Victoria’s Most Enduring Welfare Agency
For more than 150 years, Windermere has been making a positive difference to the lives of the most disadvantaged and vulnerable children and families. When Melbourne was a tent city, a group of strong minded women who aimed to assist the most vulnerable members of society provided emergency support for families and almost unintentionally launched into residential care work with children. As a result they opened a boys' home that eventually resided in Windermere Crescent, Brighton – thus our name. Today we are one of the oldest and fastest growing community service organisations in Melbourne's South East.
Now with our head office in Narre Warren, Windermere continues to work with families in need, in what is arguably Australia’s fastest-growing urban corridor, with an average of 150 families moving into the region every week and the highest 0-6 year-old population in Australia. In fact, 70% of the population is under 40 years of age. With so many young families, demand for our services in this region is growing at an alarming rate.
As one of the South East’s fastest-growing independent agency's – serving a population of 1.2 million residents from 20 locations across 10 municipalities – Windermere’s innovative support services and programs provide opportunities for disadvantaged and vulnerable people in our community to build resilience and feel connected within their community.
We provide the help and resources to enable these people to build on their strengths, to learn, grow and realise their full potential.
Windermere's Apology to the 'Forgotten Australians'
Windermere acknowledges its shared history with the Melbourne Orphanage and various children's homes from 1854 to the early 1990's. The 'Forgotten Australians' Senate Inquiry has shown that life in institutional care was often bleak and many children did not receive the love, nurturing and care they needed. We accept that some children experienced physical, sexual and emotional abuse that has caused them significant pain and suffering.
Windermere apologises unreservedly for any harm, distress or hurt that may have occurred to children and young people whilst in the care of our founding agencies.
Windermere also understands that for some children, these institutions provided a stable and positive foundation.
Windermere has learnt from the past, and is committed to ongoing review of our work within the principles of social justice and in the context of the best available knowledge and practice. We will continue to promote caring, safe and supportive environments that build a sense of wellbeing and resilience with all our clients.