The Most Reverend Dr Philip Freier was installed as Archbishop of Melbourne on 16 December 2006.
Previously the Bishop of the Northern Territory, he was ordained priest in 1984, and has been a bishop since 1999 when he became Bishop of the Northern Territory. His previous positions include Examining Chaplain to the Archbishop of Brisbane (1993-1999); Area Dean of the Burnett, Diocese of Brisbane; Rector, Christ Church Bundaberg, Diocese of Brisbane; and Rector St Oswald’s Banyo, Diocese of Brisbane. He served as the 16th Primate of Australia (2014-2020).
Prior to ordination he trained as a teacher and was employed as a teacher at Thursday Island, Kowanyama, and Yarrabah and then as an advisory teacher in Aboriginal education with the Queensland Education Department.
His qualifications include a Doctor of Philosophy from James Cook University; a Master of Educational Studies from the University of Newcastle; a Bachelor of Divinity from the Melbourne College of Divinity; and Diploma in Education from the University of Queensland; and a Bachelor of Applied Science from the Queensland Institute of Technology. He is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
His ministry has involved ministering to people in a wide variety of contexts, both formal and informal, including cross cultural. He chaired of the Board of Delegates of the Australian College of Theology from 2002 to 2007 and has served as Chair of the Doctrine Commission of the General Synod. In 2000 he completed a PhD at James Cook University for a thesis entitled ‘Living with the Munpitch: The History of Mitchell River Mission, 1905-1967’. He maintains a keen interest in Australian Anglican history. From 2000 to 2003 he was an Honorary Fellow of the Faculty of Law, Business and Arts at the Northern Territory University.
He is married to Joy and has two adult children and three grandchildren. He includes bush-walking, reading and the visual arts among his list of recreational pursuits.