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Page history last edited by Social Policy Library 2 years, 7 months ago


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1961 1962196319641965 1966196719681969

Children & Families 

Three January camps were held at Mornington for children in the 9-11 age group – Brotherhood junior boys, Brotherhood junior girls, and referral girls.  Other camps were run for young people from 12-15 years.  Referral boys camped in Oxley Reserve, Wangaratta; Brotherhood senior girls in Cathedral Close, Wangaratta; and Brotherhood senior boys at Halls Gap in the Grampians.  In addition there was a day holiday program from January 3-26 for a total of 765 children.  [1]


BSL's Family Planning Clinic established in Fitzroy in July 1967 as a three-month pilot project for low income families, prompted by concern expressed by the Victorian Council of Social Service. [2]  What had once been a ham & beef shop became in the 1960's the first comprehensive Family Planning Clinic in Victoria; upstairs offices were provided for the expanding Community Aid Abroad and downstairs later became a new Material Aid Centre.  Extract from Brotherhood News [3] 


Community Issues 

The execution of Ronald Ryan on 1 February 1967 brought condemnation of capital punishment in Father Tucker’s editorial in "The Brotherhood News".  This followed a document "Why is There to be a Hanging?" prepared and signed by senior members of the Brotherhood: Father Tucker, Bishop Sambell, David Scott and Janet Paterson  [4]


Father Tucker wrote of positively about the transformation of Fitzroy "because many of the wretched slum hovels have been replaced by pleasing, well designed flats", (Winning the war on slums) while awaiting "a new and thrilling challenge to the Brotherhood" in the completion of the "huge blocks of multi-storied flats to be erected right opposite our Headquarters". [5] 


The Truth newspaper sent a reporter to find out how "thousands of our fellow citizens, men and women, who have no more than $15 a week, eke out their lives" by living that way for 2 weeks.  The reporter, Evan Whitton (who won a Walkley Award for journalism in 1967), drew on BSL services during his 2 weeks in Fitzroy. [6] 


In October, at the request of the BSL, the Victorian Council of Social Service called a public meeting in the Fitzroy Town Hall "to discuss Fitzroy redevelopment and community services. …A subcommittee was formed from among those present to assess the existing community and welfare facilities in the area bounded by Smith Street, Alexander Parade, Victoria and Nicholson Streets and to make recommendations as to the additional facilities needed for the expected ultimate population.  Their recommendations … are to be placed before a further public meeting for consideration and further action".  [7]


Helen M. Hughes commissioned by the Church of England Social Service Advisory Council to report on a survey of Anglican Social Work Agencies. [8][] 


Fundraising & Resources 

A Brotherhood City Street Stall was stocked and manned by several Auxiliaries in Bourke Street, opposite Myers (9 June)  [9]


Two auxiliaries formed in Bendigo, one in Eaglehawk and the other in Bendigo proper.  These were formed on the same day, with 73 members at Eaglehawk and 58 attending the Bendigo inaugural meeting.  [10]


The BSL’s annual market fair held in October in the Lower Melbourne Town Hall raised $2,574  [11] 


Fundraising Appeal in October 1967 to raise money to provide holidays at the beach  and the country for children in the industrial areas.


Material & Financial support 

Material relief provided through the BSL's Social Service Bureau estimated to be $900-$1000 each month, in addition to large amounts of clothing and furniture given both to BSL clients and to other welfare organisations. [12]


Christmas Toy Sales provided more than a thousand children with toys.  Premises were rented for nominal rent next door to the Brotherhood in Brunswick Street Fitzroy for two weeks before Christmas.  [13] 


Older People 

Tucker Court, a block of 20 self-contained flats, a dining room for 80 people and a sick bay was completed at Lara and opened by the Lieutenant Governor.  [14] 

Father Tucker (left), with Sir Edmund Herring (right) at the opening of Tucker Court on the 12th of November 1967[15]


Building began on the first stage of St Laurence Court at Eaglehawk (Bendigo), a joint venture with the Anglican Diocese of Bendigo.  [16]


An additional 20 acres of land adjoining St Laurence Park, Lara, was purchased to ensure room for future expansion.  The first priority was to construct a bridge or ford across the creek which divided the two properties.  [17]


