Philip Freier

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Philip Freier
Anglican Archbishop of Melbourne
Primate of Australia
ChurchAnglican Church of Australia
In office2006–present (as archbishop)
2014–present (as primate)
PredecessorPeter Watson (as archbishop)
Phillip Aspinall (as primate)
Consecration1999 (bishop)
Rank2006 (archbishop)
Personal details
Birth namePhilip Leslie Freier
Born (1954-02-09) 9 February 1954 (age 65)
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
SpouseJoy née Launder
Previous postBishop of the Northern Territory
Insignia of ChStJ

Philip Leslie Freier (born 9 February 1954) is an Australian Anglican bishop. He has been the 13th Archbishop of Melbourne since 16 December 2006. He was elected Primate of Australia on 28 June 2014, being installed by Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, on 13 August 2014.[1]

Early life, education and work[edit]

Freier was born in Brisbane where he attended Hendra State High School and was raised in the Roman Catholic Church.

In addition to a PhD from James Cook University, he has received the degrees of Master of Educational Studies (MEdSt) from the University of Newcastle, Bachelor of Divinity (BD) from the Melbourne College of Divinity, Diploma of Education (DipEd) from the University of Queensland and Bachelor of Applied Science (BAppSc) from the Queensland Institute of Technology.

Freier was elected a fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (FAICD) in 1995.[2] He worked as a science teacher for six years prior to being ordained.


After his ordination in 1982, Freier was a curate in Kowanyama, Queensland, followed by five years as the rector of St Oswald's Banyo, before being appointed the rector of Christ Church Bundaberg. During his time in Kowanyama he studied and became a fluent speaker of one of the local indigenous languages, the Koko-Bera language and is now one of only approximately fifty speakers of this endangered tongue.

In 1999, Freier was elected as the Bishop of the Northern Territory. As a supporter of the indigenous Australian communities he pledged to support the Stolen Generations during their healing process.[3] In April 2014, he wrote an opinion piece in Fairfax Media newspapers criticising the Australian government's "Operation Sovereign Borders" policy which places children in immigration detention, arguing that "churches cannot be silent" and must care for "the alien, orphan and widow".[4][5] Freier has criticised large corporate banks in Australia, arguing that wealth creation should not be "separated from moral and social responsibility" and criticised the Abbott Government for "privileging the financial interest of corporations".[6][7][8]

Freier has served as a chaplain to the Royal Australian Air Force Reserve since 2001.[9]

Personal life[edit]

Freier and his wife, Joy, live at "Bishopscourt", East Melbourne. They have two children and three grandchildren.[1][10]


Styles of
Philip Freier
Mitre plain 2.png
Reference styleThe Most Reverend
Spoken styleYour Grace
Religious styleArchbishop

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Melbourne Archbishop Dr Philip Freier chosen as Anglican Primate of Australia". The Australian. 28 June 2014.
  2. ^ "Archbishop Philip Freier". Anglican Diocese of Melbourne. Retrieved 25 June 2012.
  3. ^ Time in the Northern Territory
  4. ^ Philip Freier (17 April 2014). "Suffer the children, they have no asylum". Sydney Morning Herald.
  5. ^ Kate Hagan (18 April 2014). "'Stop the suffering of children in detention', says Archbishop Philip Freier". Sydney Morning Herald.
  6. ^ Philip Freier (12 April 2012). "Fair distribution of wealth will enrich Australian society". Canberra Times.
  7. ^ "Easter roasting from bishops for 24/7 news, social media, banks and miners". 6 April 2012.
  8. ^ Phillip Freier (6 June 2014). "Budget backlash shows we still value the fair go". Canberra Times.
  9. ^ Archived 2 April 2015 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ Anglican Communion Directory, March 2000.

External links[edit]

Anglican Communion titles
Preceded by
Richard Appleby
Bishop of the Northern Territory
Succeeded by
Greg Thompson
Preceded by
Phillip Aspinall
Primate of the Anglican Church of Australia
Preceded by
Peter Watson
Archbishop of Melbourne