In 1949, the Australian Bishops’ Conference established the Federal Catholic Immigration Committee (FCIC) to respond to the needs arising from the great influx of Catholic migrants into Australia. At the request of the Vatican, the Catholic Immigration Office was established in Brisbane (and other dioceses) to assist with the pastoral care ministry to migrants and refugees and to meet the needs of the post-war movement of people.
After 45 years, in June of 1994, the Archdiocese of Brisbane separated the Catholic Immigration Office (which was part of the Pontifical Mission Societies) from the Catholic Mission Office and assumed full financial responsibility for the new Centre for Multicultural Pastoral Care ((CMPC). The objectives of the new Centre were to widen the scope of the activities previously undertaken, to be more inclusive of migrants and refugees in the Archdiocese and to ensure their full participation in the life of the local Church.
On a national level, FCIC and the Australian Catholic Refugee Office (ACRO) ceased operations in 1995. Canberra-based Australian Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office (ACMRO) continued both these offices’ vital functions and to this day coordinates the Catholic immigration/multicultural offices in several Australian states. The Directors of these Offices meet a few times each year to discuss major issues. The Meeting produces resolutions and recommendations that are presented to the Bishops’ Committee for Migrants and Refugees at the annual Australian Catholic Bishops Conference.