The Congregation of Christian Brothers is a world wide religious community within the Catholic Church that was founded by the Irish missionary and teacher Edmund Rice (1762-1844) in 1802. Their main focus is social justice and the evangelisation and education of youth and they have run hundreds of schools and institutions across the world.
The Christian Brothers first attempted to conduct their mission in Sydney in 1842, but left almost immediately. They returned to start schools in Melbourne in 1869, then established a school in Balmain in 1887. They became leading providers of Catholic education and teacher training across Australia, often working in areas suffering social disadvantage.
The Christian Brothers provinces of Australia, New Zealand, Timor Leste and Papua New Guinea were formed into one province, Oceania, in 2007. A number of individual members of the Christian Brothers in Australia have, in recent years, been convicted of sexual and other forms of assault against children in their care.