We are proud of our roots in the wave of refugees and migrants who came to Australia post WW2 and during the Solidarity movement of the 1980s. Most did not have large extended families and there were few large Polish communities in Melbourne. In 1983 our organisation emerged as a local community response in Footscray, a suburb where many refugees and migrants settled over the years, not far from the Maribyrnong Migrant Hostel.
Most of our first clients experienced hardship and trauma in their teenage and early adult lives. Many had been taken from their homes and forced to work as slave labour. They had been in war zones and witnessed unimaginable suffering and violence. Some came close to starving. They lived through six years of war, then in camps for the displaced for several years.
Today we support migrants and refugees from all around the world, who settled in Melbourne and regional Victoria. The faces and names of our clients, staff and volunteers are different but the need – and what we do – is the same.