20 bed extension added to Carinya nursing home, Box Hill, making a total of 40 beds.  [18][] Cost to build approximately $163,000. A subsidy on a $2 for $1 basis was received from the Government, $40,000 from the Forgotten People Appeal, and the rest made up from donations. Opened by the  Mayor of Box Hill, Cr E. O. Lundgren on Sunday the 2nd of July 1967[19]


Organisational aspects (BSL) 

The Chaplain, Father Peter Hollingworth, received funding from an anonymous donor to undertake a six-month overseas study tour with his family, visiting Indonesia, India, Israel, Western Europe, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.  [20]  Reports were published in The Brotherhood News. [21] 


Building extensions were completed at the Brotherhood’s Fitzroy headquarters to allow further office space along with extensions to the Creative Leisure Centre.  Brotherhood News, March 1967. [22]


The Annual Staff Conference was told that the Brotherhood had grown from "6 or 7 to 160" and though it had become such a large organisation, 98% of funds still came from public support, with most donations being small ones in either cash or goods.  [23]


Meet the Brotherhood Week was held from 25 June to 2 July.  [24] 


First Public Relations Officer appointed (March) [25][]


BSL Executive consisted of "the Director, Associate Director, Secretary, Chaplain, Director of Research & Social Action and the Manager of St Laurence Park, Lara.  ... The Social Service Bureau is not represented at (their meetings) except when matters of policy involving the Bureau are discussed.  The Senior Social Worker has her own 'direct line' to the Director." [26][]


The Brotherhood’s 37th Foundation Festival was celebrated at Christ Church, South Yarra on 10 December with Father Peter Hollingworth, recently returned from his study tour, as preacher.  [27] 


People with disabilities 

The BSL agreed to make Morven available to the Sunbury Mental Hospital for a holiday for 60 male patients (in three groups of 20), who were housed under canvas. [28]    


Presentations & Publications 

Publication of Isobel. R. Carter’s God and Three Shillings, The Story of the Brotherhood of St Laurence.  Read some of the reviews here.   [29] 


Publication of High Living: A Study of Family Life in Flats (Anne Stevenson, Elaine Martin & Judith O'Neil). An over view appeared in Brotherhood news in 1967[30] 

Financial focus on existing benefits, paper for Resources and Living Standards Convention, Janet Paterson, 08/04/1967

Home Environment and Education, paper delivered to Education Seminar at Collingwood Town Hall on Education Problems of the Inner Suburban Schools, by Rosemary Nairn, 17/09/1967

Poverty in an affluent society, a paper delivered to seminar by Janet Paterson, 22/04/1967

Notes prepared for a panel in "Social Isolation" at Australian Association of Social Workers Victorian branch meeting, by Anne Stevenson, August 1967

Report to the Brotherhood of St Laurence by the Chaplain Revd P Hollingworth after his visit overseas (20th March 1967 - 12th September 1967)

Social work and the mass communication media techniques, as illustrated through the activities of the Victorian Branch of the Australian Association of Social workers,  paper delivered at conference by Janet Paterson, August 1967

Some social considerations on the development of housing, especially for families on low incomes, paper presented to a forum on "Building in 1980" School of Architecture and Building, University of Melbourne, 27/06/1967, by Anne Stevenson, Social Worker, Brotherhood of St Laurence.

Survey of the Carlton Estate youth population, conducted by the Brotherhood of St Laurence Youth and Children's Department, July 1967

Why is there to be a hanging? A consideration of the proposed execution of Ronald Joseph Ryan, by The Rev G Kennedy Tucker, Rt Rev GT Sambell, David Scott, Janet Paterson, 1967



Young People 

A group of 18 students from Monash, La Trobe and Melbourne Universities were introduced to the needs of handicapped people at a special live-in course (Pressure cooker week) sponsored by the BSL at Morven (Mornington) during the May vacation.  Subjects studied were "the aged, retarded children, physically handicapped adults and children, delinquent youth and poverty and social action".  The course included visits to relevant organisations and institutions where, as far as possible, students were involved in the day’s activities. [31]


Nine students from Coburg Teacher’s College chose the Brotherhood as the venue for their first six months of elective studies and became involved in the Coolibah Club and the Salvage Division.  [32]


Mobile Adventure Camps introduced into the BSL's youth program with the purchase of a Land Rover and mobile camping equipment. Copy of advertisement for the scheme[33]



Foundation of the Avalon Community by Rev Vernon Cohen, with the encouragement of Archbishop Frank Woods, on the property owned by the BSL at Avalon 

[34]  [35]

A letter from Vernon Cohen to Michael Challen on the 30th anniversary of the Avalon Community (1993).

