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.
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.
Edmund Ignatius Rice
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.
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.