Bethany Community Support opened its doors in May 1868 as the Geelong Female Refuge. It was established to provide refuge and rehabilitation to the poor women of Geelong.

As political, social and economic trends changed over the past 140 years, so did the needs of the community. Over the years, we have responded to those changes and have provided services that have included: babies’ home, adoption agency, mothercraft training, centre kindergarten, and day care service.

Today we are a dynamic and diverse human services organisation servicing the Geelong and Barwon South West Region.

We are an independent voluntary organisation with no political or religious affiliations.


Each year more than 6000 individuals and families experiencing difficulties in their lives access one or more of our services.

Our aim is always to build upon the strengths of individuals and communities to achieve both personal and social change, always working towards our mission to support and strengthen communities.

If you are interested in the history of Bethany you may like to contact us to purchase:

A Refuge at Kildare – the history of The Geelong Female Refuge and Bethany Babies’ Home by Shurlee Swain

Bethany Serving the Community, a Social History 1977-2007 by Susan Kruss.