Celebrating the Life of Father Gerard Dowling OAM DE

By: James MacLeod - Managing Director, Tobin Brothers Funerals
Monday, November 27, 2023

Fr Gerard Dowling OAM DE  (1932-2023)

Fr Gerard was a close friend of Tobin Brothers, a tremendous writer, radio host, qualified counsellor and a Catholic Priest to the Archdiocese for 65 years. On Sunday 26th November 2023 aged 91, Fr Gerard peacefully died. 


Fr Gerard’s radio program The Family Counsellor which can be heard between 10pm and midnight each and every Sunday night on RSN (formerly 3UZ) in September this year celebrated 50 years of being on air with Fr Gerard as it’s host.

The Family Counsellor program was the first of its kind in Australia and provided a great deal of comfort to so many people.  Fr Gerard was a cleric to all, the saint, the sinner, the rich, the poor, he would talk to anyone.  He was engaging, caring, attentive and genuinely interested in people’s stories.  Fr Gerard was a wonderful person to sit down and talk to.  He had a wonderful knowledge particularly on world history and theology.  There was only one thing he was far more knowledgeable about and that was his beloved North Melbourne Football Club where he was the Club’s historian both official and unofficial for decades.


In his capacity as a Priest he was one of those outstanding clerics to work with. Over the journey the team at Tobin Brothers has cared for countless families with Fr Gerard. Fr Gerard was often called upon by listeners of his program to care for families funerals, players, officials and supporters of the North Melbourne Football Club. It didn’t matter to Fr Gerard if you were Catholic or otherwise he would always care for that person seeking assistance with a loved one’s funeral in their absolute time of need. 


Fr Gerard leaves a wonderful legacy behind. We at Tobin Brothers were grateful to have the priviledge to journey with him. We are certainly grateful as I know Fr Gerard was to support his program, The Family Counsellor over the last 13 years.

Fr Gerard celebrated many personal milestones in recent times, his 90th (and 91st birthday), his 65 years since Ordination as a Priest of the Archdiocese of Melbourne but I know how delighted he was to achieve that final milestone of 50 years of being on air and being a service to the wider community as The Family Counsellor.


In 2015 Tobin Brothers were honoured to have Fr Gerard chat to Michael Lynch about his life, the success of his radio program, surviving cancer, and dealing with death:


In June 2018, Fr Gerard shared his personal story and life experiences on air with Laura Turner for Great Australian Lives:



Next week Fr Gerard’s life will be celebrated, times and dates still to be confirmed.  

I can tell you Fr Gerard had much input to his final farewell and it will be both a true and fitting celebration of this great man’s life. In the meantime, we have a tribute page in his honour where you can leave your messages.

From all of us at Tobin Brothers, Fr Gerard to your extended family, bless you all.

James MacLeod - Managing Director, Tobin Brothers Funerals



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