St Laurence’s College and 39 other schools in Australia operate within a framework of common values and are linked through their commitment to the Charter for Catholic Schools in the Edmund Rice Tradition.

The Edmund Rice charism as the foundation of our College

Edmund Rice: A man of Faith and Action

Core to the life of Blessed Edmund Rice was his faith, his vocation was firmly fixed on the role that Jesus played in showing us how to live. Several times a day, he would recite the phrase 'Live Jesus in our Hearts Forever', always ensuring that this was the focus. 

As a man of faith, he had a vision for a world that was inclusive of all. This manifested itself in his life through his compassionate engagement with others, particularly the poor and vulnerable. 

Following tragedy in his life, through prayer, he discerned a way forward that was to see him develop an educational system that sought to ‘raise people up’ in society, advocating for all so that they could participate fully in the world in which they lived. His legacy of educating young people to Live Jesus in their hearts so as to be compassionate advocates for others, is one of the cornerstones of education at St Laurence’s College as articulated in the Charter for Catholic Schools in the Edmund Rice Tradition. 

The Icon (pictured right), commissioned in the 1980s by the Christian Brothers, shows Desmond Kyne’s interpretation of Edmund Rice, his faith, his love, his achievements and his greatness. 

Edmund Rice Education Australia

St Laurence’s College and over 50 schools and Flexible Learning Centres form the network known as Edmund Rice Education Australia (EREA) operating within a framework of common values linked through a commitment to the Charter for Catholic Schools in the Edmund Rice Tradition.

Established in October 2007, EREA was a significant outcome of deliberations following the Christian Brothers International Congregation Chapter of 2002, that acknowledged the importance of the Mission of the Christian Brothers through education and other ministries. This led to the establishment of two new project groups, the National Planning Committee for Schools Governance and Shaping our Future Committee, Oceania.

In 2006, as a result of the work of these two groups, the Christian Brothers decided to amalgamate separate Christian Brothers Provinces in Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea to form the Oceania Province, focusing on the social justice mission of the Christian Brothers. Separately, Edmund Rice Education Australia was established with the intention of independently implementing the educational mission of the Christian Brothers.

Today the Edmund Rice Education Australia Board, through a National Executive based in Richmond Melbourne, governs these schools and flexible learning centres nationally. 

Click here to learn more about the EREA. 

The Charter

EREA schools strive to offer a liberating education, based on a gospel spirituality, within an inclusive community committed to justice and solidarity.

A renewed Charter for the EREA network was launched in September 2017. This Charter assists each school to develop an identity as a Catholic School in the Edmund Rice Tradition by providing a guide for the authentic and practical expression of Edmund Rice charism.

This is articulated as four touchstones: Liberating Education, Gospel Spiritualty, Inclusive Community and Justice and Solidarity. In this way, schools aspire to share in the prophetic mission of the Catholic Church to continue the work of Jesus and bring good news to the poor.

Click here to view the renewed Charter document.


Liberating Education
We open hearts and minds, through quality teaching and learning experiences, so that through critical reflection and engagement each person is hope-filled and free to build a better world for all.

Inclusive Community
Our community is accepting and welcoming, fostering right relationship and committed to the common good.

Gospel Spirituality
We invite all people into the story of Jesus and strive to make his message of compassion, justice and peace a living reality within our community.

Justice and Solidarity
We are committed to justice and peace for all, grounded in a spirituality of action and reflection that calls us to stand in solidarity with those who are marginalised and the Earth itself.

Commitment to Reconciliation

We acknowledge the Aboriginal Peoples as the Traditional Owners of the Countrys on which our schools and offices are located. We also acknowledge the Torres Strait Islander Peoples as the Traditional Owners of the Torres Strait Islands.

We pay our respects to Ancestors, Elders and leaders of the future, as well as to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander members of the EREA community.

Edmund Rice Education Australia values the spiritual connectedness and relatedness to Country and to all living systems of the world’s oldest, continuous living cultures – Sovereign Countrys never ceded.

We value Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Knowings, and recognise and honour their stories, cultures and achievements, as we walk together for mutual liberation and a truth-telling history for all Australians. In this spirit, we are accepting the invitation contained in the Uluru Statement from the Heart to listen to the First Peoples of Australia and to work together for reconciliation, justice, equity and healing.

Click here to discover more about our Commitment to Reconciliation