The first Catholic Development Fund (CDF) was established in
Melbourne in 1956 for the purpose of raising capital to build Catholic schools.
It was originally called the Schools Provident Fund. In a city experiencing a
post-war population boom, the Church built the Fund on the faith of the
Catholic people, to whom the education of their children was of vital
importance. Set up on a co-operative basis, the Fund allowed Catholics living
in the more settled parishes of Melbourne to assist schools in the developing
Its success led to a movement which saw the
start of similar Funds throughout Australia and New Zealand. In 2014 CDF
Melbourne amalgamated with the Diocese of Sale CDF and in 2016 with the Diocese
of Bunbury CDF, forming a single CDF (the Fund) serving three Dioceses. Across
Australia there are 22 Development Funds, funding a wide range of Catholic
infrastructure beyond schools to better serve the Catholic and wider community.
In December 2017 CDF Melbourne partnered with 10 other Dioceses to offer a
dedicated Fund for lay investors. This is known as the CDF Community Fund.