After the consultation for the new AUL Provincial the Rector Major with the consent of his council appointed Fr William Matthews on 20th June 2017 as the 11th Provincial of Australia-Pacific for the period of 6 years (2018-2024).
Fr William was born in Mandalay (Myanmar) on June 3, 1971 and grew up at St Joseph’s Salesian parish. Then he joined the Nazareth Aspirantate in Anisakan straight after secondary education in 1991. His family migrated to Australia in 1994 for a better future for the whole family, and to be closer with other relatives who have been in Australia for many years. It happened in the middle of the Novitiate in Myanmar. Then William re-joined the Salesians in Melbourne, Australia in 1995 and made his first profession in Lysterfield (Australia) on January 31, 1997 and the perpetual profession on November 29, 2003 in Ferntree Gully (Melbourne, Australia). After the postnovitiate in Melbourne (Lysterfield, Oakleigh) did his practical training in Gawler and Ferntree Gully and finished his theological studies in Melbourne, Catholic Theology College in 2004.
After the priestly ordination in his second ‘hometown’ Perth (Western Australia) in 2005 he was involved again in the school ministry as teacher, assistant and chaplain in Ferntree Gully (Victoria-Melbourne), in Gawler (South Australia) and Sunbury (Victoria-Melbourne) until present time.
At the provincial level Fr. William is involved for past 9 years as Delegate for the Social Communications, but already since 1999 he was involved in the Salesian Bulletin and with many provincial websites until the present one: https://salesians.org.au. During past three years he has taken also the responsibility of Vocations Animator.
He speaks Burmese and English. Fr William did Primary and Secondary schooling in Mandalay, Myanmar. He holds also Certificate IV in IT (computing) from Holmesglen TAFE, Melbourne, Graduate Diploma of Secondary Education [Information Technology] from Australian Catholic University, BA of Theology from Melbourne College of Divinity, and recently completed also Master of Theology from the University of Divinity in Melbourne.
Within the multicultural and multi-religious society of Australia good number of Salesians are involved in the pastoral care of their fellow country citizens. The new provincial is also involved in the Burmese refugees and migrant ministry on regular basis within the limit of his primary duties – in Adelaide (South Australia), Wagga Wagga (New South Wales) in Auckland and Wellington (New Zealand).
The multi-national and multi-cultural province (15 different countries of origin) of Australia-Pacific is stretching around four countries: Australia – 7 communities, Samoa – 2 communities, Fiji and New Zealand with one community each). The Pacific Delegation (Samoa, Fiji and New Zealand) officially started last January. Presently, the Province has 97 confreres and six novices in Fiji Islands, average age of the Salesians is 60 years. The Salesian Family in AUL is composed of 7 different groups: SDB, FMA Sisters, Past Pupils of Don Bosco and Mary Help of Christians, Salesian Cooperators, Caritas Sisters of Jesus and Michaelite Congregation (CSMA).
Within the EAO Region we congratulate the Australia – Pacific Province confreres to their 11th Provincial and entrust his future 6 year period ministry to the protection and guidance of Mary Help of Christians.