Paul Collins< Back to author list
Paul Collins is an Australian religious author.
Born in the then very working class suburb of Richmond in the city of Melbourne, Australia on 12 August 1940, Paul Collins is an historian, broadcaster and writer. His parents, Veronica and Michael Collins, ran corner shops that were ‘open all hours’. Educated in Catholic primary schools and at the Christian Brothers College, Victoria Parade, East Melbourne, Collins entered the junior seminary of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart in 1956.
Professed as a religious in 1960 and ordained a Catholic priest in 1967, he served first (1968-1969) as a teacher at Downlands College in Toowoomba, Queensland. He then moved to the parish of Moonah in Hobart, Tasmania, where he was an assistant priest from 1970 to 1973. Moving to Sydney in 1974, he was appointed a lecturer (teaching church history and directing pastoral studies) at Saint Pauls National Seminary (1974-1977) in Kensington. From 1977 to1979 he was parish priest of Randwick in Sydney. He then went to Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts as a post graduate student (1979-1981), returning to Australia to work briefly as a research officer for the Catholic Social Welfare Commission (1981). He then returned to the United States as Deputy Director of Weber Center, Adrian, Michigan, where he taught theology, church history and ministry. He also briefly taught theology at Saint Cyril and Methodius Seminary in Orchard Lake, Michigan.
In 1984 Collins began full time studies for a Ph.D. in history at the Australian National University in Canberra, Australia, graduating in 1989. He published his first book Mixed Blessings (Penguin) in 1986 while at the ANU and briefly taught Australian History at the University of Papua New Guinea in 1987. He has a Masters degree in theology (Th.M.) from Harvard University, and a Doctorate in Philosophy (Ph.D) in early Australian history from the ANU, and is a Fellow of Trinity College of Music, London in Speech and Drama.
For almost a decade from January 1988 he worked full-time in varying capacities in TV and radio with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. From 1993 to 1996 he was Specialist Editor Religion for the ABC. He also acted as co-ordinator of Radio National in Melbourne and for a brief period was acting-general manager of Radio National. For the first three years of the ABC TV program Compass (it began in 1988) Collins acted as a presenter, interviewer and commentator. From 1990 to 1995 he was the presenter of the program Insights on Radio National. He has also presented and participated in many programs on all ABC networks.
Between 2004 and 2006 Collins worked on a contract basis for the ABC presenting Sunday Spectrum on Sunday mornings on ABC TV. Some 150 episodes of this half-hour in-studio interview program were produced covering ethical, religious, faith and spirituality issues.
Since leaving the ABC full-time, he has continued to be called on as a commentator on Catholic affairs, the papacy, the Vatican, as well as environmental and population issues on ABC Radio and TV, SBS television and radio (where he acted as lead commentator on SBS Radio during World Youth Day in Sydney in 2008), the BBC, PBS in the United States, NHK Japan, and Danish and New Zealand TV, Sky TV News, as well as many commercial TV and radio stations in Australia. Collins covered the death of Pope John Paul II in April 2005, and from Rome the election of Benedict XVI as an English-speaking expert for many media outlets across the world.
He has written regularly for most of Australia’s leading newspapers and magazines, as well as for the London Tablet, The National Catholic Reporter in the United States and for several magazines in Germany and Aust