The University of Divinity presents
HEALTH AND INTEGRITY
IN CHURCH AND MINISTRY
An ecumenical conversation on the task of rebuilding and renewal after the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse
27–29 August 2018
About the conference
At a time when Australia’s churches are still in an early phase of absorbing and responding to the findings and recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, this two-and-a-half-day symposium aims to begin an inclusive, ecumenical and interdisciplinary conversation about the task of cultural change and renewal that lies ahead.
There are significant questions that need to be taken up in light of the Royal Commission’s final report:
What are the theological implications of the child sexual abuse crisis and indeed the theological learnings to be gained from the Royal Commission?
How do we support those who have been harmed, confront the damage that has been caused within the ecclesial community, and rebuild trust?
How do we build ecclesial communities and ministerial practice marked by health and integrity?
What are the neuralgic issues that need to be faced and addressed, and how can resistance to change be confronted positively and transformed for the good of the ecclesial community?
What questions require further research?
In responding to the Royal Commission, what can the various Christian faith traditions learn from each other?
This conference aims to bring together a broad cross section of voices: church leaders, academics, people in religious and pastoral ministry, representatives of Church agencies, together with those who rarely get a voice, including survivors of abuse and their supporters, members of the laity, women, and church reform groups.
Melbourne City Conference Centre
Corner of Swanston and Little Lonsdale Streets, Melbourne 3000
Enter via 190 Little Lonsdale Street
Monday 27 August, 9.00am–5.00pm
Tuesday 28 August, 9.00am–5.00pm
Wednesday 29 August, 9.00am–1pm
In her 20 years as an award-winning public affairs journalist, Ellen Fanning has interviewed every Australian Prime Minister from Sir John Grey Gorton to Malcolm Turnbull. She has reported politics from Canberra to the White House, while her broader career has taken her to locations as diverse as the North Pole, an airline refuelling fighter jets over Bosnia, and a Collins Class submarine deep in the Indian Ocean. She spent the first ten years of her career at the ABC, where she presented both the AM and PM current affairs radio programs. She also served as the ABC’s Washington correspondent. She was later a reporter on the Nine Network’s 60 Minutes, and the last presenter of Nine’s Sunday program. Ellen co-presents ABC TV’s The Drum, and is a regular presence on ABC Radio.
Robert Fitzgerald AM
Robert Fitzgerald AM was a Commissioner of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse for five years. A commercial lawyer by profession, he is a former NSW Community and Disability Services Commissioner and Deputy Ombudsman, and has served on numerous NGO Boards, including as President of the Australian Council of Social Service. Robert was the inaugural Chair of the Advisory Board, Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission. He has been State President of the St Vincent de Paul Society NSW, Board of Caritas Australia, and Member of the NSW Catholic Commission on Employment Relations. Robert holds degrees in commerce and law from the University of NSW, and an honorary doctorate from the Australian Catholic University. He was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 1994.
Susan Pascoe AM
Susan Pascoe is President and Chair of the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID), Chair of the Community Director’s Council and of the Principals Australia Institute Certification Advisory Board. She is a member of the Board of Mercy Health Australia Group, and a Trustee of St John of God Health Care Inc. Ms Pascoe is Principal of Kadisha Enterprises and of Baxter Lawley, which provide consultancy services primarily to government and the not-for-profit sector in the areas of governance, review, strategic planning, and leadership. Ms Pascoe was the inaugural Commissioner for the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC), Australia's first national, independent regulator of charities from 2012–17. Prior to this, she was Commissioner of Victoria's State Services Authority (SSA). She has been President of the Australian College of Educators, CEO of the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority, and CEO of the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria. In 2009, Susan was appointed as one of three Commissioners for the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Black Saturday bushfires. In 2017, she and Prof Deborah Brennan chaired a review into Early Childhood Education for the Council for the Australian Federation, culminating in the Lifting our Game Report. Susan is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, the Institute of Public Administration of Australia, and the College of Educators. In 2007, she was appointed Member of the Order of Australia for service to education, and in 2016, she was awarded the Leadership in Government Award for her outstanding contribution to public administration in Australia.
