D3 – Chairperson Nominations


Nominee – Admission of Ministers Committee Chairperson

Rev Dr John A Evans
John has been the chairperson of the Committee since its reconstitution as the Admission of Ministers Committee in  2012. Prior to that he has served on the former Assembly Reception of Ministers Committee. He led the review of the reception of ministers process that resulted in the current structure being adopted at the 2012 Assembly.

John brings an extensive and wide experience of the Church. He has served in fours synods, with congregational and various other appointments, including being the General Secretary of the Western Australian Synod. He currently is in placement at the Church of All Nations, Carlton, Victoria.    


Nominee – Adult Fellowship National Committee Chairperson

Mrs Margaret Pedler
I was born at Glenelg in South Australia in 1948, one of the “baby boomers” generation. I moved to Prospect when I was a teenager and worshipped at Prospect North Methodist Church. After I left school I was employed at A.B.C. Radio as a Secretary to the head of Rural Department. I married my husband, Daryl, in 1970 and moved to Cummins on Eyre Peninsula in 1974. Our two children Nigel and Naomi were born whilst we lived in Cummins. We moved back to Adelaide in 1979 and attended the Blackwood Uniting Church.

We moved to Warrnambool in 1987. I joined the State Council as a Presbytery Representative in 2001. In 2003 we moved to Hazelwood North in Gippsland and worshipped at Traralgon Uniting Church. Whilst in Gippsland I served on the Church Council, a member of Presbytery and continued on the State UCAF Council as a representative. I was State President in 2007 and 2008 which was a thoroughly enjoyable experience.

In 2012 we moved back to Warrnambool due to my husband’s employment. Since being back here I continued on State Council as Treasurer and as a member of the “NetWork” committee. I am involved with our local UCAF group, which is a very important part of my church life.  am also Secretary of the Hopkins Region Admin Group which is an administration group for all the churches in our Region. I have just recently become a member of Presbytery again.


Nominee – Historical Reference Committee  Chairperson – tba

Nominee – Frontier Services Chairperson

Mr Jim Mein
AM, FCA, FCPA, FAIM, FLGAA. Currently a Board member of Frontier Services Interim Board and Wesley Community Services Ltd (NSW and ACT Synod); National Coordinator of UCA responses to Charities Reforms; Member of the Affinity Intercultural Foundation Advisory Board and MLC School Burwood (and Treasurer); Past Moderator of the Synod of NSW &ACT and past Executive Director of that Synod’s Uniting Resources and Uniting Financial Services; past member of the Assembly Standing Committee 1994 to 2006 and an observer member in 2005-2007; and many other roles in aged care, schools, community services, congregations and the like.


Nominee – UnitingWorld

Relief and Development Chairperson

Rev John Ruhle
Work History
2009- present
Minister of the Word at The Gap UCA
Full time placement involved in all aspects of Team Ministry and in the life of a growing, vibrant urban congregation

2012 – present
Member of Pastoral Relations Committee of the Moreton Rivers Presbytery

2005 – 2008
Lay Education and Discipleship Facilitator
Employed as a member of the Ministry Team in the Mid Lachlan Mission Area based in Forbes, central NSW.  Focus on team ministry and training and equipping of lay people.

2009 – present
Minister of the Word at The Gap Uniting Church Full time placement involved in all aspects of Team Ministry and in the life of a growing, vibrant urban congregation.

2012 to present
Member of Pastoral Relations Committee of the Moreton Rivers Presbytery

2005 – 2008
Lay Education and Discipleship Facilitator Employed as a member of the Ministry Team in the Mid Lachlan Mission Area based in Forbes, central NSW. Focus on team ministry and training and equipping of lay people.

1997 – 2003
Rural Bank Positions
Started banking as a rural graduate with the NAB and finished as a Rural Bank Manager with Suncorp managing branch staff and a $50 million portfolio of clients.

