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James Brasier (1918 - 2007)

Jim Braiser circa 1990s

After primary schooling at St Joan of Arc in Brighton, followed by four years at Hampton Higher Elementary School, Jim Brasier attended the Royal Australian Naval College at Flinders for four years, then worked for three years at the Navy Office in St Kilda Road. He then began eight years of study for the Roman Catholic priesthood at Corpus Christi College in Werribee before being ordained as a priest in 1947. After spending six years working in a number of parishes in Victoria, in 1953 he was directed by the Vicar-General of his order to take an Arts degree and a Diploma of Social Studies at The University of Melbourne so that he could join the staff at the Catholic Family Welfare Bureau as a qualified social worker. He began work at CFWB in 1956 while still studying, and remained there until 1981.

The Catholic Family Welfare Bureaux were established to work with families that were seeking care for their children by voluntarily placing them in orphanages. CFWB workers were to see if there were alternatives to institutional placement. These workers were very aware of the emotional needs of children, believing these were best met in a family setting, and the Bureaux acted very much as family counseling organizations. The CFWB also worked with nuns from the Broadmeadows Babies’ Home, interviewing prospective adoptive parents for the babies who had been born there. Under Jim’s directorship of the CFWB in Victoria, branches were established in Geelong, Footscray, Dandenong and Ringwood to make services more accessible to the community, and social workers were employed to work with single mothers, with relinquishing and adopting families, and in the Bureaux’ marriage counseling program. With an increase in the range of problems presented by people who approached the Bureaux for help, services became more diverse, and aged care programs and a telephone counseling service were introduced.

After his retirement from the CFWB in 1981, Jim returned to parish work until he retired from this in the mid-1990s, shortly before participating in the Oral History Project interview on 18 March 1998.

Transcript of Interview

Transcript

Audio of Interview

Audio File

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