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Order of Malta Australia


‘The Kitchen’- providing the opportunity for ‘hands on’ work


In 2021, Order of Malta members in Sydney decided to redouble its focus on “hands on work”, with Members and Volunteers working directly on projects to serve Jesus in the poor, sick and otherwise needy.

Conventual Chaplain Ad Honorem, Fr Anthony Robbie came up with idea of a Community Kitchen, modelled on a project run by the British Association of the Order in London following an incident at his parish, St Patrick’s Catholic Church in Bondi, shortly after he had been appointed there.

On a rainy night, one of his young parishioners came onsite to find a homeless man sheltering from the elements. “The parishioner gave him his own take away dinner and made him a cup of tea,” explained Fr Robbie. “After hearing of this encounter, I decided that the underprivileged were a real presence in our midst and that it was time we did something for them.”

Following discussions with Steve Christie, Regional Hospitaller for the Order of Malta, they investigated how they could provide a service that complemented other food services for the needy in Sydney. They quickly realised there were a lack of food services providing evening meals and shelter to eat them.

In the first week of December 2021 the Order of Malta Community Care Kitchen launched at St Patrick’s, offering anyone in need a warm nutritious homecooked meal, cooked and served by our friendly volunteers.

The opening night saw our members and volunteers serve just one takeaway meal.

Undeterred, over the following months, awareness of the Kitchen’s charms spread by word of mouth, social media and the distribution of flyers by volunteers. The number of guests slowly but steadily climbed and, almost two years later, the Kitchen serves between 20 and 30 guests every Wednesday evening.

At each service there are six volunteers rostered. Our volunteer cooks plan, prepare and cook the meals and frequently reproduce their family favourites for our guests. Rather than offer a canteen format, the Community Care Kitchen is more akin to a restaurant, where volunteers serve our guests their meals and clear away their plates. They use these interactions as an opportunity to chat with guests and make them feel welcome.

“We aim to provide a hearty home cooked meal of the standard that we would serve to valued visitors in our own homes. For many of our guests it will be the only nutritious quality meal they will eat all week and the social interaction is very important for them as well” said Fr. Robbie.

A strong sense of community has been established between the guests and volunteers. “On any night there is usually one or two newcomers to the Kitchen, however the bulk of the guests are from a large group of regulars who come for a warm meal and company when needed” explains Steve Christie. “Guests tend to live in the area, usually in hostels, public housing or other lower cost accommodation options, although guests who sleep rough also regularly attend the Kitchen.”

The project running costs are minimal thanks to the generous support of Fr Robbie and his parish providing the facilities, and members, volunteers and parishioners ‘staffing’ the Kitchen. Donations have also enabled the purchase of a new fridge, freezer and oven to meet the demands of cooking for 30 guests each week. However, with the cost of food and supplies increasing the Community Care Kitchen appreciates any donations to cover these expenses. Gifts $2 and more to are tax deductible to Australian taxpayers.


The Order of Malta Community Care Kitchen at St Patrick’s Catholic Church in Bondi offers a warm meal and welcome to anyone in need every Wednesdays 6.30pm – 7.30pm.

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.