia Centre Chigwell House opens in Glenorchy Tasmania, with donors funding renovations and service delivery.
Mission Australia joins a consortium of non-profits to found Goodstart Early Learning.
Common Ground Sydney opens, using a housing-first approach with wraparound services to address homelessness.
Mission Australia Centre Kingswood opens, with construction funded by donors and property consolidation.
Annie Green Court homeless aged care facility opens in Redfern on Mission Australia land.
Benjamin Short Grove homeless aged care facility opens in Orange, funded by donors and government.
David Martin Place youth drug and alcohol withdrawal service opens at Triple Care Farm, with construction funded by government and ongoing operation funded by donors.
Ebbs House crisis and transitional accommodation opens in Brookvale, with the facility funded by a private benefactor and services funded by government.