Celebrating 50 years

A trip down memory lane

The Catholic Overseas Relief Committee coordinated its first national appeal in Lent 1965. The appeal raised the equivalent of $90,000 towards community 'self-help' projects in countries like Papua New Guinea, Vietnam and Malaysia.

Following the success of the first appeal a committee was formed in November 1965 to coordinate future appeals and discuss a name for the annual Lenten fundraiser. It recommended the appeal be called 'Project Compassion' and in 1966 – 50 years ago – it was launched.

The first Project Compassion appeal raised approximately $116,000. In 2015 Project Compassion set a new record of $11.5 million thanks to the generosity and compassion of the Australian community.

We look forward to continuing this journey together as we aim to end poverty, promote justice and uphold dignity around the world.

Project Compassion boxes

What is Project Compassion?

Supporters of all ages share what Project Compassion means to them.

In giving, we receive

David Smith, an Adelaide-based teacher shares his memories of Project Compassion.


Project Compassion 1982 Poster
1982-Whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers 
Project Compassion 1983 Poster
1983-That all may have life
Project Compassion 1994 Anniversary Poster
1994-30th Anniversary Poster
Project Compassion 1994 Poster
1994-Buidling a Better World
Project Compassion 1995 Poster
1995-Let's build a better world

1996-Giving Hope

1998-Keeping Hope Alive

2000-Building a better future
Project Compassion 2002 Poster
2002-A place to call Home
Project Compassion 2005 Poster-Vietnamese
2005-The Challenge is Poverty-Vietnamese
Project Compassion 2006 Poster
2006-Compassion in Action
Project Compassion 2007 Poster
2007-Fair Play Today

Roy Boylan with the first Project Compassion box 1966
Project Compassion has transformed millions of lives and every year since 1965 we have demonstrated our faith, our compassion and our generosity towards the most vulnerable members of our global family.
Paul O'Callaghan