Commentary from Catholic Seminarians on a visit to the Avalon Community.



Visitors to this page:


  1. The Brotherhood News December 1966 (No.175) p.2; The Brotherhood News March 1967 (No.176) p.6
  2. "Brotherhood opens Clinic", The Brotherhood News September 1967 (No.178) p.5 [Family_Planning_Clinic_Opens_1967-7.pdf]. " A necessary part of life", Brotherhood Action December 1972 (No.199) p.12
  3. BSL Annual Report 1967-1968 p.8. See Janet Paterson in Catherine Magree (ed.) Looking forward, looking back: The Brotherhood’s role in changing views of poverty 1993 pp.6-7 (BSL Library 362.506094 BRO). See also draft letter over name of Alison McClelland, Director - Social Policy & Research (18 March 1993) [McClelland_Draft_re_ClosureFamilyPlanningClinics_1993-3-18.pdf]
  4. The Brotherhood News March 1967 (No.176) pp.1-2, 4. [Tucker_on_Hanging_1967-3.pdf]
  5. "Thrilling Challenge", The Brotherhood News September 1967 (No.178) p.1 [Tucker_re_winning_the_war_on_slums_1967-9.pdf]
  6. "Unexpected publicity", The Brotherhood News September 1967 (No.178) p.7 [The_BSL_&_Truth_Newspaper_1967-9.pdf]
  7. The Brotherhood News March 1968 (No.180) p.4
  8. Helen M. Hughes "A Survey of Anglican Social Work Agencies", The Church of England Social Service Advisory Council 1967. For sections of particular relevance to the BSL see pp. 1-3, 5, 9-10, 17, 24-25, 28, 30-33, 36-37, 40-42, 51-53. A paper copy of the report is in the BSL Library at 361.75 HUG (B1693). Digital copy is in four files - [Hughes_AnglicanSocWelfareAgencies_section1_1967.pdf] [Hughes_AnglicanSocWelfareAgencies_section2_1967.pdf] [Hughes_AnglicanSocWelfareAgencies_section3_1967.pdf] [Hughes_AnglicanSocWelfareAgencies_section4_1967.pdf]
  9. The Brotherhood News June 1967 (No.177) p.2
  10. The Brotherhood News September 1967 (No.178) pp.7-8
  11. The Brotherhood News December 1967 (No.179) p.7
  12. Helen M. Hughes "A Survey of Anglican Social Work Agencies", The Church of England Social Service Advisory Council 1967, Pt.1 p.24 [Hughes_AnglicanSocWelfareAgencies_section2_1967.pdf]
  13. The Brotherhood News March 1968 (No.180) p.6 and The Brotherhood News December 1968 (No.183) p.2
  14. Sir Edmund Herring, Sunday 12 November. Dame Mabel Herring planted a native tree in the courtyard to mark the occasion. The Brotherhood News December 1967 (No.179) p.6. See also (19 Feb 2009)
  15. Photo from BSL Library photo collection (10.5.57)
  16. Building commenced in November having been delayed due to lack of finance. The Brotherhood News June 1967 (No.177) p.5 and The Brotherhood News December 1966 (No.175) p.8
  17. The Brotherhood News June 1967 (No.177) p.5
  18. BSL Annual Report 1965-1966 p.11. See also Brotherhood Action August 1983 (No.248) p.4 (no numbering).
  19. Brotherhood News, June 1967 p4: Meet the Brotherhood week program
  20. The Brotherhood News March 1967 (No.176) p.2
  21. "Father Peter in Asia", The Brotherhood News, June 1967 (No.176) p.2; "Social Problems in Asia", The Brotherhood News, September 1967 (No.177) p.6; "Lay Training abroad", The Brotherhood News, December 1967 (No.178) pp.4-5
  22. The Brotherhood News March 1967 (No.176) p.3 [BSL_Headquarters_Expansion_1967-3.pdf] Also The Brotherhood News June 1967 (No.177) p.3. The Creative Leisure Centre was opened by the Minister for Housing, Mr Meagher on 28 June.
  23. The Brotherhood News June 1967 (No.177) p.2
  24. The Brotherhood News June 1967 (No.177) pp.3-4 [Meet_the_Brotherhood_Week_1967-6.pdf]
  25. Helen M. Hughes "A Survey of Anglican Social Work Agencies", The Church of England Social Service Advisory Council 1967, Pt.1 p.5 [Hughes_AnglicanSocWelfareAgencies_section1_1967.pdf]
