The tradition of chaplaincy within the organisation stems from the Brotherhood’s founder, Father Gerard Tucker, who was an Anglican priest. He believed that ministry should draw on and support people of diverse religious and cultural traditions, including those without any religious affiliation. 

Chaplaincy at the Brotherhood today takes an inclusive approach, mindful that spirituality can mean different things to different people. For some spirituality will be embedded in the practice of their religious faith, while for others it may be experienced through such things as being in the natural environment, expressions of generous humanity or a sense of mindfulness.

Led by Anglican laywoman, Debra Saffrey-Collins, the chaplaincy team provides pastoral care and support for people’s spiritual needs, and fosters the organisation’s commitment to an Australia free of poverty.

Promoting social justice

Education programs run by the chaplaincy team allow young people to learn about the issues of poverty, disadvantage, social inequality and injustice through practical experiences in the community.

Our goal is to engage, motivate and inspire the next generation to become involved in tackling these issues. Our Schools Engagement Program, now in its sixth year, connects with 30 schools from Melbourne and regional Victoria and continues to grow.

We are committed to the hands-on social justice learning that we provide through our Urban Camp project, with over 500 students from years 9 to 11 participating annually. We have also commenced structured day-long school visits to primary and Year 7 and 8 classes. In 2015 we will connect with close to 300 students to encourage their lifelong learning. 

Key outcomes for the Schools Engagement Program are recognition of the importance of caring for others, vocational development, understanding the value of working together for the common good, volunteering and long-term giving.

Schools engagement programs

Urban Camp

Urban Camp is a 3–5 day inner-city experience that allows secondary school students to discover the reasons for poverty and disadvantage first-hand through engaging with Brotherhood communities. Read more »

Social Justice Conferences

One-day Social Justice Conferences are offered to schools at junior, middle and senior levels and explore the reasons for poverty and disadvantage, allowing students to learn and discuss how they can contribute to solutions for these social issues. Read more »

Day programs and workshops 

Short workshops and day programs are available to schools and can be tailored to student interests and requirements. Read more

To find out more, visit our Schools engagement program page »

Parish partnerships

We build relationships through mutual respect and interest with Anglican parishes where people are concerned to care for their neighbours, and to be compassionate and active in bringing about change. 

The role of Archdeacon for Parish Partnerships in the diocese of Melbourne, jointly supported by the Brotherhood, brings together community agencies and parishes as partners to engage with local communities.

Gerard Tucker Oration

The Gerard Tucker Oration is held each year in Melbourne at the Christ Church South Yarra, the birthplace of the Brotherhood’s founder.

For Gerard Tucker, life was lived, with passion and perseverance”, said Archdeacon Jan Crombie delivering the 2016 Gerard Tucker Oration.

The Oration entitled Prophetic Passion: The Continuum in the Brotherhood of St Laurence was delivered on the evening of Sunday, August 21, at Christ Church, South Yarra, - the birthplace of the founder of the Brotherhood who was born in the Anglican vicarage of the church in 1855.

Speaking about Tucker’s passion and prophetic vision, Archdeacon Crombie went on to say: “Tucker’s prophetic passion {was} for the church to be known by its social actions, and perseverance with that church as he sought for that corresponding passion. Change in this world is wrought when the voice of the prophet is taken up with those with the passion to see the new vision become a reality. Gerard Tucker was that rare combination of both – prophetic in vision, and a driver to make it happen.”

Read the 2018 oration (PDF, 433KB) »

To see previous orations visit the Tucker Oration page.

Contact us

Brotherhood of St Laurence Chaplaincy
67 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, Victoria 3065

Debra Saffrey-Collins
General Manager, Chaplaincy and Diocesan Partnerships
Phone: (03) 9483 1110
Email: dsaffrey-collins(at)

Schools program
Annabel LuscombeSchools Engagement Coordinator
Phone: (03) 9483 2426
Email: annabel.luscombe(at)

The Brotherhood of St Laurence (BSL) acknowledges and understands its obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and recognises that all children and young people have the right to be treated with respect and care, and to be safe from all forms of abuse. BSL has a zero tolerance towards child abuse.
Read the official statement signed by the Executive Director.

The Brotherhood recognises the harm that family violence causes and that freedom from violence is a basic human right.
We will support our staff, volunteers, clients and the community if they experience violence.

Find out more about the work of the Brotherhood
Australian Aboriginal flag, a yellow circle on two horizontal black and red stripes

The Brotherhood of St Laurence acknowledges and recognises the Traditional Owners of the land upon which we live and work, and we pay our respects to their Elders both past and present.

Torres Strait Islander flag, an icon of a traditional headdress on blue, black and green stripes