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Order of Malta Australia


Q&A with Community Care Van Volunteer, Paul Bettar


Paul and the Order of Malta Community Care Van

Paul and the Order of Malta Community Care Van

In the July 2015 Newsletter we reported a new project – the NSW Branch Community Care Van. The project has been sunning since June and provides healthcare and the Order’s Coats for the Homeless to Sydney’s poor, sick and homeless on a weekly basis.

Regular volunteer, Paul Bettar, provides some insight in the project.




Q: How did you learn about the volunteer program?

A: I was Introduced to the program by a Member of the Order – Dunstan De Souza


Q: Why did it interest you?

A: For me personally it was a great opportunity to be at the coal face helping people. Volunteering to assist with this program was a realistic experience, highlighting the basic things that we take for granted daily, such as security of a home, sharing a meal with family, having facilities to maintain hygiene etc. We all donate to good causes but participating in this program is more than just making a monetary donation.


Q: Describe what a Community Care Van ‘run’ involves.

A: The run commences at St Vincent’s Hospital. All Volunteers meet at the Van (St Vincent’s Car Park) and together with one of the Nurses from St Vincent’s we leave the Hospital generally by 5.15pm. Each week will be to different locations; Central Station, Belmore Park, Wentworth Park etc…The aim is to visit different locations each week. The “Run” usually will be finished by 7.00pm.


Q: Has anything in particular surprised you about the runs?

A: It really hasn’t taken long for the people to recognise the Order. The most interesting thing I found is those that had their own jackets declined our offer (didn’t take a jacket because they were free) and how very thankful those that took the jackets were….What we offer does go a long way.

L to R: Volunteer Paul Bettar, Nurse, Erin Longbottom and Member of the Order, Dunstan de Souza

L to R: Volunteer Paul Bettar, Nurse, Erin Longbottom and Member of the Order, Dunstan de Souza


If you are interested in learning more about being a volunteer driver for the Community Care Van, please email

The Community Care Van will also run through spring and summer. In will continue to provide healthcare from a qualified Nurse and will offer the homeless sun protection items and water.

Read more News Stories

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.