slice of the icon 2Edmund Rice chose the poor boys of Ireland as the focus of his work.

Edmund Rice Worked With and For the Youth of Ireland

Edmund chose the poor boys of Ireland as the focus of his work.

He saw education as the best way to help them.

In our times and region education is readily available but there are some who are not able to avail of the opportunities most take for granted.

The Edmund Rice Network in Oceania realize that there is a need to reach out to these in a way which may involve education but which recognizes the individual needs of each.

The Oceania Province still works With and For Youth in Oceania

This was evidenced in a strong presence at The Australian Catholic Youth Festival recently held in Adelaide. Over 3000 young people and eighteen Bishops from across the country converging on South Australia for three days of music, guest speakers, silence & prayer, practical workshops and plenary sessions.

Centred on the theme from the beatitudes, “blessed are the pure of heart for they shall see God” (Mt 5.8), young people aged between 14 to 25 had the rare opportunity to explore questions about their faith, in particular what it means to be ‘pure of heart’.

The Christian Brothers (represented through Edmund Rice Camps & Build the Bridge Volunteers) had a strong presence at this year’s festival; bringing a uniquely “Edmund Rice” voice to the diverse program. Highlights from our involvement included:

  • Andree Brown (Edmund Rice Camps SA Executive Officer) facilitating a key workshop around the themes of “Faith in Action” and young adult formation, highlighting that in our learned experience, young people are truly able to explore and develop their faith when it is expressed through action.
  • Andree also hosted an Edmund Rice Camps ‘National’ stall, receiving strong support from camps volunteers Eliesa Morello, Mary Zeoli, Senuri Wagaarachchi, Adrian Szabo and Jean-Pierre Terreux. Many young visitors to the stall commented on their personal connections with Eddie Rice Camps in their home states, with one young man even spontaneously starting a big “Eddie Eddie Eddie!” chant to a typically rapturous response.
  • In his role on the Festival’s InCounter subcommittee (responsible for 60 stallholders and the huge expo hall space), Adam Whitefield (Christian Brothers Regional Mission Team SA/WA) coordinated the “Justice Activity Centre” which involved key organisations facilitating a series of engaging and hands-on justice & advocacy activities. This included young people preparing hundreds of care packs for the homeless, the writing 150 letters to politicians advocating for the release of children from detention, the creation of 250 lolly bags with personal messages for children in detention, and the collection of 500 signatures advocating for climate justice.
  • A key highlight was seeing our very own Caitlin Brown (ERCSA & Build the Bridge Volunteers) shine as one of the Festival’s three MCs. To witness her speak so passionately and confidently in front of 3000 people was truly a sight to behold!
  • Another of our ERCSA/Build the Bridge Volunteers Maddie Kelly stole the show during the opening plenary with her beautiful and powerful spoken word piece on the importance of her faith, including the value in ‘mountaintop’ experiences and the need to follow the ‘restlessness’ in our hearts.
  • Maddie also joined fellow Build the Bridge Volunteers Adrian Szabo, Cate Snell & Ada Snell to lead a panel session around the issues facing young asylum seekers and refugees in our community. The session was delivered through the lens of their involvement with vulnerable groups through their BTBV and formation opportunities. It was attended by over 400 people and incredibly well received.

Prior to the festival, Pope Francis himself sent a letter to delegates praying they would be “spirit-filled evangelisers who pray and work for the spread of the Gospel, the conversion of culture and the care of the poor and marginalised in society."

It is our hope too, that whether it be expressed through our Edmund Rice Charism or elsewhere, our young people can accept the invitation to be (as Pope Francis’ calls it) “builders and craftsmen of the future which God is dreaming of for us and for our world”, and that they may indeed do so with “courage and joy in their hearts.”

Adam Whitefield – Christian Brothers Regional Mission Team (SA/WA)

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detension of children

Child Detension

Me and Him

Programs conducted by the Edmund Rice Oceania Province

The Australian schools which were run by the province are now the responsibility of Edmund Rice Education Australia.

Our commitment to working with youth is still maintained in many other areas.

Edmund Rice Camps

Edmund Rice Camps

Edmund Rice Camps are community based not for profit organisations providing positive recreational experiences for children, youth and families who may not otherwise have the opportunity.

Supported by a 1:1 ratio of volunteers to participants, Edmund Rice Camps provide an environment of fun, acceptance, care and growth. Painted Faces

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Edmund Rice Camps provide opportunities for volunteers and participants to meet in a mutually empowering environment of fun, trust and growth.

With twelve Edmund Rice Camps groups operating across the Oceania Province, we seek to empower participants to grow in confidence, resilience and hope through authentic relationship. This dynamic and successful movement sees young adults volunteer as ‘big buddies’ matched with a participant to be their mentor, positive role model, and best mate.

We aim to support the participants in developing an increased sense of self-worth, inner and outer confidence, and a much-needed break from often difficult circumstances.

Vital to this successful movement is the provision of training, reflection and justice advocacy opportunities which empower the young adult volunteers with the skills, knowledge and confidence to engage in Edmund Rice Camps activities as mentors, role-models and leaders.

For more information about Edmund Rice Camps, or to see what your local camps group is doing at the moment please click on the link below.

