Home-Start Australia

Home-Start Australia

Home-Start National Inc.

P.O. Box 29

Broadmeadow NSW 2292

Telephone: + 61 (0) 2 4952 9488

National Coordinator: Michelle McDonell

Board Chair: Anne Fletcher


Association Registration Number: NSW INC9875993

About us


The first Home-Start scheme in Australia was established as early as 1989, at Newcastle University Family Action Centre. Home-Start National Inc. was set up in 2001, to guide the establishment of new schemes.

We are a charitable organisation and our mission is to give children the best possible start in life by helping parents to grow in confidence and strengthen and enjoy their relationships with their children and form links with and become part of their local community.

Our purpose is to increase the skills, ability, independence and healthy functioning of at-risk, disadvantaged families with children 0-5 years old, in order to ensure the welfare and safety of every child.

Our primary objectives are to provide:

• hands-on practical support and role-modeling to parents to improve the lives of their children now and in the future

• help for isolated or marginalised families to step into and become part of their local community

• a safe, supportive and stimulating platform for volunteers from local communities to utilise and improve their valuable skills and experience

• build friendlier, more cohesive and inclusive communities through volunteering and introducing people who may not have otherwise formed a friendship.

Families involved with Home-Start may be struggling, disadvantaged or marginalised due to illness or disability, death, poverty, violence, inability to cope as a parent, isolation or may have no support networks within their own community Home-Start National Inc is the parent body which:

• establishes, trains and supports Home-Start Programs around Australia

• currently oversees programs in 36 towns throughout NSW and Victoria

• seeks funding to establish new programs as requested by communities and other organisations, or to support existing programs

• manages, supports and/or guides 8 Home-Start Programs and over 200 community volunteers

Awards for Home-Start

Home-Start Volunteer Home Visiting Program received an important award from the National Association for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (NAPCAN), presented by Andrew Johnson, NSW Advocate for Children and Young People. This award is recognising the part that Home-Start Volunteer Home Visiting plays in protecting children and preventing child abuse and neglect.

Quotes from Home-Start Families

“I watched my volunteer interact with my boys. She would sit with them on a rug and play games and sing songs and they watched her and they really loved it. It just hadn’t occurred to me I could enjoy them. Instead I felt angry, resentful, tired and felt like they had ruined my life. My volunteer helped me to connect with my babies. She modelled for me how to play and enjoy my children, and it just happened in the moment. It happened in my own home, using my own resources. And now I enjoy playing with my boys. I like to be with them and I enjoy their company.” – Mother supported by HS

“I am socially isolated. I was born in another country so there are no regular visitors. We don’t have our mothers, fathers, aunties and uncles. We don’t have our families so it’s a very difficult place to be a mother. Home-Start is priceless” – Mother supported by HS

“I don’t think my volunteer realises that she actually saved my life. I was feeling suicidal and I was looking at being admitted as an inpatient at a hospital. But just having her come changed my perspective of a family, by providing me with a little support and treating me like I was normal”.

  • Mother supported by HS

“Having a volunteer meant that I could breathe!” – Mother supported by HS