Briar Terrace

Briar Terrace offers companionship and day security in a peaceful setting for people who know the aloneness of dense, inner-city living.  First established by the Sisters of Charity in 1997, Briar Terrace provides a gathering place for those who are looking for a friendly face, a hot cuppa and someone to talk to. Promoted largely by word of mouth, Briar Terrace supports around 140 men and women who are experiencing social isolation.

At Briar Terrace you will find:

  • a welcome of warmth, peace and friendship;
  • a listening ear, respect and understanding;
  • relaxation and laughter , in a 'dry', safe environment;
  • a restful space with in a homely environment including a cheerful garden courtyard;
  • a feeling of belonging.

Since its inception, Briar Terrace has always had a relationship with St Vincent’s Hospital with staff often encouraging patients to make contact with Briar Terrace when they leave hospital.
The Manager, Bernadette Mundy explains, ‘We offer a warm welcome, friendship, relaxation and peace. Reverence and respect for every person is central.’  ‘To be known and valued for oneself is a deep longing in each of us.’

Bernadette is careful to point out that the aim of Briar Terrace is not welfare, but a place of companionship that can give solace to the human spirit.

‘Some of our friends drop in for an hour or two and some choose to spend the whole day, ‘I’ve had one man tell me it was the first time in 30 years that he had rung a doorbell and been greeted warmly and invited in for a cup of tea.’

Bernadette is supported by a small but dedicated team of volunteers who help ensure Briar Terrace is an inviting, safe environment. The volunteers will sometimes accompany friends of Briar Terrace to medical appointments and provide other support, much like an extended family. Birthdays and Christmas are celebrated and there is the occasional excursion to places like Apollo Bay or Healesville.

Our Location

Briar Terrace 
76 Fitzroy Street, Fitzroy VIC
9231 2412

Mission Statement and Vision

Mission Statement

We endeavour to reflect the Spirit of Christ’s compassion among men and women who experience acute aloneness and loss of personal roots.  In seeking to provide solace for each one’s human spirit we aim:

  1. To provide a means of companionship for men and women who have lost family ties and support, and who live on the edge of constant insecurity and personal aloneness.
  2. To enhance this process by enlisting staff consisting of volunteer men and women, who bring their own gifts of generosity, compassion and a readiness to learn and to accept each one as they are.

The Vision

With Christ’s compassion and understanding of each person as the living inspiration, the vision is to alleviate this experience of emptiness and anxiety by developing a safe, day-time welcoming place of warmth, peace and friendship. Here, reverence and respect for every person is central. This place of life-giving companionship reflects beauty, humour and acceptance, in our reaching out to people confined in their own place, and by welcoming guests into our meeting place.

Such a climate could only come about through the combined efforts of a group of caring, understanding persons who allow others to be. Those helping in the life of the Terrace are acutely mindful of the developing mutuality and of their own resulting enrichment.

As there are certain services established in the wider Fitzroy area providing meals, welfare and various activities in larger, more structured settings, the Terrace does not provide meals, but ‘cuppas’ and light refreshments throughout the day.

The choice is to be small, providing an attractive, homely setting where each person can enjoy his or herself in the company of others.

The hope is to bring solace to each person’s human spirit, enabling greater health and happiness.

Peter Simons has been visiting Briar Terrace for more than 15 years. When asked what Briar Terrace means to him, he said:

‘I come because I want to see my friends and have companionship. I got to know more people and I feel I can talk now. Before coming here I couldn’t talk and now people talk to me. I will never disappear from this place. I will always come back here. I’ve seen quite a few changes and made lots of friends and have really got to know some people really well. I like coming on certain days as I know certain volunteers that I love to talk to.’

If you would like to find out more about Briar Terrace, please contact the manager, Bernadette Mundy on 03 9231 2412.