Eddy Steele

Ship name / Flight number: Orontes

Arrival date: 28/08/1957



Eddy (2nd from left front row) came to Australia as a Little Brother (LB) on board the Orontes, arriving in Sydney on 18th August 1957. He came from Coventry and was just 17 years old when he arrived and went to the hostel in Homebush.

He joined York Motors Ltd as an apprentice mechanic within 2 weeks of his arrival and shortly after moved into rental accommodation in Marrickville. In 1963 he joined Qantas cabin staff and within 10 years was promoted to Flight Service Director, a role he occupied until retiring from Qantas in 1991. On his frequent flights to and from the UK he acted as an unofficial courier for BBM documents between the Sydney and London offices.

A member of the board

Eddy became a director of Big Brother Movement Limited (now BBM Youth Support) and served on the Board for 35 years. Many ex Little Brothers encountered Eddy over the years either at reunions, visits to the office or by telephone when seeking information about their early years in Australia. His knowledge of both the history and affairs of the Big Brother Movement is extraordinary, and many an ex LB, facing the challenges of a government bureaucracy when applying for a passport or government support, turned to Eddy for evidence of their arrival in Australia. That assistance was always promptly and willingly given.

His contribution to BBM over the years goes far beyond his role as a director. In 1984 he started the ‘Little Brothers Association’ and in 1986 the ‘Friends of the Big Brother Movement’ and became the inaugural chairman. He joined the Council (reconstituted as a Board of Directors) in 1978 and serving as a Director. When Frank Mansell retired in 1994, Eddy took over as Executive Director. He was key contributor to the development of the Youth Support Awards scheme, now known as the Global Footprints Scholarships, following the Commonwealth Governments withdrawal of migration agency held by BBM. From then onwards, on the shoulders of the Big Brother Movement, BBM Youth Support continued to give young people the opportunity to travel overseas to grow personally and professionally and create opportunities for themselves and others and a better future for Australia.

Eddy developed a wide range of contacts in both state and federal governments, private enterprise, diplomatic core and migration associations and he worked tirelessly to promote the work of BBM Youth Support. His wife Pat ‘ran’ the BBM office and worked closely with Eddy over the years.

2016 Sydney Reunion at the Training Farm.

Eddy Steele retired from the board in 2017 and moved with his wife to Tweed Heads. His dedication to BBM, however, continued.  He stayed in touch with several LB’s living in the local area and worked closely with Steve Noble, from Melbourne, to organise the ‘Gold Coast’ reunion that was held with such success in August 2018.

Eddy passed away in June 2021 at 80 years of age.

The BBM community is deeply indebted to Eddy and Pat for their contribution to the organisation.

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