and Social and Community Entrepreneur
Bill Crews biography
William David Crews was born in England in 1944 and
educated in Australia. He studied Electrical Engineering
at the University of N.S.W. under scholarship provided
by AWA. He then worked with AWA in microelectronic
research studying the properties of silicon until
1971. During his time he built the first machine to
grow ultra pure single crystal silicon in Australia.
late 1969 he first visited the Wayside Chapel in Kings
Cross and ultimately became involved in voluntary
programs; visiting the elderly, sick and shut-ins
of the Woolloomooloo-Kings Cross area.
1971 he had decided to quit engineering and work full
time at the Wayside Chapel. Bill was a member of the
team that created the first 24-hour Crisis Centre
in Australia. By 1972 he was Director of the Crisis
Centre and directed all the social work programs of
the Wayside Chapel until 1983. During that time he
established the first program in Australia to reunite
adoptees and birth parents (Reunion Register), and
the first program to assist parents who were at risk
of abusing their children (Child Abuse Prevention
Service). He also established the first modern youth
refuge in Australia.
1973 he was made a member of the New South Wales Drug
and Alcohol Authority and was intimately involved
in establishing drug rehabilitation, education and
prevention programs throughout New South Wales.
1978 he and the Rev. Ted Noffs created the first Life
Education Centre. Life Education Centres are now all
over Australia, Hong Kong, Thailand, New Zealand,
England and America.
1983 he left the Wayside Chapel to study Theology
at the Uniting Church's United Theological College
and graduated Bth in 1986. In 1986 he was ordained
as minister of the Ashfield Uniting Church. At Ashfield
he created the Exodus Foundation to assist homeless
and abandoned youth, and other people in need.
the Exodus Foundation runs a "free restaurant"
serving up to 400 meals to the needy every day. The
Foundation also operates a Tutorial Centre to educate
children who have fallen through the cracks in the
mainstream education system. It runs a free dental
and medical clinic, provides help and support services
such as social workers, chaplaincy, counselling, and
food parcel assistance.
Crews has been awarded The Rotary Foundation International
Award "Paul Harris Fellow". He has been
voted Father of the Year and Humanitarian of the Year
(1992). In February 1998 Rev. Crews was included in
the National Trust's 100 "National Living Treasures".
In 1999 Rev. Crews was awarded an Order of Australia
(AM) for his services to the disadvantaged and his
work with homeless youth.
part of the Sydney 2000 Olympics, Bill ran a leg of
the Olympic Torch Relay and the Paralympic Torch Relay.
He also distributed hundreds of donated tickets to
those who would otherwise not have had the financial
means to partake in the Olympic experience.
Bill Crewss achievements demonstrate his capacity
to lead and positively influence the community in
a myriad of tangible ways.
2001 Bill was named Ashfield Citizen of the Year for
his contribution to the local community. He received
the William R. Tresise Fellowship Award from the Australian
Lions Foundation in June 2001 the highest honour
the Foundation bestows for humanitarian services.
In 2001 Rev. Crews also received an Alumni Award from
the University of New South Wales.
Crews is a Patron of Australians For Just Refugee
Programs, and Chairman of Fair Go Australia
an anti-racism project sponsored by the N.S.W. Government
through the Department of Community Relations Commission.
August 2002 Rev. Crews has broadcast his Sunday Night
Crews radio program on Sydney station 2GB-873AM. The
program has consistently been the highest rating Sunday
night radio show in the Sydney market, with an audience
of 100,000 listeners.
and Community Entrepreneurs
Man Australia publicly congratulates Bill Crews on
his awesome social and community endeavors