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Home page - Brotherhood Timeline (redirected from Home page - Brotherhood timeline)

Page history last edited by Social Policy Library 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Welcome to The Brotherhood of St. Laurence (BSL) Timeline

67 Brunswick Street, Copyright - Brotherhood of St. Laurence


This Timeline offers a view of the history[1] of the Brotherhood of St. Laurence and was originally created by Michael Wilson, a Brotherhood staff member for over 20 years. The Timeline is continually updated by the Brotherhood's Social Policy Library staff and volunteers.  We welcome your comments. 


Overview of the early Brotherhood of St. Laurence


The Brotherhood of St. Laurence was founded on 8 December 1930 in the Anglican parish church of St Stephen in Adamstown, an industrial suburb of Newcastle. Its founder, Melbourne-born Father Gerard Kennedy Tucker, dreamed of building a dedicated group of like-minded men who would serve the church and the community.


The Brotherhood was established as a religious order of the Anglican Church, with members including priests and lay brothers.


In 1933 the Brotherhood of St. Laurence accepted the invitation of Father Maynard of St Peter’s Church Eastern Hill (who gained the approval of the Archbishop of Melbourne), and moved to St Mary's Mission in Fitzroy to help the poor in that neighbourhood. Young men who wished to serve others in the name of Christ came together as a community at St Mary’s and attended lectures at St Peter’s. They lived simply, studied, prayed and helped with social welfare activities.


At the height of the Great Depression, when some 30 per cent of the workforce were without jobs, the Brotherhood became more actively involved in helping the unemployed. Several hostels were set up to provide accommodation for homeless unemployed men and boys; and a settlement at Carrum Downs gave some men and their families simple shelter and a place to produce some of their own food.


After the 1939–45 War, much to Father Tucker’s disappointment, there was little interest in expanding the Brotherhood as a religious order. The last new member was admitted in 1944 and from 1947 till his death in 1974, Father Tucker himself was the sole remaining member.


While the religious order did not survive, the welfare work of the Brotherhood continued and expanded under Father Tucker’s leadership. In 1971, the Brotherhood of St. Laurence was incorporated by a Victorian Act of Parliament, The Brotherhood of St Laurence Incorporation Act (1971) - Act No. 8188/1971 (30 November 1971).


Since its inception in the early 1930s the Brotherhood has worked tirelessly to meet the needs of its disadvantaged community. 


Detailed information about the Brotherhood of St. Laurence is provided via the "themes" below.


BSL across decades


BSL from the 1930s. Categories are detailed for each chronological period. Categories are: Children & Families; Community Developments; Employment & Training; Fundraising & Resources; Material & Financial Support; Older People; Organisational aspects (BSL); People; People with disabilities; Presentations & Publications; Refugees & Settlement; Research and Policy and Young People.








An overview of the main areas of work the Brotherhood has been involved with including Children and Families; Young people; Older people; Community development, Housing and more.  Links to various campaigns, such as the abolition of slums and poverty are also included. 





Past and present staff (including Clergy, Board members, Executive members etc.), clients and volunteers. People of note who have helped those in need whilst working at the Brotherhood.






A geographical overview of Brotherhood activities.


Presentations & Publications 




Books, reports (including Annual Reports and Research reports), newsletters,  films, and the Sambell Oration.





The Brotherhood's organisational structure over time, leaders, organisational governance history tracking the growth in maturity and complexity of the Brotherhood of St. Laurence. 



  1. The Oxford English Dictionary, refers to history as a noun meaning "A written narrative constituting a continuous chronological record of important or public events (esp. in a particular place) or of a particular trend, institution, or person's life"

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