Professor Richard Lennan, Professor of Systematic Theology, Boston College
Richard Lennan, a priest of the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle since 1983, is Professor of Systematic Theology in the School of Theology and Ministry at Boston College. His principal fields of research and teaching are ecclesiology and the theology of ministry, and he has a particular interest in the theology and spirituality of Karl Rahner. He holds a Master of Philosophy degree from the University of Oxford, and a doctorate in theology from the University of Innsbruck. He is the author of two books, The Ecclesiology of Karl Rahner and Risking the Church, and the editor of five others, most recently (co-edited with Nancy Pineda-Madrid) The Holy Spirit: Setting the World on Fire (2017). Prior to moving to Boston in 2007, he taught theology for fifteen years at the Catholic Institute of Sydney, and had wide involvement in ecumenical activities and pastoral planning in Australia and New Zealand. He is a past president of the Australian Catholic Theological Association, and currently serves as an editorial consultant for Theological Studies.
Garth Blake AM SC
Garth Blake has been a Barrister since 1984 and a Senior Counsel since 2002. He is a member of the Editorial Board of the international Ecclesiastical Law Journal, and has published articles on issues of law and religion. He has held numerous roles in and on behalf of the Anglican Church of Australia, including Chair of the Safe Ministry Commission, Chair of the Royal Commission Working Group. He is a member of the Safe Church Network of the National Council of Churches in Australia. Since 2017, Garth has been the chair of the international Anglican Communion Safe Church Commission.
Dr Megan Brock RSJ
Dr Megan Brock RSJ is Congregational Leader of the Sisters of St Joseph, Lochinvar. She has worked for almost 30 years as a registered psychologist in private practice, and in consultancy to religious orders, dioceses and other organisations, and has worked extensively in the area of sexual abuse in individual therapeutic settings. For a number of years, she facilitated support groups for religious sisters who are survivors of sexual abuse. She has taught at the Counselling Institute of Sydney, the Catholic Institute of Sydney, and at Western Sydney University. Megan has served on both the NSW and National Committees for Professional Standards, the Board of CatholicCare, Sydney, and the Cancer Council of NSW Ethics Committee. She is a Tribunal Member of the Psychology Council of NSW, and is currently on the Council of Catholic Religious Australia. Her qualifications include BA, Dip Ed, MA [Counselling], and PhD. Her doctoral research examined the lived experience of Religious Sisters in Australia/New Zealand. Its findings have been presented at a number of conferences both nationally and internationally. In June 2018, Megan presented a paper at a conference in Rome about the role of culture as an enabler or barrier in the protection of children and vulnerable adults. Megan’s paper looked at Religious Life as a sub-culture, and explored the challenges for Religious who have been abused themselves.
Professor Robert A Orsi, Professor of Religious Studies, Northwestern University
Robert Orsi is Grace Craddock Nagle Chair of Catholic Studies at Northwestern University. He received his PhD from Yale University in 1981, and has taught at Fordham University, Indiana University, Harvard Divinity School and Harvard University (where he was Chair of the Committee on the Study of Religion), before moving to Northwestern in 2008. In 2012, he was awarded the Charles Deering McCormick Professorship of Teaching Excellence. He is the author of many prize-winning books, among them The Madonna of 115th Street: Faith and Community in Italian Harlem, 1880–1950 (2010), Thank You, Saint Jude: Women’s Devotions to the Patron Saint of Hopeless Causes (1996), and Between Heaven and Earth: The Religious Worlds People Make and the Scholars Who Study Them (2005). Orsi has held fellowships from the NEH and the Guggenheim Foundation, and he is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His most recent books are History and Presence (2016), and Catholics in the Vatican II Era: Local Histories of a Global Event, edited with Kathleen Sprows Cummings and Timothy Matovina (2017). In 2016–2017, Orsi was the Carl and Lily Pforzheimer Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. He is currently at work on a book about the religious and social consequences Catholic clergy sexual abuse crisis over victim/survivors’ lifetimes.
