Our shared history
For over two centuries we have responded to the needs of many Australians—some of our earliest work dates to the mid-1800s where individuals and congregations of the Presbyterian, Methodist and Congregational churches responded to the need they saw in their communities.
All around people were left behind as the Gold Rush and pastoral expansion generated unfathomable wealth. Spurred on by their belief that faith must be expressed through action, congregations helped the poor, the homeless and the vulnerable, particularly children.
As the years went by the story repeated itself in a different context, but the need remained. Working together, local congregations responded, and these church-birthed agencies grew in size, capability and expertise. In 1977, the Uniting Church was formed, bringing together the Congregational Union in Australia, the Methodist Church of Australasia and the Presbyterian Church of Australia.
With a united church came the opportunity to combine experience and resources. Agencies and missions started to join forces for greater impact, and the name UnitingCare emerged.
The world around us continued to change, affecting both the Church and its community services agencies. In 2015, Synod’s strategic review of the life and work of the Uniting Church in Victoria and Tasmania recommended that all UnitingCare agencies come together to strengthen their efforts to create an inclusive, connected and just world. In 2016, Wesley Mission Victoria elected to come together with UnitingCare organisations, and soon after Share the fundraising arm of the Synod of Victoria and Tasmania was also to join.
And so, in July 2017, 21 UnitingCare agencies, Wesley Mission Victoria and two Uniting Church business units became a single organisation, Uniting in Victoria and Tasmania, with a common purpose, values and identity.
It is our commitment to integrate services across agencies and programs, partnering with key stakeholders and working towards co-creating solutions for whole communities. We continue our founding agencies’ long history of life-changing work, providing essential services that people rely on every day.