UnitingWorld / NGO Experience:

2014 to present
Chair of the UnitingWorld Relief and Development National Committee

2012 to 2014
Chair of the International Programs Committee of UnitingWorld Relief and Development


2006 to present

Member of UnitingWorld Relief and Development National Committee  During this time I have also chaired the International Programs Committee and I am the current acting chair for the National Committee


2009 to present
Chair of the Timor Children’s Foundation
The foundation is a not for profit Qld based group who have been supporting work in East Timor for over 20 years.  We currently support a scholarships program and also a children’s home in East Timor.


Nominee – UnitingWorld

Church Connections Chairperson


Dr Andrew Roderick Glenn
Work History:

1975                Lecturer in Microbiology and Biochemistry at Murdoch University in Perth

1979                Senior Lecturer

1985                Associate Professor

1993                Personal Chair as Professor

1994                Pro-Vice Chancellor (Research).

1998    Vice President (Research) and Pro Vice Chancellor (Research) at the University of Tasmania.

2007    Retired and made Emeritus Professor by the University of Tasmania


Governance / Consulting Experience:
Member of close to twenty company boards in the research and technology or educational services sectors.

Chaired company boards
Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Consulting work advising universities or state governments around the country on research management


Uniting Church involvement:
Confirmed in the Methodist Church in Adelaide
Commissioned as a lay preacher in the Uniting Church in 1990
Member of the Uniting Church in Australia since the time of union
Chair of the Ministerial Education Board in Western Australia
Chairperson of the Presbytery of Tasmania
Member of the Assembly Standing Committee
Currently part of the Major Strategic Review of the synod of VicTas
Member of the National Reference Committee of Uniting Justice
Member of the Hobart North congregation in Tasmania.

UnitingWorld Experience:
Chaired the Church Connections National Committee for over two years


Nominee – Formation, Education and Discipleship Chairperson

Rev Dr Ian Price
Rev Dr Ian price was ordained in 1978, and has served in  three parishes. He was briefly the Executive Director of the Board of Education in NSW, before returning to Adelaide, taking up the post of Associate Director of MediaCom. In 2002, he was called to the position of Executive Officer of the Mission Resourcing Network in the UCA in SA. He held the position for nine years. He was then appointed to the role of Strategy and Planning Officer for the UCA in SA, simultaneously taking up the role of CEO of MediaCom where he is currently. Ian is the chairperson of the Formation, Education and Discipleship Working group of the Assembly and has served on the Assembly Standing Committee for the last three years.

Ian is passionate about resourcing the church. Involved in the founding of Seasons of the Spirit, he has also assisted in developing a number of resources for pastoral care; stewardship and mission funding; worship and Christian education. Above all else, he is concerned to help local congregations see members grow deeper in their discipleship, spirituality and personal mission, as congregations become vibrant and vital communities in Christ serving God’s mission.

Nominee – Legal Reference Committee Chairperson

Mr Warwick van Ede
Warwick has been a member of the ALRC for over 15 years, is a previous member of the NSWACT Property Trust, was formerly  the legal adviser to the NSWACT Committee for Discipline, and was the founding  Convenor of Appeal Panels for the NSWACT Synod. He is a lawyer of over 20 years experience, currently practising with Emil Ford Lawyers, Sydney.

Nominee – Defence Force Chaplaincy Convenor

Rev Dr Murray Earl
Murray Earl is an ordained minister of the Uniting Church.  He has served the church in rural and city ministries and has been an Air Force chaplain for over twenty years.  After some reserve service, he discharged from the ADF in 2013 and is currently the RACS member for the Uniting Church and Convenor of the UCA DFCC.  He lives in Port McDonnell South Australia, leads services in country churches, and maintains ongoing connections to the ADF and UCA Chaplains.  Murray is married to Jenny.

Nominee – Theology and Discipleship Convenors’ Forum Chairperson

Rev Carolyn Thornley
Rev Carolyn Thornley has been the chairperson of the Theology and Discipleship Unit over the past triennium and is willing to continue in the role.  She is Dean of Candidates at United Theological College and has been the acting principal.  Before ministry she was a teacher in New Zealand, Fiji and Australia.  She has served in congregations and as Presbytery Minister of Parramatta Nepean Presbytery.  She is an accredited supervisor of ministry practice.  She has served on the Australian Council of Churches Overseas Programs Committee, the NSW Ecumenical Council, Uniting International Mission Reference Group and the UCOA Board.  She chairs the Conveners’ meetings which bring together the conveners of a number of working groups in order to foster communication and co-operation.


