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Anglicare WA services are available through the generosity of WA businesses, government, and people like you.

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Our history

Anglicare WA is a dynamic organisation dedicated to serving Western Australian individuals, families and communities. We are a trusted agency that plays an important role in our community. We were founded by the Anglican Archbishop Geoffrey Sambell in 1976 after many years of intense lobbying. 

Geoffrey Sambell's vision was to create a welfare and justice arm of the Anglican Church, offering charitable and health services in the Perth metropolitan area. This is how Anglican Health and Welfare Services came into being.

Our original legal name was Anglican Health and Welfare Services (Inc.) (AHWS). The story goes that the receptionist was lamenting one day about her need to repeat the full name to every caller. A few people got together about this, and they put together a more user friendly title - named "Anglicare". Anglicare is now used by our peak body Anglicare Australia and by many associated agencies throughout Australia.

Early History

Moves to establish a general social services agency as an outreach of the Church began in the 1960's. It was not until the early 1970's however that concrete progress was made. Archbishop Geoffrey Sambell had been appointed Archbishop in 1969. In June 1972, he produced a paper entitled "The Church and its place in Health and Welfare Services." In his Synod Charge of September 1973, Sambell set out in detail his vision of how and why the Anglican Church was to develop in its delivery of social services.

While planning for the Sambell Centre in Colin Street, West Perth was underway, the first operations of Anglicare WA were undertaken from premises at 52 Mount Street, Perth. Anglicare WA assumed the work of the Church's Social Services department. Rev. Roy Poole was appointed as the director of "Coordination and Administration" in February 1974.

Significant Programs

One of the key elements of the Sambell vision was that the agency must operate at the highest professional standards. As Sambell said, "such an agency must always be ready to give an account of its services, to maintain standards to continually evaluate its work and its performance and the needs it is servicing". Our drive to create effective and innovate services embodies this principle. Some examples of this development are below.

Relationship Counselling 

The need to become involved in this area was seen quite early. Anglican Marriage and Family Counselling (AMFC) was established in 1975. Initially the counsellors were trainees and volunteers with no government funding provided. Anglicare WA is now one of the most significant providers of counselling services in our State, offering a professional level of support across a wide range of areas of interest.

Op Shops 

From early beginnings in 1976 as "Salvage to Care", Op Shops become an integral and essential part of the organisation, providing much needed untied income to support program innovation and inexpensive goods to the community. In June 2023, after 40 years, Anglicare WA finished running its Op Shops.

Perth ITeC Employment and Training

Although we are no longer involved in offering employment services, Perth ITeC provided important employment and training opportunities to unemployed people during the 1980's.

Feeling lost?

Anglicare WA offers a wide range of services in 83 locations across WA, we’re never too far away.

If you’re not sure where to go, call us on 1300 11 44 46.