  26. Helen M. Hughes "A Survey of Anglican Social Work Agencies", The Church of England Social Service Advisory Council 1967, Pt.1 p.5 [Hughes_AnglicanSocWelfareAgencies_section1_1967.pdf]
  27. The Brotherhood News December 1967 (No.179) p.2
  28. The Brotherhood News June 1967 (No.177) p.3
  29. I.R. Carter "God and Three Shillings: The Story of the Brotherhood of St Laurence", Lansdowne Press, 1967 (BSL Library 361.75 CAR) For a review see "Stirring story of Crusade", The Brotherhood News March 1968 (No.180) p.3 [Stirring_story_of_Crusade.pdf]
  30. Anne Stevenson, Elaine Martin & Judith O'Neil, "High living : a study of family life in flats" (BSL Library 301.54 STE) The study was carried out on the Victorian Housing Commission Hotham Estate, North Melbourne. See a review in The Brotherhood News December 1967 (No.179) pp.6-7 and the article by Judith O’Neill "Results of Flat Survey", The Brotherhood News June 1968 (No.181) p.5 [Results_of_Flats_Survey_1968-6.pdf]
  31. The Brotherhood News June 1967 (No.177) p.2 [Pressure_Cooker_Week_1997-5.pdf]
  32. "Girls help BSL", The Brotherhood News June 1967 (No.177) p.5
  33. For a report on the first three camps see "Adventure Camps", The Brotherhood News September (No.178) p.5 [Adventure_Camps_1967-9.pdf]. Also "The latest in holiday camp plans", Brotherhood Action December 1969 (No.187) p.4. See also the advertisement from Brotherhood Action September 1970 (No.190) p.12 [BSL_Mobile_Camps_Advt_1970-9.pdf].
  34. See [Cohen_to_Challen_re_BSL_History_1993.pdf]. Also see "New life begins for Avalon", The Brotherhood News December 1966 (No.175) p.4 [Avalon_Community_Begins_1967-1.pdf]
  35. From Gail Anne Ball, "The Best Kept Secret in the Church: The Religious Life for Women in Australian Anglicanism, 1892-1995", PhD Thesis, University of Sydney, 2000 pp.312-313: "In the Communities of Presence there were several Anglican groups. They were all residential and committed to hospitality, spiritual renewal and healing. In other words, their outreach was similar to the vowed religious communities but most have taken a position critical of the Church in varying degrees. One such venture that was highly successful for 25 years was the Avalon Community at Lara on Corio Bay near Melbourne. It was founded in 1967 by the Rev. Vernon Cohen with the encouragement of Archbishop Frank Woods in a property provided by the Brotherhood of St Laurence. The aim of this group was to provide a home for varying periods for the mental, physical and spiritual renewal of those in need. This healing community was assisted by donations from parishes and individual and the guests were expected to share the work and pay reasonable board. Members of the Avalon community were men or women under 45, married or single, of different denominations and emotionally and physically strong. Outside employment was not undertaken and everything was shared in common with a small individual weekly allowance allocated. While a communal prayer life was shared, based on the Anglican liturgy, vows were not taken and the community met as a Chapter every week. The Rule was "to live God with one's whole life and to live and care for fellow men". By 1979 over 10,000 guests had shared the life for shorter or longer periods and in the silver anniversary year [1992] it was reported that there had been 15,000 guests over a three-year period. At that stage there were six community members but the group ceased to exist over the next few years."

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