Nominee – Multicultural and Cross-cultural Ministry Chairperson

Rev Kisoo Jang
Kisoo is and experienced and respected Minister of Korean background. He has been the Presbytery Minister for the Korean Presbytery, served in several Congregational settings, planted new communities, assisted in developing new forms of Cross-cultural education, served on every Council of the Church, and developed excellent networks among colleagues, both within and beyond the Church. His gentle demeanour and deep wisdom have earned him the respect of people across cultures. He first served on the National Reference Committee as a translator-interpreter and he is able to understand the subtleties of intercultural communication. Kisoo is currently the Minister-in-Placement at the Han-bit Korean Church in Box Hill, Melbourne. He has also served in Placements in NSW, supply in South Australia, and consulted in other Synods. He has a good grasp of the National context.


Nominee – Church Polity Chairperson

Rev Gordon Ramsay
Gordon Ramsay (BA, LLB (Hons) B Th)
has been the Executive Minister at Kippax Uniting Church since 1997.   He is also Chairperson of the Board of UnitingCare NSW.ACT.

Gordon is a former Chairperson of the Presbytery of Canberra Region.

He was a member of the 13th Assembly, Associated with the 10th Assembly and a Member of the 7th Assembly Worship Committee.

He has been a member of the Assembly Church Policy Reference Committee since 2006. He is a former member of the Assembly Development Committee and the UnitingWorld National Committee.

Gordon was a finalist in the 2014 Australian of the Year Awards ACT Local Hero category.

Gordon served on the General Committee of ACTCOSS from 2005-2010. He was a member of the ACT Community Inclusion Board from 2008-2009, and an ACT Community Inclusion Advocate in 2009-10. Gordon was invited to be part of the Canberra 2020 summit held in 2008, and in 2010-11 Gordon was one of the Community Champions of the “Canberra 2030 Time to Talk” process and a member of ACT Anti Poverty Week from 2006-2010. He co-convened the body in 2009. He was the author of Living on the Edge – an Overview of the community of West Belconnen and the services and service gaps of the area in October 2007.

In 2011-12 Gordon chaired the ACT Targeted Assistance Strategy Panel, commissioned by the ACT Government to bring recommendations on ways to redesign support for people on low incomes. He was a member of the ACT Better Practice Better Service Advisory Group to the ACT Government in 2012.

He has conducted consultancy work with community organisations for over a decade regarding their Governance structures and leadership. He has been instrumental in the governance and leadership reviews of the national body of the Uniting Church’s community services network – UnitingCare Australia. He has worked in a national advocacy project with the national office of UnitingCare Australia.

With training in the law, and a long history of community development engagement, Gordon brings a combination of analytical and strategic skills, extensive on-the- ground community involvement and experience, and insight into the everyday impacts of public policy. A student of social ethics and their effects on individuals, communities and systems, Gordon is a well-recognised advocate for social inclusion in the ACT.


Nominee – UnitingJustice Chairperson

Dr Deidre Palmer
Dr Deidre Palmer is currently serving as Moderator of the Uniting Church in South Australia. She will conclude this placement on October 30, 2016.

Deidre is a senior lecturer in Christian Education for the School of Theology of Flinders University and the Adelaide College of Divinity. She is currently an adjunct faculty member for Uniting College.

Deidre is also a social worker. Prior to becoming Moderator, she worked part-time for four and a half years as a counsellor with UnitingCommunities in their Childhood Sexual Abuse Counselling team. She is a member of Rosefield Uniting Church.

Deidre is very much shaped by and passionately committed to the Uniting Church’s understanding that our participation in God’s mission in the world calls us to act justly and work in solidarity with those who have been denied justice. Deidre believes that the hope which shapes us as a church is God’s vision, revealed in Jesus Christ, of a world of peace with justice, compassion, love and reconciliation.

