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Order of Malta Australia


Warm winter comfort for homeless – article in the Armidale Express


By Lucas Forbes

Armidale diocese Executive Officer Tony Wood examines one of the newly donated winter Coats with St Vincent de Paul Council President Kerry Muir. Picture: The Armidale Express

The Order of Malta has donated some warm winter coats to St Vincent de Paul to help keep the homeless comfortable.

Armidale St Vincent de Paul council president Kerry Muir said his organisation came across a lot of homeless people who might have to sleep outside in New England’s notorious winter.

“In our welfare work we come across people who are actually homeless and these coats will give them something to wear when they’re sleeping rough,” he said.

Order of Malta member Ian Unsworth presented Vinnies with 10 custom made jackets.

Mr Unsworth said while there were a lot of organisations doing work with the homeless in urban areas there was not as much attention paid to regional Australia.

“There are a lot of good organisation’s but they forget there are the same homeless people in the country as in the city,” he said.

“I pushed for very hard for some coats to get up here because I said ‘there’s a lot of homeless who don’t live in the cities’.”

Mr Unsworth also said while he was happy to give the coats out, it would be better if there was no need for them at all.

“You hope in the very near future that he or she finds they are given somewhere to stay and won’t need that coat,” he said.

“At the present the nights are getting quite cold…I wouldn’t want to sleep in an old abandoned car,” he said.

Vinnies will give out the coats based on interviews with homeless people.

The coats are waterproof and feature deep pockets on the inside so homeless people can safely store what valuables they have without fear of them getting stolen.

Related articles:

 Warmer nights ahead – article in the Tenterfield Star

Canterbury supports Coats for the Homeless 

Coats for the Homeless – a Nationwide project

Article on Coats for the Homeless in the Daily Liberal

Coats for the Homeless in the TVSN Charity of Choice Partner for July

Project update – Coats for the homeless distribution network

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.