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Our History & Network

The UnitingCare network is one of the largest providers of community services in Australia. The network employs 39,000 staff, supported by 28,500 volunteers, providing services across more than 1600 sites in every state and territory in remote, regional and metropolitan Australia. It has an annual turnover in excess of $2.5 billion.

The Uniting Church in Australia was formed in 1977 by the union of the Congregational Union of Australia, the Methodist Church or Australasia and the Presbyterian Church of Australia. UnitingCare West is an Agency of the Uniting Church in Australia Synod of Western Australia incorporated under the provisions of the Uniting Church in Australia Act 1976 (WA).

UnitingCare West commenced operations as a new community service agency of the Uniting Church in Western Australia on 1 July 2006. The new Agency was created following decisions taken by the Uniting Church in Australia Synod of Western Australia to merge some or all of the services and programs of the following eight community services agencies and parish missions: Fremantle Wesley Mission, Rainbow Project, Trinity Outreach Services, UCA Outreach Services, UnitingCare Kwinana; Mofflyn, Uniting Community House, and Wesley Mission Perth.

In 2009, SafeCare services merged into UnitingCare West and became the basis for the Child and Family Therapeutic Service. CAFTS opened for referrals in August 2009 and offers free counselling to children, adolescents and families who have been impacted by child sexual abuse.

After initially retaining its financial counselling and emergency relief services called WesAssist, the Fremantle Wesley Mission in 2011, transferred the financial counselling services across to UnitingCare West. It became the basis for Creditcare Fremantle, which opened its doors in February 2011. 

In May 2013 Food Rescue merged with UnitingCare West and became UCW’s first entirely philanthropically funded service. Food Rescue picks up perishable, fresh, nutritious foods from caters, supermarkets and café’s and distributes the food amongst disadvantaged people in WA – rescuing the food from going to waste.

In October 2013 UnitingCare Crossroads transferred its services to UnitingCare West. Crossroads is the collective name for a number of services which provides support and respite to people with disabilities and their carers.

While UnitingCare West was formed in 2006, our roots go all the way back to the early days of the Swan River Colony. We provide community services in key areas of support such as families and children, disability and mental health, accommodation and homeless care services, and low-income support services.

We are administered by a Board appointed by the Synod of Western Australia, and are managed by professional staff who report to the Chief Executive Officer who is also a member of the Board.

At an Australia-wide level, the UnitingCare Australia network is one of the largest providers of community services nationally. UnitingCare West is a member of this network.  In Western Australia, two other agencies belong to the national network: Good Samaritan Industries (also known as GSI or Good Sammys) provides meaningful paid employment and training opportunities to people with disabilities. Juniper provides a range of high quality services to aged people.