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Order of Malta Australia


Outreach Service Expands in Melbourne


Following the successful launch of the Mobile Community Café at a housing estate in Darebin in December 2022, the project has expanded its services to Reservoir Neighbourhood House (RNH) in East Reservoir.  The RNH is a not-for-profit facility that provides a community space to foster and promote the well-being of local residents.

The Mobile Community Café is another initiative of the Order of Malta and Australian Catholic University (ACU) Community Hub in Melbourne and involves members, volunteers and ACU students making weekly visits to socialise with residents living in areas where many people experience high levels of social isolation and/or poverty. At the visits, volunteers offer attendees morning tea and the opportunity to engage in discussions and games with the aim of cultivating a stronger, more inclusive community. As a result, it positively impacts the individuals’ physical and emotional health.

“The community morning tea provides a vital opportunity for social connection, reducing feelings of isolation and loneliness,” explains Lia Caelli, Programs & Volunteer Coordinator Reservoir Neighbourhood House. “It encourages community integration, allowing individuals to form new friendships and support networks and creates a safe space to share experiences, knowledge and resources.”

In addition to promoting social engagement, the visits offer other opportunities. For some residents it is a platform for them to access other services at the facility, including a social worker, Orange Sky Australia, and PRACE Job Pathways. For others, the modest morning tea offered is a vital resource, as volunteer Grace Tropeano explains: ”People are hungry. What they eat during the morning tea, could well be their main meal for the day.”

Whilst the initial focus of the Mobile Community Café volunteers is to build awareness and trust in the service, the long-term goal is to expand the program further and co-design additional projects and services based on needs identified in these interactions. Already at the pilot location, an interest in painting has developed between the group of regular attendees and several beautiful art works have been produced.

Volunteer positions are now open for the remainder of 2023. If you are interested in volunteering email for more information.

The Australian Association

The Australian Association, formed in 1974, currently has in excess of 300 members and aspirant members across every State and Territory of Australia. We also have ongoing and strong links with the Order’s National Associations throughout the Asia Pacific Region including in Singapore and the Philippines and with members of the Order in New Zealand, Hong Kong SAR, Thailand and Korea. The Order of Malta is committed to serving Our Lords the Poor and Sick worldwide and has done so for over 900 years. This website shares with you the history, mission and current activities of the Order of Malta in Australia, and provides links to the work of the Order world-wide.