Wesley Mission Victoria turns 120

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ALMOST 100 guests commemorated Wesley Mission Victoria’s 120th birthday early last month.

Members of the Uniting Church, the Wesley board, staff, volunteers and clients attended the celebration at Wesley Church in Lonsdale Street, which concluded with a sausage sizzle.2_120th-Birthday

For all of its 120 years, Wesley has been known as an outspoken advocate for social reform. It began life as Melbourne Central Methodist Mission in 1893 to assist people in need, particularly those who were abused, homeless, or impoverished.

Throughout the years, Wesley has expanded by developing a wide range of programs and services, adding action to its advocacy.

Today, Wesley provides more than 50 different services from over 100 locations in Victoria. It assists more than 53,000 people a year, employs 980 staff, and boasts more than 1600 volunteers.

Wesley’s services include: residential; community based and business services encompassing aged care and support services: disability services; crisis and homelessness; children, youth and family services, which includes foster and kinship care; community detention; social enterprises and disability employment services.

Ms Shurlee Swain, co-author of The Challenge of the City, a history of the Wesley Central Mission, was guest speaker at the event.

“The principles which guided the mission in its early years continue to be apparent in the organisation today, even if they are expressed in different language and a different form,” Ms Swain said.

“Wesley quietly seeks constantly to transform faith into action in meeting the needs of those whom it serves.”

Wesley will conclude celebrations of its 120th year at the Annual Report to the Community in November.

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