Abbeyfield came to Australia with Judy Dunster whose father was an early supporter of the concept in Scotland. This was the first time Abbeyfield had moved away beyond its beginnings in the United Kingdom.
From her arrival in Australia in the 1970s, Judy met with politicians, community leaders and local groups to gain support and inform them about the concept.
In 1981, the Abbeyfield Society (Australia) Limited, a not for profit company, limited by guarantee, was incorporated and the first Australian house opened in 1986. The Australian society, in its philosophy, objectives and general mode of operation, developed from the United Kingdom model but was adapted to Australian conditions.
There has always been enthusiastic support for the Abbeyfield concept in Australia but finding the substantial capital to build new houses has proved difficult.