Lelean Close in Bundoora is named after Reverend (Clive) Drew Lelean who served as a Chaplain and therapist at Larundel and Mont Park Psychiatric Hospitals for 25 years from about 1967 to 1991.
If you want to take an historic Walk around the Estate which honours several former Larundel Hospital Staff including Rev Drew Lelean go to:
Drew’s parents and family
Drew’s parents were Arthur Drew and Doris (Brownell) who spent much time in Fiji after their marriage in 1918. Arthur was a Minister and developed a farming scheme for the native Fijians.
Drew’s brother Colin Oswald was born in Terang in 1919 before they went to Fiji. Drew’s older sister Alison Clare (Lady Hughes, nee Lelean) was born in 1921 in Ba in north western Fiji (she died in 2018), and his other brother Arthur Brownell Lelean was born in 1923 (he died in 2005). Drew himself was also born in Fiji in 1929. Colin the eldest, served in WWII in the Australian Army and died in 2008.
The family lived in Ballarat from 1936 and Rev Arthur Lelean Senior became well known for his powers of diagnosing illnesses, see The Argus June 8 1951, p. 3. https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/rendition/nla.news-page1746286.pdf
A photograph from a Facebook page ‘Lelean Family History’ shows Drew Lelean’s family celebrating his parents’ 50th Wedding Anniversary in 1968, with Drew in the clerical collar (back left).
Rev Arthur Lelean Senior died in 1972 at 79 years of age and Mrs Doris Lelean died in 1977 in Ballarat.
Drew’s caring work in the mental health field
Drew Lelean married Margaret Jean (Tolliday) in 1953 and they had two daughters and a son. Margaret was from Clunes 30 km north of Ballarat.
Drew and Margaret moved to Essendon in 1954 when he was still a theology student. His first Parish was in Casterton in western Victoria. Then the family moved to Tasmania for a period, where Drew first became particularly interested in helping those suffering from mental ill health, in his work as a clergyman in East Launceston.
In 1967, he transferred to the Larundel Psychiatric Hospital as a Chaplain, and Drew and Margaret and the family lived on site. Chaplains had been appointed to the mental institutions from about ten years before in 1956.
Drew was one of the first Church Ministers to train in Clinical Pastoral Education with Rev Roy Bradley at the Austin Hospital, in the 1970s, see https://www.asacpev.org.au/roy-bradley-appreciatian.html Clinical Pastoral Education was aimed at training in ministerial and psychological listening to people’s life stories. This course was specifically for those interested in pastoral care for people with mental ill health. Chaplains typically served across multiple institutions and wards and Anglican, Methodist, Presbyterian and Catholic ministers shared the work at Larundel, with good cooperation between the pastoral carers. The chaplains were seen as important therapists.
By 1980 when their children were adults, Rev Drew Lelean and Margaret moved to Macleod and she was now working as a library assistant. He officially retired in 1991 from his duties across Larundel, Mont Park, Plenty, Heidelberg and Janefield Hospitals, but continued providing valuable support. In 2017 Reverend Drew Lelean celebrated 60 years since his ordination as a Methodist minister.
He still lives in the Macleod area but his wife Margaret passed away in 2018.
Rev Drew Lelean was awarded an OAM in 2009 for ’service to the community of Victoria through the development of chaplaincy and pastoral care education in the field of mental health’.
Thanks to Rev Drew Lelean and his family for his photograph and their interest and help with this Biography
Prepared by Kathy Andrewartha 2021
Bircanin, Iliya and Short, Alex (1995) Glimpses of the past: Mont Park, Larundel, Plenty, The Authors, Melbourne
Clinical Pastoral Education course – Roy Bradley Appreciatian (asacpev.org.au)
Queen’s Birthday Honours list – 2009 Queen’s Birthday Honours (Australia) – Wikipedia
Rev Drew Lelean’s contribution to family history network 2003 – Contact Made (lelean.com)
Sixty years as a Minister, Drew Lelean – 2017-Tributes-list.pdf (synod.org.au)