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Brendan Keilar

inducted 2010 Service

About Brendan Keilar


Brendan Keilar was known at CBC as a great sportsman - an athlete, footballer, cricketer and sports captain. He played football for the College team, and also with St John's and the Warrnambool Football Club and he was also a equally good cricketer, playing for West Warrnambool.

The Principal of CBC described Brendan as "an outstanding student, a person of high principle and above average academic success."

Brendan went on to study Law/Commerce at the University of Melbourne, residing at St Hilda's College and playing with distinction for the Uni Blacks in A and B Grade and winning a Best and Fairest in 1985. This is only one of many sporting awards that Brendan received.

His professional life encompassed the legal firms of Lillee Brereton, Molomby and Molomby and Norton Gledhill, where he became a partner. Brendan was highly regarded as an expert property lawyer by the legal fraternity and within the property and property development industries, and was also highly regarded by his colleagues and clients.

Brendan was a strong family man who wanted to raise his three young children, with his wife Alice, in the same way that he was raised - in a very loving environment and with a great sense of freedom.

On the morning of June 18th, 2007 while he was walking to work, Brendan saw a woman being assaulted and he went to her assistance. Brendan and another man walked towards the couple and he tried to negotiate the woman's release. Although the unfolding scene was tense and unpredictable, Brendan remained at the scene, trying to pacify the offender. Tragically, events became desperate, and the man pulled a concealed handgun from his pocket and fired a fatal shot at directly at Brendan, and also shot at the other man and the woman.

Brendan's final actions were entirely consistent with the manner in which he lived his life. He would never have been able to ignore what he saw happening in William Street that morning without feeling he was a party to it. He would have thought of his own actions as doing what was right rather than an heroic act. Others saw it differently though. Brendan was awarded a Royal Humane Society Bravery Medal and a Governor General's Bravery Award.

Just as cruelty and fear have a capacity to spread and affect others dreadfully, so too, can love and sacrifice spread and affect others. These can transform the world. Brendan died making the world a better place.