Experience

At the University of New England

I was the Uniting Church Chaplain at UNE from 1 February, 2001 to 31 December 2009 and  belonged to a range of University-based committees in that time. I also produced three student support booklets and coordinated a student support project for the Student Support Advisory Committee. In 2006, as Vice President of UNEPA and Chair of its Constutional Working Party, I spent a large amount of time negotiating with Services UNE Ltd to ensure that postgraduate students will be as autonomous as possible, given the new funding structures under Voluntary Student Unionism and the new accountability that has been introduced with the advent of Services UNE. I was also, with Cathryn McCormack, a trustee responsible for overseeing the windup of UNEPA.

2007-9 Editor, Dear Mother – Australians do things differently cultural awareness booklet for international students
2006-8 Postgraduate member, UNE Council
2006 Vice President, UNE Postgraduate Association and Chair, Constitutional Working Party
2006 Postgraduate Representative, Alcohol Awareness Advisory Committee
2005 - Coordinator – Religious Resources in Armidale booklet
2004 – 07/2008 Chair, Human Research Ethics Committee Panel on Research Involving Indigenous Australians (member since 2003)
2004 - Webmaker, “Don’t Drop Out” Project
2003-4 Project Coordinator, “Don’t Drop Out” Project
2002 – 07/2008 Minister of Religion, Human Research Ethics Committee
2002 - Chaplaincy Representative, Orientation Committee
2002 - Coordinator – Surviving Homesickness Guide
2001 – 2006 Member, Student Support Advisory Committee (member until the committee was disbanded)

At Monash University Gippsland Campus

I was the inaugural Ecumenical Chaplain at Monash Gippsland from 1 January 1992 to 30 June 1997. During that time I worked closely with Counselling and Careers, the International Office and the Student Union to provide a range of services for Students. I negotiated for the campus to provide Muslim students with a prayer room, and then for the provision of successively more appropriate prayer facilities. As a postgraduate student of MCD, I was also involved as an Associate Member of the Gippland Association of Postgraduate Students from its inception in 1993. I was one of two Ministers of Religion on the Monash Human Research Ethics Committee from 1993 until I moved to Armidale in 2001.

Uniting Church Involvement

The Uniting Church runs on a system of inter-related councils, which means we have lots of committees. We function in local congregations, regional presbyteries, state-wide (approximately) synods and a national assembly.

At the congregational level, I am involved in a group that organises and leads the monthly evening worship service. At the Presbytery level, I belong to the Standing Committee and the Ministry and Mission Strategy Committee.  I was also a member of Pastoral Relations Committee for five years and chaired it for about a year. This is the third presbytery in which I’ve been on the Pastoral Relations Committee). In previous presbyteries, I have also belonged to and chaired Social Justice Committees At Synod level, I am part of the Tertiary Ministry Strategy Committee. So far I have avoided any Assembly committees.

My last placement was as Outreach Ministries Coordinator for the Victorian Synod. I oversaw the work of chaplains and deacons, managed a half million dollar a year budget and represented the Uniting Church on a range of ecumenical* and interfaith committees.

Ecumenical Involvement

As Outreach Ministries Coordinator, I was on committees that coordinated:

  • hospital chaplaincy (ecumenical)
  • prison chaplaincy (interfaith)
  • industrial chaplaincy (ecumenical)
  • state school chaplaincy and religious education (ecumenical)
  • university chaplaincy (interfaith).

I was secretary to the Council for Chaplaincy in Tertiary Institutions for nearly three years.

As a university chaplain, I have been actively involved in the Tertiary Campus Ministry Association (Australia) Inc since 1994. TCMA is the peak body for tertiary chaplaincy and is multi-faith. This has involved me in:

  • organising conferences (four, including one international)
  • establishing and facilitating the national email list since 1995
  • being TCMA webmaker since 2002
  • being a member of the national executive since 2001

Community Involvement

Not surprisingly, I don’t have a huge amount of time to be involved in community organisations. However, I was on the Lumen Christi Primary School Board from 1992 to 1997 as deputy chair in 1993-4 and chair in 1995-7. In Armidale, I have been a member of the UNE and Community Peace and Freedom Group since 2003, and of Armidale Women in Black since 2004.

*although some people use it differently, “ecumenical” means activities involving a number of different Christian churches, while “interfaith” indicates groups that involve people from a range of different religions.

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