The predecessor of Edmund Rice Foundation (Australia) was the Christian Brothers’ Foundation for Charitable Works (CBFCW), which was established in 1987 in the Christian Brothers’ former St Patrick’s Province, Australia (Victoria & Tasmania). CBFCW was mandated to support St Patrick’s Province’s domestic outreach to disadvantaged children and youth. CBFCW also had responsibility for supporting St Patrick’s Province’s outreach in East Africa, which was pioneered by the Province in the late 1980s. Eventually, support for East Africa became CBFCW’s major focus over the subsequent 20 years.

The Christian Brothers’ Oceania Province was formed in 2007 from the amalgamation of the former Australian Provinces, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea Region. To enable the Foundation to respond to the expanded scope of the new Oceania Province a major restructure was undertaken to establish the Foundation as a national entity across Australia. Hence, in late 2011, Edmund Rice Foundation (Australia) (ERFA) was gazetted as a company limited by guarantee. During 2012 ERFA was granted authority for the trusteeship of the relevant Foundation overseas aid and domestic aid funds. The first Annual General Meeting of ERFA was held in late 2012.

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