Caritas Australia encourages development and self-reliance. We work in partnership with local people, recognising that they are best placed to identify their own needs and manage their development programs. We support programs that increase the capacity of communities to help themselves out of poverty, hunger, disadvantage and injustice.
Caritas Australia responds to disaster. In situations of social conflict, natural disasters and emergencies, we use local church structures to deliver relief and aid to the people most in need.
Caritas Australia works to change attitudes in Australia. We work through education programs in schools, universities, parishes and community groups around Australia to raise awareness of the reality and causes of poverty, hunger, oppression and injustice. We seek to engage people in advocacy programs so that, working together, we can promote a just and compassionate society.


Our Guiding Principles

The work of Caritas Australia reflects the life of Jesus Christ and is shaped by the tradition of Catholic Social Teaching.
We follow these principles:

  • Preferential Option for the Poor – working with communities who experience poverty, injustice, hunger and oppression regardless of their religious, political or cultural beliefs.
  • Human Dignity – working with communities in ways that respect, enhance and build their human dignity, empowering them to change their own lives, families, communities and societies.
  • Solidarity – working with international, Australian Indigenous and other partners in a spirit of mutual respect, transparency and integrity so that a better future is built for the world’s poorest people.
  • Subsidiarity – working within the structures of the Catholic community and of local communities, both internationally and within Australia. Caritas Australia’s decision-making processes will engage those affected by decisions and policies and reflect transparency and accountability.
  • Stewardship of the Earth’s Resources – working to assist the world’s poorest communities to have access to a greater share of resources, encouraging sustainability and equity, and respect for the environment.