Deidre is proud that the Uniting Church has embodied this hope in many ways, in our advocacy for asylum seekers and refugees; in addressing poverty locally, nationally and globally; in seeking to live in ways that are nonviolent and working for peace; in developing approaches to the environment and our earth that reflect God’s care for the creation. Deidre’s particular interests include justice for First Peoples, domestic violence and age and gender discrimination.

Deidre has been involved with various aspects of the life of the Assembly of the Uniting Church over the past 30 years, having previously served on a number of committees including the Uniting Education Reference Group, the Board of Coolamon College, the Commission for Mission, Church Polity Reference Committee and as Chair of the Ministerial Education Commission. Deidre currently serves as a member of the Assembly Standing Committee,

the Formation, Education and Discipleship Working Group and

the National Task Group responding to the Royal Commission.

Deidre would be delighted to support the work of the Assembly and its justice unit through serving as Chair of the UnitingJustice Australia Reference Committee.


Nominee – UnitingCare Chairperson

Mr Peter Bicknell
BA, M Soc Admin. JP


Chair UnitingCare Australia National Committee
Member 1995, Chair 2006-2015

Chair Portway Housing Association Inc
Member 1993, Chair 2007-15

Chair Adelaide Brighton Cement Community Liaison Group 2006 -15

Chair; Energy Industry Ombudsman (SA) Board

Member Uniting/Methodist Church since 1962

Recent Involvements
Chair UnitingCare Wesley Port Adelaide Inc Member 1993, Chair 2007-2014

Mental Health Commissioner, Australian Government Mental Health Commission

INTERESTS   Family, Social Inclusion, Housing, Primary Health, Mental Health, Child & Family policy & services, Consumer issues, Education in disadvantaged areas, sport and Christian community service.


Nominee – National Working Group on Doctrine

Rev Alistair Macrae
Rev Alistair Macrae has been the convenor of the Doctrine working group over the past triennium and is willing to continue in the role.  He is minister of Wesley Uniting Church in Melbourne.  He was President of the Uniting Church from 2009-2012. He served as the executive director of the Uniting church Centre for Theology and Ministry in Melbourne 2004 – 2009. He was Moderator of the Victoria and Tasmania Synod from 2000 – 2003. Previous to that he served in rural, regional and inner city congregational placements. He has degrees in Arts, Theology and Philosophy from Melbourne and Dublin. Alistair brings wide experience in the life of the church to the Doctrine working group as it seeks to resource the whole church.


Nominee – National Working Group on Worship

Rev Dr Graham Vawser
Graham was ordained into the Methodist ministry on 22 October, 1975, and has been a minister of the Word in the Uniting Church since inauguration.

His academic qualifications are as follows:

2012    Doctor of Philosophy (Flinders University of SA

2000    Master of Theology (Flinders University of SA). Thesis: ‘The Uniting Church commits its ministers to preach’ (BoU, Para 5): a review of the foundational and historical documents of the Uniting Church in Australia, identifying the place and importance of preaching in the life of that Church.

1995    Master of Theology (Qualifying) (Flinders University of SA).

Thesis: Backgrounds to New Testament Preaching: Judaic and Greco-Roman Sources of the Preaching of the Early Church as seen in the Letters of Paul;

Reading Topic: An understanding of preaching as it developed from the late Medieval period through the thought of Luther and Calvin and into the English Reformation.

1983    Awarded Diploma in Liturgical Studies (Melbourne College of Divinity).

Part II Major Essay in the area of Liturgy in Relation to Catechetics and Christian Education – Topic: What creative relationships do you see between Christian Public Worship and the teaching role of the Church?

1979    Awarded Bachelor of Divinity (Melbourne College of Divinity).

1972    Awarded Bachelor of Arts (Flinders University of SA).

Graham has served in 6 Uniting Church (and 1 Methodist) placements:

09/2008 – current   Minister in the Brighton Congregation

01/2000 – 08/2008  Minister of the Word in Payneham Rd and Argent Congregations

1993 –1999  Minister of the Word in West Hindmarsh Parish.

1984 –1992  Minister of the Word in Strathalbyn Parish.

1978 –1983  Minister of the Word in Southern Yorke Peninsula Parish

June – December 1977  Minister of the Word in Hawker Uniting Church Parish.

