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Our Mission

Provide a safe and nurturing environment delivering growth opportunities for those in our community experiencing adversity.

We work in close partnership with the community to deliver camps and other programs that transform lives, while providing development opportunities for our valued volunteers.

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Our Values

​Partnership

We work in partnership for better outcomes

Compassion

We show compassion for our participants, volunteers and staff

Inclusion

We create a culture of warmth and belonging where everyone is welcome

Leadership

We lead with passion and commitment to empower others

Community

We make a positive contribution to our community

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Our Vision

A fair and just society where children, young people and families flourish, grow and connect.

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Our Aims

​Aim 1

To create a positive environment and community within our organisation that is supportive, nurturing, welcoming, fun, safe and inclusive; that is founded upon respect, trust and acceptance of others.

Aim 2

To foster appropriate and positive interactions that enable genuine and respectful relationships.

Aim 3

To provide life enriching intensive experiences that enhance personal

well-being, promote growth, develop new skills and allows risk taking in a supportive environment.

Aim 4

To equip our staff and volunteers with skills, knowledge, experiences, opportunities and support to encourage their development as leaders within our organisation and the wider community.

Aim 5

To engage our staff and volunteers in reflective practices that enhances self-awareness and understanding of our effect on others.

Aim 6

To promote the development of a social conscience that is inclusive of empathy, compassion, insight and knowledge.

Aim 7

To actively engage in processes that seeks to inform continuous improvement.

Edmund Rice Camps Victoria provide recreational camps and programs for children, adolescents and families, experiencing adversity, marginalisation and social isolation in the community.

Guided and inspired by the life of founder Edmund Ignatius Rice, it is our priority to encourage sustainable change and development within communities, by promoting self-esteem and a sense of purpose and achievement in every child, adolescent and adult that attends our programs.

We are also committed to the personal growth and development of all young adult volunteers, who serve as friends and mentors to those in our care.

Our History

Edmund Rice Camps, today an international volunteer organisation, had humble beginnings at a secondary school in suburban Melbourne. In January 1981, a small group of Christian Brothers and students from Parade College, Bundoora, hosted two holiday camps on the grounds of their College. These camps - one for Vietnamese refugees and the other for Melbourne children in need of a holiday - were a great success. Throughout the rest of the 1980s, ‘the Camps’ began to attract increasing numbers of young volunteers every summer, keen to spend a week with other young people that were in need of some support and friendship.

 

From that time onwards, Edmund Rice Camps became a regular school holiday fixture, growing to meet the needs of marginalised people in an ever-changing society.

Edmund Rice Camps Today

Today, Edmund Rice Camps maintain the core values and premise of founder Edmund Rice, by providing quality, mutually enriching programs that are delivered by inspired staff and volunteers.

 

January 2021 will mark 40 years since Edmund Rice Camps began in Melbourne. Stay up to date via our newsletter, and social media channels, for more info on the ways we plan to celebrate.
 

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Edmund Ignatius Rice

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Edmund Rice was born in Ireland in the 1700s. In his mid-twenties, Edmund fell in love, was married and became a father to Mary. Edmund was a successful businessman, and was blessed with wealth and happiness.
 

However, tragedy changed Edmund’s life: Edmund’s wife died in unfortunate circumstances. In his deep despair, Eddie’s eyes were opened to the poverty and injustice in his home town. He felt compelled to make a difference, becoming a missionary and educationalist of children who were disadvantaged and opening a school for the poor and homeless children in his town of Waterford, Ireland. Eddie gave everything he had—his money and his life—to help others, especially children. Other men joined Edmund in his mission, and these men became known as the Christian Brothers and their work spread throughout the world.

We draw inspiration for our work from Edmund Rice. Edmund Rice dreamed of breaking the cycle of exclusion and oppression by bringing education and, more importantly, hope to the hopeless. His efforts were geared towards empowering children to have faith in themselves and participate in society to their fullest potential.

Balloon Symbolism

Our balloon logo represents a few things about us: 

  • Edmund Rice Camps help kids and families rise above their challenges

  • We offer volunteers the chance to view their lives from a new perspective

  • The different shapes and colours are the variety of people we engage with; people from all walks of life

  • The bright colours symbolise fun, vibrancy, and the energy on our camps
     

Since its inception in Melbourne in 1981, Edmund Rice Camps have been established in every state in Australia, New Zealand and in various forms around the world. To see what's happening in the Oceania region head to our national website

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Our Staff

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Suzannah Siddles

Executive Officer
 

  • Grants and partnerships

  • Donations and fundraising

  • Strategic Direction

  • Compliance and Governance

(03) 8359 0145

0416 105 345

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Amy

Hills

Programs Officer
 

  • Volunteer management & training

  • Referrals & program placements

  • Program development & delivery

(03) 8359 0143

0408 454 156

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Our organisation

Edmund Rice Camps Victoria operates as an entity of Edmund Rice Ministries Oceania (ERMO) was established in 2018 to have oversight of the numerous ministries around Oceania that, inspired by the life and example of Blessed Edmund Rice, bringing hope and liberation to those experiencing disadvantage and adversity.