Professor Maria Harries AM
Maria Harries is the Chairperson of Catholic Social Services Australia (CSSA), Senior Honorary Research Fellow (HRF) and Associate Professor in the School of Population and Global Health at the University of Western Australia, and adjunct professor at Curtin University. During the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, she was a member of the Catholic Church's Truth Justice and Healing Council (TJHC). For 30 years, she has worked with providers of services for those who have experience abuse. In 1995, on behalf of the Christian Brothers, she established and managed CBERSS, a service to assist former child migrants and former students who had experienced abuse. She was the inaugural Chair of MercyCare when it became a PJP in 2002. Maria has worked in health, mental health and child and family services in both the government and non-government sectors in Western Australia, nationally and internationally. Much of Maria’s work, research and writing has focused on the care, wellbeing and protection of children and support of families. She holds governance roles with a number of state and national organisations involved with service delivery, health, mental health, violence, adult survivors and child, adult and family welfare. Maria attended the 2015 Vatican Synod on the Family as a lay Catholic representative.
Professor Rik Torfs, Professor of Canon Law, Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium
Rik Torfs is Professor of Canon Law at the Catholic University of Leuven, and from 2013–2017 was Rector of the University. The author of more than 300 articles on canon law, and church and state, he is visiting professor at the universities of Strasbourg (France) and Stellenbosch (South Africa), editor of the European Journal for Church and State Research, and a member of the editorial board of Revue de Droit Canonique. From 2010 to 2013 he was a member of the Belgian Parliament as a senator for the Christian Democratic Party. He is a member of the Honorary Committee of the Bern-based International Association for the Defense of Religious Freedom (AIDLR), and a member of the board of the International Academy for Freedom of Religion and Belief, based in Washington DC. In 1998, he was a member and co-rapporteur of the working group set up to establish Belgium's Commission on Sexual Abuse in Pastoral Relations. He is a regular newspaper columnist in Belgium.
Joan is a wife, mother and doting grandmother. At the age of fourteen her normal, happy life changed irreparably when the chaplain at her school, Father Frank Derriman, groomed her for his own sexual gratification. Despite her abuse, Joan went on to be a teacher. Joan was silenced by her abuser and later by the Catholic Church. The Royal Commission found that the deed of release she was required to sign at the conclusion of the Towards Healing process, ‘effectively imposed on Mrs Isaacs an obligation of silence about the circumstances that led to her complaint. This was inconsistent with Part 2, clause 41.4, of Towards Healing (2002)’. In 2013, Joan gave evidence to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse. She was the first survivor of child sexual abuse in a Catholic institution to give evidence to the Royal Commission, in the first of 15 Catholic Church case studies. In 2016, Joan released her book, To Prey and To Silence, to expose the truth and to encourage others who have experienced similar challenges.
Bishop Alison Taylor
Bishop Alison Taylor was the fourth woman in Australia to be consecrated as an Anglican bishop. She served as the Bishop for the Southern Region of the Diocese of Brisbane and as the Chair of that Diocese’s Schools Commission from 2013 until her retirement earlier this year. During that period, she had overall pastoral responsibility for a number of parishes and schools affected by historic child sexual abuse and by the processes of the Royal Commission. Prior to her consecration, Bishop Taylor served in parishes and as an Archdeacon of the Diocese of Melbourne. As part of her commitment to the role of the Church in overseas development, she was the Chair of Anglican Overseas Aid from 2005 to 2012. Before ordination, Bishop Taylor was an urban planner specialising in heritage conservation, a field in which she published widely. Bishop Taylor is currently a Turner Research Fellow in the Trinity College Theological School of the University of Divinity. She is undertaking PhD studies with the topic ‘Interrogating holiness: a contribution to the ecclesiology of the Anglican Church of Australia in the light of the child sexual abuse scandal.’
Very Rev Dr Gerald Gleeson
Gerald Gleeson is Vicar General in the Archdiocese of Sydney. He came to this role in 2015 after many years teaching philosophy and Christian Ethics at the Catholic Institute of Sydney, and a time as Parish Priest at Summer Hill. He was ordained a priest in 1978, and is a graduate of the University of Cambridge and the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium. He was a member of the NHMRC Australian Health Ethics Committee from 2006-2012. He is a member of the Boards of the Sydney Catholic Schools Trust, the CatholicCare Sydney Trust, and of the Council of St John’s College within the University of Sydney.
