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Tribute to Brother Edmund Slattery - Ministerial Statement (+ 20th February, 2010)


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05/03/2010: Australia


Br. Edmund (Michael) Slattery, Province of Sydney
deceased on February 20th, 2010

On the day of Br Edmund’s funeral a special tribute was made to him in the Parliament of the State of New South Wales, by the Minister of Juvenile Justice. A wonderful tribute to his work with the poor and disadvantaged. Down you have the text from the record of Parliament (Hansard is attached).

Br. Ed was also awarded in January 2000: Br Ed was received as a Member of the Order of Australia. His citation reads: For service to youth, particularly as chaplain to the Reiby and Keelong Juvenile Justice Centres, and to the Marist Brothers.

Mr GRAHAM WEST (Campbelltown—Minister for Juvenile Justice)

It is with great sadness that I advise members of the passing of Brother Ed Slattery, OAM, a beloved chaplain in Juvenile Justice. Brother Ed made an outstanding contribution to the lives of the young people with whom he worked and their families, first, in education through the Marist Brothers—a community that he joined at the age of 14—and, later, when he became a chaplain to Juvenile Justice following a change-of-life crisis in the 1950s. He spent the past 25 years working with the State’s most vulnerable and difficult children. In the 1990s he was a chaplain at Reiby and Keelong juvenile justice centres.

He was an inspiration to everyone with whom he came into contact—staff, young people and their families. His commitment to young people went above and beyond his duties as a chaplain. He would often accompany young people to court and act as a support and character referee for them. According to staff, his word was gospel among the magistrates. Brother Ed became a chaplain when he retired from teaching at St Gregory’s College in Campbelltown. He was well known in the local community as a strong advocate for young people. He had great compassion for young people and treated troubled young people in the care of Juvenile Justice with dignity and respect. He was also highly respected by staff and often helped with training programs at staff centres.

Brother Ed was held in such high regard that a unit was named after him at Reiby Juvenile Justice Centre—the Slattery unit. Upon retirement from his chaplaincy, he went to work with Aboriginal people in Bourke and with the Torres Strait Islander community. Brother Ed will be sadly missed. Our sympathies go to his family—Robert, Rosalie, Gary, and the entire Marist Brothers community. It is fitting for a man who served all his life in the service of young people that Brother Lawrie spoke at his funeral today at St Gregory’s College. One of Ed’s favourite passages from Isaiah proclaims:
True justice is not achieved by crying out and raising your voice, but in caring for the crushed reeds and flickering flames.


This text epitomises Ed’s way of working with young people.
Mr ADRIAN PICCOLI (Murrumbidgee—Deputy Leader of The Nationals)

On behalf of the Opposition I join the Minister for Juvenile Justice in acknowledging the life of Brother Edmund Slattery. Both the Minister and I are graduates of St Gregory’s College, a Marist college in Campbelltown, and we had the pleasure of being educated by the Marist Brothers. There is no greater example of their work than that done by Brother Ed Slattery. Brother Ed worked in education and later in Juvenile Justice, which was a true example of the Christian faith in practice. I join the Government in acknowledging the life and the contribution of Brother Edmund Slattery.

I join the Minister for Juvenile Justice and the member for Murrumbidgee in acknowledging the life of Brother Edmund Slattery. I ask members and officers to rise as a mark of respect.
Members and officers of the House stood in their places as a mark of respect.

Hansard & Papers Page 48
Marist Seasons Summer pages 38-39


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