Jesuit Social Services

Our history 


Click here to read the timelines and milestones of Jesuit Social Services 1977 - 2012 .


Doing Justice

In 2007 Jesuit Social Services commissioned Jo Dunin to write the history of the organisation to mark its 30th Anniversery. The book is titled "Doing Justice: Reflections from thirty years of Jesuit Social Serives 1977 - 2007".

Read a review by Andy Hamilton.
Please download the order form or call us on 03 9421 7600 to order your copy of the book.

Alternatively, you can download each chapter of Doing Justice -

A brief history of Jesuit Social Services

Jesuit Social Services is a community of people, in solidarity with those in need, providing practical programs of service. We are committed to social action, advocacy and research as an expression of that relationship. 

The origins of Jesuit Social Services date back to 1977, when we opened a small hostel for young men after their release from youth justice centres and prisons. This program was later named Brosnan Youth Services after Father John Brosnan, who was Chaplain at Pentridge Prison for thirty years. 

In 1995 Jesuit Social Services was established incorporating Brosnan Youth Services and including new services that grew out of our experience engaging with disadvantaged young people. This resulted in the creation of a program responding to the needs of young people experiencing multiple and complex needs including concurrent mental health and drug and alcohol issues. Other programs were developed to provide a pathway to education, training and employment for these young people and to address the needs of vulnerable families and disadvantaged communities.

Today Jesuit Social Services works in some of the most difficult and demanding areas of human service, including the areas of crime, addiction, mental illness, suicide bereavement, long-term unemployment and entrenched social disadvantage. We also have a longstanding involvement with the Vietnamese community and a strong partnership with communities from the Horn of Africa. Our work is based on building relationships as a basis for effective, holistic interventions and by building social capital.

In 2007 the Provincial of the Australian Jesuits asked Jesuit Social Services to become the lead agency for The Province in the field of social justice in Australia.  The Board of Jesuit Social Services agreed and Jesuit Social Services began working in Western Sydney at the Holy Family Parish site in Mount Druitt.  Jesuit Social Services also took over responsibility for Jesuit Volunteers Australia, operating in Victoria, New South Wales and Western Australia.    

The Policy Unit undertakes Research, Policy and Advocacy work. It draws on our program work and our vision statement for form its focus. Through our engagement with disadvantaged people we identify areas of unmet need, conduct research and use our findings to advocate for change.