Emeritus Professor John Warhurst AO
John Warhurst AO has extensive experience in academic political science, civic and church participation, and the media over many years. He is Emeritus Professor of Political Science at the Australian National University, where he was Professor of Political Science from 1993–2008, and is a regular columnist with the Canberra Times and Eureka Street magazine. He has received university, church, civic and state honours for his professional and community work. He was previously Chair of the Australian Republican Movement, and Deputy Chair of Catholic Social Services Australia. Currently, he is the inaugural Chair of Concerned Catholics Canberra Goulburn, and President of Christians for an Ethical Society, as well as serving as a board member of Marist 180 and a national council member of Caritas Australia.
I am the wife of a survivor of clerical sexual abuse. I am the mother of a survivor of clerical sexual abuse. I am a retired registered nurse by profession, having practiced in bush nursing, and qualified and specialised in anaesthetic and recovery care. My husband, Ray, and I are descended from many generations of Catholic heritage, this faith we have passed on to our four children. I have a strong interest in social justice. As a volunteer over the years I have assisted in the management and care of women and children in a women’s refuge, fundraised to provide accommodation for refugees, assisted in a project to fund education for young women in Romania and the Philippines, and advocacy for survivors of clerical sexual abuse. In 1993, at a time when I was struggling to make sense of the chaos that was unravelling in my family, I stepped back to look at the bigger picture. Part of my journey forward was to enrol as a part time student at Yarra Theological Union in the department of Pastoral Studies. I commenced with the subject ‘Faith and the Development of the Human Person’. Essentially, I was looking at my faith development through motherhood. Among the opening words to my essay I wrote, “I hope to attain skills, that will enable me to work at a Baptismal level in an area of need in the Parish Community. I believe when the time is right, I will be shown the way”. Prophetic words.
Emeritus Professor Desmond Cahill OAM
Educated in theology at the Pontifical Urban University in Rome, and in psychology at Melbourne and Monash Universities, Des Cahill is Emeritus Professor of Intercultural Studies in the School of Global, Urban and Social Studies at RMIT University. After giving evidence in 2012 to the Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into institutional child sexual abuse on non-Christian religions, he was a senior consultant on the Catholic Church to the Royal Commission, authoring (with Dr Peter Wilkinson), the 2017 RMIT study Child Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church: An Interpretive Review of the Literature and of Public Inquiry Reports. During his academic career, he conducted major policy and program evaluative studies in various Commonwealth Governrment departments, including the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. He served on the Australian Catholic Bishops’ Council for Pastoral Research. He has also been co-convenor of For the Innocents, a support and advocacy group for victim survivors. He currently chairs Religions for Peace Australia, and is deputy moderator-general of Religions for Peace Asia. He is a member of the Australian Partnership of Religious Organisations (APRO), and of the Victoria Police Multifaith Council.
Dr Kathleen McPhillips
Dr Kathleen McPhillips is senior lecturer and a sociologist of religion at the University of Newcastle, and is vice-president of the Australian Association for the Study of Religion. She is also a clinical psychotherapist in private practice in Newcastle specialising in early trauma. Kathleen is currently undertaking a large research project examining the Catholic Church at the Royal Commission, and has published recently in The Conversation (2016–2018), Psychoanalytic Dialogues (Vol 27.2, 2017), Journal for the Academic Study of Religion (Vol 29.1, 2016), Child Abuse and Neglect (Vol 74.1, 2017), and Journal of Australian Studies (Vol 43, 2018).
Professor M. Isabell Naumann ISSM
Prof M. Isabell Naumann ISSM THD/STD is the President of the Catholic Institute of Sydney, an ecclesiastical faculty and a member institute of the Sydney College of Divinity. M Isabell is a Member of the Secular Institute of the Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary (ISSM) where she holds the position of province vicar for Australia and the Philippines. For over ten years, she served as the Academic Dean of Studies at the Seminary of the Good Shepherd, Sydney and taught Systematic Theology at the Catholic Institute of Sydney. She is also an Adjunct Professor in Systematic Theology at the University of Notre Dame, Sydney. Having lectured in the USA, Philippines, Italy and Germany, she serves on various national and international academic boards and councils including the Pontifical Council for Culture, Rome.