January 1975 – June 1977  Minister in Hawker Methodist Circuit

From November 2005 – 2007 Graham was Moderator of the Presbytery and Synod of SA. He was Chairperson of the Presbytery of Mt Lofty from December 2001 to December 2003, and had served as Worship Consultant of Adelaide North West Presbytery from 1993 to 1999, where he had oversight of presbytery worship events (ordinations, inductions, and commissionings).

From 1984 till 1991 Graham was a member of the Assembly Commission on Liturgy, and part of the team which prepared Uniting in Worship. he was convenor of the working group on the Marriage Service, and as a member of the Commission was active in the review of drafts of all the worship resources.

In the late 1980s and 1990s he taught and tutored both candidates for specified ministries and students in the lay ministries programmes, in the areas of worship and preaching.


Nominee – Relations with Other Faiths Working Group Convenor

Rev Michael Barnes
Michael has reflected upon his interfaith dialogue and cross cultural experience during the course of his ministry, the learning from his academic background and his continuing commitment to interfaith and peace building and believes he has the experience, passion and the skills to offer leadership to the Assembly in the capacity of the Convenor of the Relations with other Faiths Working Group (RoFWG).

Interfaith Dialogue Experience.
Michael has been a participant in the National Uniting Church Jewish Christian Dialogue for ten years till 2010 and was Convenor of the Dialogue for the last four years of that period. He has found the notion of Jesus as a faithful Jew very important in interpreting the scriptures for congregational ministry and the work of interfaith.

Experience with Interfaith Networks and Cross Cultural Relationships.
Michael has had ministry placements in various congregations in the NSW ACT Synod.   In those congregations Michael has experienced and ministered into a wide variety of cross cultural contexts, including those of the Tamil Sri Lankan community.  During his ministry Michael has been a part of local interfaith networks and has strong relationships with Jewish, Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist communities. He has offered educational experiences with others about different faiths to congregations. He has supported the Australian Muslim community as the threat of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has grown internationally by supporting and initiating local interfaith peacemaking efforts after the Sydney Martin Place siege.

Michael strongly believes that living in a diverse and fractured community requires building bridges of interest, understanding, peace and tolerance.  This is an important part of God’s mission in a multicultural and multifaith society.  Michael has lived and worked in third world countries and has had the experience of living with those persons from another faith.   He has led an interfaith programme to India for 10 weeks in 2006.

Academic Background.
Michael has undergraduate degrees in Arts (Honours) and Theology and a Master in Theology. He is looking to pursue interfaith doctoral studies on pilgrimages to Gallipoli from the Turkish Muslim experience.


Nominee – Christian Uniting Working Group Chairperson

Rev Dr Morag Logan
Rev Dr Morag Logan is nominated as chairperson of the Christian Unity working group.  Maureen Postma has been the chairperson and will step down from this role while continuing on the working group to the end of 2015.  Morag has been involved in the Christian Unity working group for a number of years and has served as Deputy Chairperson.  Currently she is Presbytery Minister, Pastoral Care in the Presbytery of Yarra Yarra.  She is an associate faculty member of the theological college as she has a Ph. D. from Princeton Theological Seminary in Biblical Studies (Old Testament).  She has served in the Church of Scotland.  She has been chaplain of the University of Melbourne.  She is a member of the Victorian Council of Churches Faith and Order Commission.  She is currently a member of the World Council of Churches Faith and Order Commission.  She brings experience, expertise and a commitment to ecumenism to the role.


Nominee – Education for Ministry Working Group Chairperson

Rev Dr Andrew Dutney
Andrew was the President of the 13th Assembly of the Uniting Church in Australia. He is Professor in Theology at Flinders University. Andrew has been a leader in theological education for more than two decades. He was the Principal of Parkin-Wesley College 2001-2008 and foundation Principal of Uniting College for Leadership & Theology 2009-2012. Among his many publications in education is the book “A Genuinely Educated Ministry”: Three Studies on Theological Education in the Uniting Church in Australia (Sydney, The Assembly of the UCA: 2007 and 2011). He is the current chairperson of the Education for Ministry Working Group. Andrew is a member of Pilgrim Uniting Church in Adelaide.