History of Aged Care Volunteer Visitors Scheme

The Multicultural Communities Council of South Australia (MCCSA) Community Visitors Scheme (CVS) is funded by the Federal Department of Health.

MCCSA was established in August 1995 by the amalgamation of the former Ethnic Communities Council of SA (established in 1975) and the United Ethnic Communities of SA (established in 1980). In 1989 the Aged Care Working Party identified that some culturally and linguistically diverse residents in nursing homes needed socialisation and were very isolated. The Ethnic Communities Council of SA was funded for a trial and this became the first Community Visitors Scheme.

This trial was successful and from these origins grew the national Community Visitors Scheme which is in place today. At present there are approximately 170 organizations that auspice the Community Visitors Scheme with over 5,000 volunteer visitors across Australia.

MCCSA’s Community Visitors Scheme has continued for over 30 years and currently matches volunteers to residents at residential facilities or at home across the Adelaide metropolitan areas. At present we help provide socialisation to over 100 residents a year with bilingual volunteers.

On July 1st 2023, CVS was renamed to the Aged Care Volunteer Visitors Scheme (ACVVS).

  • “I am very pleased with the MCC ACVVS Program; it has assisted many of our residents to have socialisation… The positive impacts are holistic and the residents look forward to their new connections. The ACVVS Program adds value to people’s lives and provides them with opportunity to have company of another person; it touches their hearts, their minds and their souls. It’s a proven theory that socialisation enhances the quality of a person’s inner self.”
    Aged Care Facility Staff Member
  • “I was ‘matched’ with a lovely lady who has the same cultural background as mine, and has lived for more than 90 years.  Staff informed me that ‘my lady’ has dementia and calls out often. From the beginning conversation [if there was to be any] was determined by how ‘my lady’ was feeling. Each visit I introduce myself as a friend who has come to visit. This usually pleases  ‘ my lady’. She usually smiles and takes my hand to kiss it. I was overcome the first time this happened.  Sometime I just hold and stroke her hands as this calms her. Once she stroked my hand in return. I was so surprised that it made me smile and feel good. Familiar language encourages conversation and allows this lovely lady to express her feelings. This makes my volunteer visits worthwhile.”
    ACVVS Volunteer
  • It is delightful to see my two elderly clients because they always welcome me with big friendly smiles. They appreciate having a conversation with someone who speaks their language… We share experiences and I learn from them too. This experience of doing something positive at a personal level for the community has been amazing, and has given me a great sense of joy and immense satisfaction
    ACVVS Volunteer