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Br Frank O'Shea

inducted 2009 Service

About Br Frank O'Shea

In 1971, education was the furthest thing from Frank O'Shea's mind as he began work both on his family's farm and around Warrnambool as an apprentice plumber. Something that was always on his mind was his relationship with God and the positive role modelling he witnessed by the Christian Brothers at CBC Warnambool. In 1972, Frank travelled to Melbourne to enter the Christian Brothers and a life that would take him around the world changing people's minds and hearts. The Christian Brothers encouraged Frank to complete a Diploma of Teaching. It was during his time teaching at Parade College in Bundoora and studying a Bachelor of Science in Human Movement that Frank and Brother Tim Bilston instigated the Edmund Rice Camps. These camps provide an opportunity for children from disadvantaged backgrounds to experience positive role modelling and a break from difficult lives. The Edmund Rice Camps began operating throughout Australia as well as Europe, New Zealand, and Africa.

For ten years Frank worked with the people of Tonga to provide education and life opportunities. While he was there he represented Tonga in the South Pacific Games in cricket and was the national coach of the rowing team. Frank then travelled to Ireland where he undertook a year of study before becoming Principal of a small school in a village in Tanzania. Over thirteen years Frank and the Brothers who journeyed with him built a basic secondary school of 350 students into a campus of 1,200 students, providing quality education, accommodation and opportunities for students around the village and around Tanzania. Frank's real passion was in humanizing what was really a brutal and often very discriminating education system that prided itself on high standards at the expense of huge failure rates. Frank challenged educational practices, introduced practical electives, implemented sustainable schooling and provided opportunities for international volunteers and schools to journey with students and families as they were removed from the shackles of poverty. During this time Frank became a dual international cricket player when he represented Tanzania in the African Cricket Tournament in 1998.

In 2008 Frank completed his Masters in Educational Leadership and continued to challenge the Edmund Rice Network with his thought provoking reflections on life and God while working with a team of Brothers in Sudan, liaising with the local community to discern the needs of that community. Frank committed to living life in the tradition of Edmund Rice and followed his dedication to empowering the poor and recognising the needs of youth., providing quality education and opportunities for those in need.