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Our History

CatholicCare NT was established in 1993 by Bishop Ted Collins. Prior to this, the Catholic Church had a long history in the Northern Territory dating back to the 1840s.

In 1992, Bishop Collins met with Fr David Cappo, who was the National Director of the Catholic Social Welfare Commission at the time, to discuss how other Dioceses across Australia were meeting the social welfare needs of the community. Other Dioceses were doing this by having one Diocesan social services agency. From this, a nation-wide network of Catholic social welfare agencies called CatholicCare Australia formed to support each other and to share expertise. The Diocese of Darwin saw many advantages in having such an agency to address community needs and implement new services.

Having decided to progress the idea of having a CatholicCare in the Northern Territory, the Diocese enlisted the help of South Australia CatholicCare (known then as Catholic Family Services). Dale West and Bernie Victory from CatholicCare Adelaide assisted in obtaining initial funding and came to the Northern Territory to help establish the organisation. CatholicCare Adelaide remained closely involved until 1995 when CatholicCare NT began operating in its own right.

On 8 March 1993, Bob Harrison Campbell became CatholicCare NT’s first employee as a counsellor/educator. Fr Tim Brennan MSC, the Vicar General, was the first Director, and operations began in the Diocesan office next to the Cathedral on Smith Street in the Darwin CBD. By 1995 we had outgrown our premises and moved into new offices on Geranium Street, Stuart Park. A full-time Director was then appointed, and CatholicCare NT continued to grow. Today, CatholicCare NT’s head office is located in Berrimah alongside the Catholic Education Office.

During this time, CatholicCare NT had been providing services to Katherine Family Link, and in 1995 we moved into the old Court House where we remain located today. The parish in Alice Springs renovated the old church building, and this became the CatholicCare NT premises. In 2000, we opened an office in Palmerston. The amalgamation of CatholicCare NT and Alcohol Awareness & Family Recovery (AAFR) in 2003 has further strengthened Catholic social welfare provision in the Northern Territory. Through AAFR, CatholicCare NT delivers services in Wadeye and the Tiwi Islands. Then, in 2004, CatholicCare NT opened an office in Tennant Creek and has been operating there ever since.

CatholicCare NT continues to grow and is currently operating out of 15 sites across the Northern Territory and also the APY Lands in South Australia. Today we have over 220 staff, and 30% of these staff proudly identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.

Related Links

Mission, Vision and Values
Our Logo
Mission and Values Integration Framework
2015-2017 Reconciliation Action Plan