Fr Bob Maguire is a man of passion, creativity and humour; he is part Billy Connolly, part angry Old Testament prophet and part compassionate Mother Theresa. He would hate this categorisation. But he has a unique combination of traits. In each of these he is a risk taker. He is an elusive chameleon, a man of brilliant riddles.

He believes that the role of the prophet inevitably means making enemies, and he does. But he is much loved, especially by young people and the down and outs. A motto of his is that, ‘I would not have them look up and not be fed’.

Born in 1934, by the age of 16, two of Bob’s sisters, his alcoholic father, and mother had all died. He says that the circumstances of his early life left him a bit feral. But he was cared for by the remaining family and by some nuns and priests. Burnt into him was a sense of empathy both with those who were very damaged and defeated by life and an admiration for those who were compassionate healers.

In 1965, Bob joined the Army Reserve. He rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, and led the Character Training Unit for young officers during the Vietnam War.

From 1973 – 2012 (39 years) Fr Bob was parish priest of Sts Peter and Paul church in South Melbourne, Australia. From this base, and through his foundations, he has worked, hands on, with the homeless, sick, criminal and addicted. He has had successes and failures. In his own words, Bob sees his work as a “life-long attempt to empower teens, twenty-somethings and even children to be their unique selves… unique contributors in recreating the world and the cosmos”. He believes that the Father Bob Maguire Foundation needs to be “urgent, sensitive to young peoples’ fragile dreams and flexible in responding to young people of every class and creed”.

With his gifts, he has become a national media figure. He has extensive experience on Australian TV and radio.

In his late 70’s, he is still throwing out many ideas for new ventures such as Spirituality Australia and Chaplains without Borders. He continues to offer help to smaller charities by including them under the umbrella of the FBMF.