Graeme Gregory (1932 – 1999)
Graeme Gregory circa 1980s. Courtesy of Berry Street.
By the time he returned to Melbourne in 1951 from a two-year working holiday in England, Graeme had decided to become a Methodist minister but wanted to complete one year of university before he began theological training. Unsure of what course to apply for, he studied the University Course Handbooks, and discovered social work. Deciding it would fit well with his planned career as a minister, in 1952 he enrolled in the Diploma of Social Studies at The University of Melbourne. In 1957 he was appointed minister to a parish in Richmond, and became an Honorary Probation Officer, his first “social work” experience. In 1960 he transferred to a parish in Tasmania, and in 1964 returned to Victoria and began what he describes as “social work as his primary profession” when he was appointed part-time chaplain to the Youth Welfare Division of the Social Welfare Branch, and part-time in the child care department of the Methodist church, where he worked in its adoption agency.
In 1966 Graeme became full-time Principal Officer for Adoptions in the Methodist Department of Child Care, the Church’s registered adoption agency, consolidating his interest in child welfare and adoption practice. Feeling the need for a deeper understanding of social welfare administration, in 1971 Graeme enrolled in the social work program at the University of Michigan where he completed his MSW with specializations in social policy and administration. On his return from the USA in 1972 he became Director of the Methodist Child Care Department, later becoming Executive Director of Child Care Services of the Methodist and Presbyterian Churches, a position he retained during the processes of union between the two churches that occurred in 1976.
In 1978 Graeme became Executive Officer of the Child and Family Welfare Council of Australia, later the Children’s Bureau of Australia, and when its funding ceased in 1980, worked as a consultant to child welfare agencies for two years before becoming Director of Berry Street Child and Family Care for twelve years. He was then seconded to Deakin University Human Services Australia, the position he held when the interview took place on 26 August 1996.
Transcript of Interview
Audio of Interview
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