Winter in Melbourne – it’s cold, damned cold

In 1967, the English/Australian group The Bee Gees released a song with the title MassachusettsIt became a major hit for them, in no small part, because of its American theme.  A decade later, Australian singer/song-writer Doug Ashdown (somewhat disappointingly for him) had only a minor hit with a song titled Winter in America.  However, while none of The Bee Gees’ lyrics in their song really stick in the memory, one line in Ashdown’s song does, namely: “Winter in America is Cold”.

As our parishes approach the second consecutive COVID-impacted Vinnies Winter Appeal, Ashdown’s lyrics continue to be relevant for winter in Melbourne.  It’s cold, damned cold.  It is also timely to think of the many people in our community who are especially challenged at this time of year.

Your local Vinnies Conference provides support for anyone within our Parish boundary who calls the assistance hotline.  While food aid is the most common request, there are also regular enquiries regarding furniture and bills, as well as many other essentials that the more fortunate of us can so easily take for granted. 

Lately, information has proven to be another valuable resource.  The State Government is currently offering a one-off $250 power rebate for eligible concession holders and the people visited by Vinnies are generally eligible.  Many are also eligible, every 2 years, to apply through their retailers for Utility Relief Grants for electricity, gas and water.  It is truly sad how few people are aware of their rights and the fault is not with them.

The generosity of our parishioners when responding to Vinnies’ appeals (Winter and Christmas) and the invaluable gift of time that a select few contribute when working in our opportunity shops or making sandwiches or volunteering with the food vans, undoubtedly, provide the foundations for a living miracle. 


Donations to the St Vincent de Paul Winter Appeal may be made by:-

Credit card or PayPal

Visit  When donating online, please remember to nominate your Parish St Vincent De Paul Conference as:

  • Deepdene/Balwyn Conference 404,
  • Camberwell Conference 401, or
  • Surrey Hills 393 Conference.

This information may be inserted in the “comments” field at the bottom of the online donation form.

Telephone on 13 18 12

Please advise the operator of your Parish St Vincent De Paul Conference as:

  • Deepdene/Balwyn Conference 404,
  • Camberwell Conference 401 or
  • Surrey Hills Wattle Park Conference 393

Electronic Fund Donations may be made to the following account at Vinnies Box Hill:

Account Name: SVDP Vic Inc – GIFT FUND
BSB – 063003 and Account Number – 10081787
The Description – in the reference field please include the local conference numbers as:

  • Reference No 404 (for Deepdene/Balwyn Conference)
  • Reference No 401 (for Camberwell)
  • Reference No 393 (for Surrey Hills)

We recommend that you print out a Confirmation Notice for your records

By cash or cheque

Donations may be sent to PO Box 786, Kew, Vic 3101. Please make your cheque payable to St Vincent de Paul.

Vinnies Winter Appeal Collection

will be held at all Masses on the weekend of 19/20 June 2021

(Covid-19 regulations permitting)


All donations over $2.00 are tax deductible. If you require a tax receipt, please ensure you clearly write your name and address when remitting your donation.


God Bless You All,

Brian Moore
Surrey Hills Wattle Park Conference


Annual Appeals Outreach Participation


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