The Venerable Dr Colleen O’Reilly AM – Vice-president
Colleen O’Reilly is a priest in the Diocese of Melbourne where she has been the Archdeacon of
Stonnington since 2022 in the Episcopate of Bishop Genieve Blackwell. She had previously
been the Vicar of St Faith’s Burwood (1999-2007) and St George’s Malvern (2007 -2019),
Chaplain to Trinity College (2019- 2022). Colleen came to Melbourne in 1994 to be the
Associate Dean and Director of Ministry Studies in the then Melbourne College of Divinity,
now the University of Divinity, and was ordained deacon and priest in 1995.
Born in Sydney, Colleen grew up in what is called a ‘stole parish’ and is a lifelong Anglican. She has experienced the Anglican Church in the UK and the USA where she has lived, and in various other parts of the Communion when a member of the WCC Women’s Commission and the Primates’ Commission on Theological Education. In Sydney, she became a Parish Lay Reader in 1982, the first year it was possible for women to be licensed to preach and was a Diocesan Lay Reader when she left for Melbourne.
Colleen made the speech that launched MOW in Sydney in 1983, moved the Women Deacon’s Bill in Sydney Synod in 1987 (she was a member for fifteen years) and with Dr Muriel Porter OAM organised the case, and raised the funds, for women bishops at the Appellate Tribunal in 2007.
Colleen is passionate about good Eucharistic liturgy and the value of rituals in pastoral care. She has taught in the United College of Theology, Nth Parramatta, and Trinity College Theological School. She has been the Holy Week preacher at Christ Church St Laurence and St James’ King Street, taken ordination and other diocesan retreats, and is published in essay collections by the faculty and associates of Trinity College.
In 1975 Colleen and a few like-minded women formed a group to promote the ordination of women. It was called Anglican Women Concerned. She remains concerned that the ordination of women continues to enrich the Church, and that ordained women thrive in partnership with their lay sisters and brothers.