Read a tribute to the work done by the Edmund Rice Camp Movement published in the Australian Catholic University magazine "Insight"

               Read the Article                    


Visit the Edmund Rice Camps Website


Edmund Rice centre Mirrabooka

Vision, Mission and Values

Our Vision

ERCWA logo cmyk with taglineInspired by Edmund Rice, our vision is to enable people to feel included, be active participants and make a positive contribution to society.

Our Mission

We seek to empower the people whose lives we touch through education and development of community, with a special focus on youth leadership.

Our Values

The following values inspire and guide all we do:

We welcome, respect and value each person regardless of colour, race, creed or ability and foster harmonious relations between cultural groups.
Personal Dignity
We acknowledge the dignity of each person by acting with compassion, respect and sensitivity, thus fostering a sense of self-worth.
We create a safe place for all who engage with us.
We enable social change through individual empowerment and community development.


Edmund Rice Community and Refugee Services, St Albans

In the spirit of Edmund Rice, ERCRS seeks to improve the lives of and opportunities for,
children and young people of a disadvantaged background.

This is done by supporting them in their education and providing them with access to free learning support along with a range of social activities throughout the year.

We're a not-for-profit organisation based in St Albans, Melbourne, and we provide free learning support and a range of social services to students of a disadvantaged background.

Our programs include:

A Homework Club for primary students (Grades 3-6)

This operates in St Albans on Mondays and Wednesdays from 3:30-5:00pm at the Errington Centre, and
Thursdays from 3:00-5:00pm at Sunshine Harvester Primary School.

This program involves the participation of peer tutors from secondary schools around Melbourne and adult volunteers from the community.

A Tutoring Program for secondary and tertiary students

This operates on Tuesday afternoons from :30-5:30pm at the Errington Centre and
Saturdays from 10:30am-12:30pm at the Catholic Regional College Library in St Albans.

 Students are paired one-to-one with an adult tutor who can assist them with their studies.

Social activities are for students and volunteers

This is for all involved in either of the above learning support programs.

Activities include excursions and events throughout the year as well as two camps with our sister organisation,ᅠ Edmund Rice Camps, Victoria.

The Young Women's Mentoring Program

This involves bimonthly excursions around Melbourne for students in years 10-11 from the tutoring program and their volunteer mentors.

It provides a forum for these young women to support one another, build confidence, develop positive peer networks and become role models within their community.

Brighter Tomorrows Boys’ Group

Edmund Rice Community & Refugee Services (ERC&RS) is excited to announce that we have launched a young men’s mentoring program called Brighter Tomorrow Boys’ Group. This program began last month on 16th July in St Albans.

The Brighter Tomorrow Boys’ Group will operate as a partnership between ERC&RS, the Edmund Rice Community Partnerships and a number of local schools.

For more information visit the


Build the Bridge Volunteers

Build the Bridge Volunteers are an energetic, welcoming and dynamic young adult volunteer community passionate about justice and inspired by the example Edmund Rice.

btbvolunteersOur vision:

To empower ourselves and others to actively enable justice.

Our core values:






The Build the Bridge Volunteer Program (BTBV) is a joint initiative of the Oceania Province and Edmund Rice Education Australia (EREA) and is comprised of current male students and graduates from the three South Australian EREA schools (Rostrevor, St Paul’s, CBC), as well as young adult females from our sister schools and others across Adelaide.

A key focus of the program is the formation and personal development of the young adult volunteers, who in turn lead the delivery of various service projects and social justice/advocacy initiatives within the broader community.

Employment Opportunity

This program is currently seeking someone passionate about working with young people to bring about social change for the position of:
Program Coordinator, a 0.6 of Full Time Employment for a fixed term.
Click to view the full Advertisement

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The main outreach projects currently facilitated by Build the Bridge Volunteers include:

btbfridayhangoutThe Friday Hangout


The Friday Hangout is a social inclusion program providing a safe, fun and meaningful space for young Australians and newly arrived young people to come together and connect through sports, English conversation, and the sharing of a meal.


btb wdp logoWelcome Dinners

Welcome Dinner Project is delivered in partnership with Sydney non-profit organisation, "JoiningtheDots". It is designed to provide spaces for newly arrived people and established Aussies to come together and connect through the sharing of a meal in someone’s home.

Visit the Welcome Dinner Project’s website

Visit the Welcome Dinner Project’s Facebook Page (Includes photo albums from our Adelaide dinners)

Welcome Picnics

btbwelcomepicnicThe welcome picnics are led by local non-profit organisation Welcome to Australia, these social gatherings are designed to bring together Aussies and newly arrived families to Adelaide for some much needed conversation, activities and friendship.

Visit the Welcome to Australia website


Some of the key formation programs available to Build the Bridge Volunteers and Edmund Rice Young Adults include:

Indigenous Immersions (Ngaut Ngaut, Lake Mungo)

  • City Immersion (Melbourne)
  • Eco-Spirituality Retreat (Flinders Ranges)
  • Leadership Weekends
  • Reflection Days

Recent Build the Bridge Volunteers justice and advocacy initiatives have included:

  • “Not in Our Name”
  • “Detention for Detention”
  • “Walk Together”


Please contact the Program Coordinator – Adam Whitefield.
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Serving Young People Beyond Australia


New Zealand

The Province is also responsible for several large schools in Australia

Christchurch, St Thomas of Canterbury


       Ornaru, St Kevins Collage                


Developing Nations

Youth and Family Services, largely in education of those unable to attend a normal schools, are a high priority.

Read about Our work in Developing Nations Read about Our work in Developing Nations