Maria is the Director of Catholic Education for the Diocese of Sale and CEO of Diocese of Sale Catholic Education Ltd. She has worked in Catholic education for over 40 years, as a classroom teacher, as principal of two primary schools, and working in educational administration at a senior level for 18 years. Prior to joining the Catholic Education Office in the Diocese of Sale, Maria provided strategic advice and support on a wide range of pastoral and professional standards issues to the Directors of Catholic Education in the dioceses of Ballarat, Sandhurst and Sale, as well as managing staff groups overseeing Religious Education, Professional Learning, Pastoral Care, and Student Wellbeing. Maria was a member of the Ministerial Advisory Council for the Victorian Institute of Teaching (MACVIT), and later as the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria’s representative on the Victorian Institute of Teaching (VIT), the registration and regulatory body for the teaching profession in Victoria. Maria has been a member of several school boards, a hospital board of management, and is currently a member of the Passionist Congregation Formation Commission and Professional Standards Advisory Committee and the Council of Yarra Theological Union. She is a Fellow of the Australian Council for Educational Leaders (FACEL).
Janiene is a clinical psychologist registered with the Psychology Board of Australia. She is a member of the College of Clinical Psychologists of the Australian Psychological Society, and a member of the NSW Institute of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy. Janiene lecturers on human development and pastoral counselling at the Catholic Institute of Sydney, and has worked with clergy for many years, including as a psychologist at the Good Shepherd Seminary in Sydney. She has an interest in the convergence of psychology with theology and spirituality, and the unique pastoral dilemmas that the Church must now face and address.
Rev Dr Alan Niven
Alan is a Churches of Christ minister. Following 19 years of parish ministry, he was Lecturer in Pastoral Theology and Family Studies at Stirling College, University of Divinity (from 1994–2016). Currently Stirling’s Director of Research, he supervises doctoral work in healthcare, spirituality and chaplaincy, pastoral counselling, disability, policy and pastoral care, multicultural ministry, and ageing and spirituality. He has supervised ministers and priests (six different traditions) in their practice for over 20 years. He helped develop denominational Codes of Conduct, and was active in disciplinary processes including victim-advocacy. In 1997, he first taught the study unit 'Violence and abuse: Theological, pastoral and spiritual responses', as a personal response to family violence and the growing evidence of abuse within the Church.
Dr Ben Myers
Dr Ben Myers is director of the Millis Institute, a liberal arts program at Christian Heritage College, Brisbane. Prior to this he was lecturer in Systematic Theology at Charles Sturt University in Sydney, a research fellow at the University of Queensland, and a fellow of the Center of Theological Inquiry at Princeton Univeristy. He has published widely on theology, literature, and Christian history, and his books include Milton’s Theology of Freedom (2012), Christ the Stranger: The Theology of Rowan Williams (2012), and The Apostles’ Creed: A Guide to the Ancient Catechism (2018). He tweets at @FaithTheology.
Christabel Chamarette is a registered clinical psychologist with 45 years’ experience in the treatment of violence and child sexual abuse. From 1997 to 2008, she was Clinical Director of SafeCare, (formerly known as the Sexual Assault in Families Program) a private, not-for-profit organisation, partly funded by a WA Department of Community Development grant until 2009, which provided counselling, support and group therapy to families where child sexual abuse had occurred or was at risk of occurring. As SafeCare Clinical Director, Christabel provided psychological reports for Courts, Community Corrections and lawyers, risk assessments to the Family Court, and both group and individual psychotherapy with individuals responsible for child sexual abuse and those who had experienced child sexual abuse as children. Christabel has been a consultant to the WA Ministry of Justice (1997–2008), a member of the WA Parole Board (2002–2006), and a member of the WA Board of Professional Standards of the Anglican Church (1997–2015). She is single expert witness to the Family Court of Western Australia, visiting lecturer to the WA Police Academy, and postgraduate psychiatry lecturer on child sexual abuse. Now in private practice, Christabel provides supervision for allied health professionals, a referral and treatment service for men seeking the SafeCare offender treatment program. She also co-facilitates a community-based treatment group for men charged with internet offences involving children. In mid-2013, she commenced a part-time consulting and teaching program, Helping Families Heal, in Halls Creek and Fitzroy Crossing, in which Aboriginal community members learn about healing of childhood adversity and problems with drug addiction, violence and suicide. In 2014, Christabel was a founding committee member of the Australian Psychological Society (APS) Interest Group on Psychology and sexual abuse, and was Chairperson in 2017. From 1992 to 1996, she was Greens Senator for Western Australia in the Federal Parliament.
