The Sisters of Charity, a Catholic order of religious sisters, have been providing care to those in need since their arrival to Australia from Ireland in 1838 where they provided services to female convicts at the women’s prison in Parramatta, Sydney.  In 1893, St Vincent’s Hospital was founded in Fitzroy.  Caritas Christi Hospice Kew was opened in 1938 and since 2001, St. Vincent’s Hospital has been responsible for St. George’s Health Service in Kew.  These 3 healthcare facilities form St. Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne.

St Vincent’s Health Australia (SVHA) is now a national organisation with healthcare services extending across Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.  As the largest not-for-profit healthcare organisation in Australia, SVHA continues to grow and meet the needs of the community across 36 facilities nationally, including public and private hospitals, innovative primary and home based care, residential aged care, mental health services, palliative care, drug and alcohol services, research institutes and correctional health services.  As for all SVHA facilities, the Mission of St. Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne places a special emphasis on the poor and disadvantaged, underpinned by the Values of Justice, Integrity, Compassion and Excellence.


Outer East Palliative Care Service Inc. was incorporated in July 1991. The service originated from a strong community need for palliative care services, to provide people with a terminal illness in the outer east with a choice between hospitalisation or home based palliative support. Outer East Palliative Care developed strong community links to service clubs, local government, General Practitioner’s, local hospitals, nursing homes, hostels and supported accommodation services.

The local General Practitioners helped Outer East Palliative Care develop team models for delivery of home based services. Home based palliative care services commenced in 1994 across the areas of Ringwood, Croydon, Knox, Sherbrooke, Lilydale, Healesville and Upper Yarra. Outer East Palliative Care continues to advocate strongly for local services in the outer east region.

This strong link to the community remains today and as one of the 3 partner bodies provides Eastern Palliative Care with general community input and an ability to keep connected with our community and the growing expectation of specialist palliative care.


The Order of Malta was founded in Jerusalem in 1098 just before the First Crusade. Since 1113, it has been a lay religious Order of the Catholic Church. It is also an international hospitaller and relief organisation, and a sovereign entity under international law. Its full title is the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta.

It came to Australia in the early 1970’s where its focus became the care of the terminally ill, the frail elderly and their families. It is based at Caritas Christi, Kew where it has an office and a Board Room.

In 1992 Caritas Christi and the Order of Malta Hospice Home Care Services Incorporated was formed as a partnership of the Sisters of Charity and the Order of Malta. This homed based service was staffed by nurses, pastoral care and social workers and a core of trained volunteers. In 1997 the two partners became two of three founding partners in Eastern Palliative Care Association Inc.

The Order of Malta in Australia has some 350 members and some 90 members in Victoria where it enjoys considerable volunteer support and is able to carry out a variety of programmes. The Order is directly involved in the work of EPC as well as assisting others within its founding ethos: ‘Our Lords the Sick’.

Eastern Palliative Care Association Inc. Committee of Management

ChairmanDr. Anne Hunt, OAMOrder of Malta
Deputy ChairMs. Margaret StewartSt Vincent’s Hospital (Melbourne) Ltd
TreasurerAssociate Professor Raymond Snyder AMSt Vincent’s Hospital (Melbourne) Ltd
Committee MembersMr. Kevin FrancisOuter East Palliative Care Service Inc
Professor David Kissane ACOrder of Malta
Dr. Ian ParryOuter East Palliative Care Service Inc
Dr. Tamsin BryanSt Vincent’s Hospital (Melbourne) Ltd
Dr. Andrew BarndenOuter East Palliative Care Service Inc
Mr. Peter GurrOuter East Palliative Care Service Inc
Dr. Margaret O’DonnellOrder of Malta
Mr. Martin SmithSt Vincent’s Hospital (Melbourne) Ltd
Mr. Timothy GortonOrder of Malta