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What We Do

ERCS delivers positive community impact through our programs, activities and initiatives, with a focus on young people.  

We what do is grouped into three areas – all supporting vulnerable children, their families and communities. We operate across three Communities of Practice – Child & Youth Development, Community Development, and Justice and Advocacy.

Child & Youth Development

ERCS supports children, young people and families experiencing significant and complex vulnerability. We provide a variety of group-based recreational programs for youth, including week-long and weekend camps and follow up day youth enrichment programs. Activities centre on building resilience, developing self-esteem and self-worth and creating positive social connections.

Our camps are led by young adult volunteers who plan and deliver empowering youth development programs in a safe, fun and supportive environment. Our 1:1 ratio of children to volunteers enables us to provide intensive support and enrichment for all our participants – each with their own abilities, needs and circumstances. 

Community Development

ERCS seeks to improve the lives of children, families and communities experiencing vulnerability. We do this by supporting children and young people in their education and providing them with access to free learning support. We believe that in supporting the education of young people, they will be encouraged to develop their full potential.

We also develop partnerships with local community organisations and neighbourhoods to deliver community services. We believe in the value of connecting people, strengthening the capacities of community members and having an early intervention response to social concerns. We do this by providing a range of programs and activities including mountain bike riding, high and low ropes challenge courses, archery, art, bush cooking, food growing and more.

Advocacy & Social Justice

The Edmund Rice Centre for Justice & Community Education focuses on the rights of:

  • First Nations Peoples
  • Refugees and People seeking asylum
  • Peoples of Oceania, especially those struggling for climate justice

In each of these areas we engage in:

  • Research into the causes of poverty and injustice and what needs to be done to deliver justice
  • Education in justice and advocacy to raise awareness of the needs of those made excluded and how change in favour of the poor can be promoted and realised
  • Advocacy with those made poor, to challenge the power structures that oppress and to promote informed public policy and public awareness to deliver justice
  • Networks and partnership building with Indigenous Peoples, refugees and asylum seekers, Pacific Islanders (especially in Kiribati and Tuvalu) and other relevant organisations to work collaboratively to deliver justice. 
Do you know a young person who needs support?

Change a child’s future today! Refer a child to our Child and Youth programs, where they’ll gain vital social and emotional skills, build self-esteem, and form positive relationships. Together, we can help them thrive and become change-makers in their communities. Make a referral now!

Are You Ready to Connect to Your Community?

Help transform communities for the better!  We rely on volunteers to help run our programs and build communities together. 

Originally established in Melbourne in the early 1980s, to deliver holiday camp programs for children of recently arrived refugees. Today, Edmund Rice Community Services (ERCS) has grown to operations in five states delivering over 40 programs, 6,590 participants and 1,053 volunteers each year.