The Mission to Seafarers Victoria has operated from its heritage-listed building in Melbourne’s Docklands since 1917. Serving a special place in the life and community of those who live and work at sea, the dedicated team of staff and volunteers provide comfort, a friendly face, and a sense of community to the thousands of seafarers who visit the Port of Melbourne annually.
90% of everything we use, from food and medication to cars and household furnishings, reaches us via the sea. Being a seafarer is tough. Crews can spend months away working long hours with little respite or contact with home. On top of the daily pressures, the threat of piracy, shipwreck and abandonment are ever present for the men and women who serve us at sea.
In recent years, this challenging job has become even harder. Increased restrictions and lockdowns saw many seafarers working beyond the end of their contract, facing months of uncertainty and further separation from loved ones.
Amid these challenges, MtSV has been a constant source of practical support and reassurance, playing a vital role alongside our colleagues in 200 ports worldwide, collectively supporting the 1.5 million unseen keyworkers who have helped to keep the economy afloat and transport the essentials we need to survive.
The recently renovated Flinders St building is architecturally significant and is considered a fine urban example of a merging of the ‘Arts and Crafts’ and ‘Spanish Mission Revival’ architectural styles in Melbourne.
Open daily to the public from 12pm, visitors are encouraged to take a self-guided tour through the building’s collection of stories of Melbourne’s maritime history, and to explore the Norla Dome, learn the history of the Chapel, peak inside long-lost nooks and discover the hidden garden and courtyard.
The enchanting design offers a unique venue for functions and events of all styles and sizes; with full bar facilities, beer garden, a commercial kitchen, and all within the heart of Docklands and a short stroll from the CBD.