In 2019, Edmund Rice Camps Victoria became an entity of Edmund Rice Services Ltd (ERSL), governed by Edmund Rice Ministries Oceania. 

Edmund Rice Camps Victoria now operates under ERSL, delivering it's own Programs supported by an Advisory Board providing guidance in the delivery of Edmund Rice Camps Victoria Mission, Strategy and Operations.

meet Our LOCAL Advisory council

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ANTHONY RAMSAY - BOARD CHAIR

Anthony's first involvement with Edmund Rice Camps was in 1985. He volunteered for many years and was extensively involved in Edmund Rice Camps Victoria.  He has maintained involvement either directly through various roles including a stint on the early Committee of Management post incorporation or via his daughter who has been camping almost her entire life.  Anthony rejoined the Board in 2019 and became Board Chair soon after.

Anthony’s career has spanned both the private and public sectors and, in this time, he has gained considerable experience working with volunteer organisations in particular within emergency services as both a volunteer and staff member. Anthony’s expertise includes Project and Program Management, Vendor Management and he has over 25 years of Infrastructure Management experience as a C Level Manager leading Departments and large scale outsourcing arrangements. 

Anthony is committed to ensuring that he uses his skills and experience to help Volunteer Organisations build their Organisational capability and Governance in order that they can continue to do their valuable work. Anthony is also a trustee of the CFA Brigades Trust.

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IAN GREENLEY - DEPUTY CHAIR

Ian spent his whole working life in the UK, as a secondary school teacher in a wide range of schools, from the most privileged to the most socially disadvantaged, completing his service as the Principal of a co-educational Anglican Upper School, for 1200 students aged 14 to 18 years of age, in 2006. He moved into Principal Consultancy, initially in the UK and then from 2013 in Australia, until the end of 2018, when he retired from paid employment.  Recent years have seen him involved in a variety of activities in the charity, not for profit, sector, both as a Board Member and at an operational level.

 

Edmund Rice Ministries Oceania invited Ian to join the Edmund Rice Camps Victoria Board in 2019, to support the transition to an Advisory Board status. 

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GEORGIA HARRIS - SECRETARY

Georgia has a degree in Social Science Youth Work and has been fortunate enough to work with a variety of young people from Indigenous Youth both here in Victoria but also Queensland to working with young people across the Edmund Rice Schools Network to being fortunate enough to spend two summers working at a camp in Maine, USA.

Georgia’s connection to the Edmund Rice Network is through her two years as the Coordinator of the Youth Ministry Team at Amberley, volunteering with Edmund Rice Camps and two years volunteering with the Edmund Rice Network in Murgon/Cherbourg QLD, an Indigenous Community located 3 hours North West of Brisbane. Since returning to Victoria Georgia worked as a House Parent for Worawa Aboriginal College and then as the Indigenous Community Links Coordinator at Mullum Mullum Indigenous Gathering Place. 

 

For the past three years Georgia has been a Student Advocate for the Deakin University Student Associations, supporting and advocating for students who are struggling at University.

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GUY STEELE - TREASURER

Guy joined the Board in January 2016 and is currently Chair of the Risk, Audit and Finance Committee. Qualified as a Chartered Accountant, Guy has worked in a number of senior Finance and business roles in a career spanning over 25 years.

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HEELA ARSALA

Heela joined the Board in 2019. As a Senior Commercial Lawyer, she thrives on helping organizations achieve their business objectives and growth through being a trusted legal and business advisor, with a collaborative and solution focused approach. She has a strong customer/ client focus and enjoys working with clients to formulate strategies and resolve complex business and legal challenges.  She has spent the last decade working in a top - tier private practice and in senior in-house legal roles, most recently working as Legal Counsel at Austin Health Hospital. 

 

She feels strongly about the work done by Edmund Rice Camps Victoria, in providing opportunities and life skills to encourage and equip children and families impacted by social and financial disadvantage.  Heela also considers that the positive mentoring relationships fostered by camp experiences are essential for the mutual development of the volunteers and attendees of the camps.   She is excited to join in and continue the amazing work of Edmund Rice Camps Victoria. 

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AARON LEWICKI

Aaron joined the Board in June 2019. He has volunteered with Edmund Rice Camps for over 10 years and has worked with a number of committees throughout this time, most recently convening the Edmund Rice Camps Victoria Trivia Committee. 

 

He currently works as Assistant Dean of Faith and Mission for Edmund Rice School, St Kevin’s College. Aaron is delighted with the opportunity to help camps move in a positive direction and to be working with so many dedicated volunteers and staff. 

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Sarah pilling

Sarah joined the Advisory Council in 2021.  Sarah became a Chartered Accountant, working for both KPMG and PwC before launching an accounting practice with a colleague.   Bramble and Briar was founded on providing technology and operational advisory services to SME businesses.  

Seeing the transformative work that volunteers do with children experiencing adversity, Sarah is proud to be able to contribute in a meaningful way to Edmund Rice camps.