UnitingCare Australia

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UnitingCare Australia is the national body for the UnitingCare network, made up of the Uniting Church in Australia's (UCA) community services agencies.

It is a sister body to UnitingJustice Australia, and UnitingWorld. All are agencies of the Uniting Church in Australia, National Assembly.

UnitingCare Australia advocates on behalf of the UnitingCare network to the Australian Federal Government.[1]

UnitingCare network[edit]

UnitingCare is a brand name under which many Uniting Church community services agencies operate although they may be agencies of the respective Synods, or separate legal entities. Together with agencies under the Uniting Church in Australia without the UnitingCare brand, the agencies form the UnitingCare network.

The network is one of Australia’s largest non-government community services provider networks, with over 1,600 sites Australia-wide. The UnitingCare network has 40,000 employees and 30,000 volunteers nationally, and provides services to children, young people and families, people with disabilities, and older Australians, in urban, rural and remote communities, including residential and community care, child care, homelessness prevention and support, family support, domestic violence and disability services.[2]

Examples of non-UnitingCare branded agencies within the UnitingCare network include Uniting NSW ACT, Juniper (WA), Somerville Community Services (NT), and Uniting Communities (SA). The network also includes the Uniting Missions Network, made up of 34 missions such as the Wesley Missions, and Blue Care in Queensland.


UnitingCare Australia's mandate is:[3]

  • To take up community service issues within the theological framework of the Uniting Church, particularly the Church’s social justice perspectives.
  • To develop and reflect on the policies and practices of the Uniting Church in community services.
  • To pursue appropriate issues within the Uniting Church, with Government and the community sector, with the Australian community and with other parts of the church.

National Director[edit]

The National Director of UnitingCare Australia was Lin Hatfield Dodds until July 2016.

Claerwen Little took up the position of National Director on 6 February 2017.[4]

Blue Nurses[edit]

The Newtown Methodist Mission in Sydney, New South Wales, launched an aged care nursing service in 1949. The nurses became known as the "Angels in Blue" because of their blue uniforms.[5]

Inspired by the Newtown service, the Blue Nursing Service was launched in Brisbane, Queensland, on 24 August 1953 by the West End Methodist Mission.[6] The service was to provide in-home nursing care to those who needed it on Brisbane's southside suburbs. It was intended for people recently released from hospital to convalese at home and for those at home with chronic illnesses. At its inception, the service consisted of one full-time paid nurse, Sister Olive Crombie, for daytime work with a car provided for her use and four volunteer nurses to be "at call" overnight who had to have access to their own car. A small payment was requested for the nursing service, but it would be provided free for those in poverty. Like the Sydney service, the nurses wore blue uniforms and became known as the "Blue Nurses".[5] Within three weeks of the launch, Sister Crombie was fully busy and the Brisbane Lord Mayor Frank Roberts commenced fundraising to expland the service,[7] offering to donate a pay rise of £350 towards the Blue Nursing Service or a similar municipal scheme.[8] By October 1953, Methodists in Ipswich were seeking to expand the Blue Nursing Service to Ipswich as one of the first activities of their new Central Mission.[9] By November 1953, the Brisbane service expanded to a second full-time daytime nurse and three people who would do housework for the sick.[10]

The Blue Nursing Service grew into one of the largest not-for-profit provider of residential aged care, community care and retirement living in Queensland and northern New South Wales.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Billion-dollar aged care cut to have 'huge' impact: campaigners". ABC News. 2016-06-29. Retrieved 2016-08-09. 
  2. ^ "The Network - UnitingCare Australia". Retrieved 2016-08-09. 
  3. ^ "UnitingCare Australia mandate" (PDF). UnitingCare Australia. July 2008. Retrieved 30 January 2017. 
  4. ^ "New National Director Announced". UnitingCare Australia. 18 October 2016. Retrieved 27 February 2017. 
  5. ^ a b "Angels in Blue' will help aged and poor". Brisbane Telegraph. Queensland, Australia. 8 August 1953. p. 17 (LAST RACE). Retrieved 30 January 2017 – via National Library of Australia. 
  6. ^ "BLUE NURSE STARTS JOB". The Courier-mail. Queensland, Australia. 25 August 1953. p. 3. Retrieved 30 January 2017 – via National Library of Australia. 
  7. ^ "BLUE NURSING SERVICE RALLY". Brisbane Telegraph. Queensland, Australia. 10 September 1953. p. 17 (CITY FINAL). Retrieved 30 January 2017 – via National Library of Australia. 
  8. ^ "MAYORAL RISE TO NEW FUND?". Brisbane Telegraph. Queensland, Australia. 16 September 1953. p. 21 (LAST RACE). Retrieved 30 January 2017 – via National Library of Australia. 
  9. ^ "W.M. Methodist Synod Urges CENTRAL MISSION FOR IPSWICH". Queensland Times (24,845). Queensland, Australia. 28 October 1953. p. 2 (Daily). Retrieved 30 January 2017 – via National Library of Australia. 
  10. ^ "BISHOP WALKED PLANK TO CONSECRATE CHURCH IN SUBURBS". The Courier-mail. Queensland, Australia. 25 November 1953. p. 10. Retrieved 30 January 2017 – via National Library of Australia. 
  11. ^ "Blue Care Nursing Service". Aged Care Guide. Retrieved 30 January 2017. 

External links[edit]