The Brotherhood of St Laurence celebrates 90 years, noting role in Goodstart creation

The Brotherhood of St Laurence celebrates 90 years, noting role in Goodstart creation

by Freya Lucas

December 11, 2020

Charity group The Brotherhood of St. Laurence (BSL) commemorated its 90th anniversary earlier this week, kicking off a year-long celebration.


In listing the many accomplishments of the past 90 years, BSL noted its role, alongside three other leading charities, in establishing Goodstart Early Learning, one of Australia’s largest not-for-profit social enterprises.


In honour of the occasion, BSL has launched a “history microsite” and is calling for stories from people in the community about their connection to the organisation.


Co-founded in 1930 by Father Gerard Kennedy Tucker, an Anglican priest, social reformer and activist, BSL has grown into one of Australia’s leading social justice organisations, and relocated from New South Wales to the Victorian suburb of Fitzroy in 1933 at the invitation of Melbourne’s Archbishop, to take charge of St Mary’s Mission.


Fitzroy was then one of Melbourne’s most depressed neighbourhoods and the organisation was actively involved in helping the unemployed and the poor.


From there BSL appointed its first social research officer in 1943 and today has the largest and oldest social policy research centre in a non-government welfare organisation in Australia, underpinned by a strong partnership with the University of Melbourne.


“Today and over the course of 2021, we will be marking BSL’s 90th anniversary by reflecting on our rich history and looking towards the future – an Australia free of poverty,” BSL Executive Director, Conny Lenneberg said. 


“BSL has contributed so much to the community and helped address poverty in Australia, but after 90 years, we still have to fight for fairness, justice and compassion – it’s a fight we’re determined to win,” Ms Lenneberg said.


Many activities and events will take place during 2021 to celebrate BSL’s 90th Anniversary. Relevant information can be found on the BSL website, here