Rev Dr Kevin Lenehan
Kevin Lenehan is a priest of the Catholic Diocese of Ballarat, Victoria. He is Senior Lecturer and Associate Dean (Postgraduate & Research) at Catholic Theology College Melbourne, a college of the University of Divinity. He holds degrees from Monash University, Melbourne College of Divinity, and the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium. He teaches and researches in the areas of fundamental theology, theological anthropology, and religious education. He is a regular contributor in faith formation and adult religious education, as well as liturgical ministry in parishes. He has previously held appointments in youth ministry, pastoral ministry, and leadership in Catholic Education.
Brother Peter Carroll FMS
Brother Peter Carroll has been Provincial of the Marist Brothers Province of Australia since 2015, and was recently elected for a second three-year term, commencing September 2018. Prior to this, he was the Vice Provincial from 2012, when the former Marist Provinces of Melbourne and Sydney merged to form the new Province of Australia. As Provincial, Brother Peter has overall responsibility for the Brothers and their communities, and for the newly founded Marist Association of St Marcellin Champagnat. Brother Peter has had lengthy experience in education. He has been Principal of three schools: St Peter Claver College in Ipswich Queensland, Marist College North Shore in Sydney, and Trinity Catholic College in Lismore. As Vice Provincial, and then as Provincial, he was involved with the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, and appeared as a witness in two of its case studies.
Rev Dr Cecilia Francis
Cecilia Francis is an Anglican Priest in the Diocese of Melbourne. Cecilia lectures in Practical Theology, focusing on leadership, pastoral theology and practice, and spirituality, as well as having responsibility for the Supervised Theological Field Education program, and assisting in the ministry education process for theological students at Trinity College Theological School, Parkville. She also lectures in Supervision at post-graduate levels at the nearby Jesuit Centre for Spirituality. As Director of the Institute for Ministry Development Inc., she provides professional supervision for people undertaking supervisory training and those who are supervising others in various arenas. Cecilia is also currently training as a Spiritual Director. Following her doctoral work on leadership and understandings of God, Cecilia is continuing to research the gap between espoused understandings and actual practice, and its impact for leadership across a range of ministries, including supervision.
Rev Joan Wright Howie
Joan is a minister with the Habitat Uniting Church in Melbourne’s inner east where she has worked with her community to create a Spirituality and Wellbeing Centre. She has a vision to awaken Christ’s abundant life in people who identify as spiritual but not religious through a 21st Century spiritual formation community. Joan has an MA in Spiritual Direction and teaches with the WellSpring spiritual direction formation program and with Stirling Theological College training people to become supervisors. She is passionate about holding people in ministry in God’s love as they clarify their identity, calling and unique gifts. She loves enabling people to become curators for change and advocates for justice.
Fr Kevin Dillon AM
Fr Kevin Dillon was ordained a Catholic priest in 1969 and has spent nearly fifty years in parish pastoral ministry. He also served as Director of Vocations for seven years, and as State Director for the Papal Visit of Pope John Paul II in 1986. For the past ten years he has been in daily contact with up to 150 victims/survivors of church-related abuse. He has been a strong advocate, both within the framework of the Catholic Church and within the wider community, for improved pastoral, practical and spiritual care of victims. In 2013, together with a number of like-minded people mainly from Geelong, he established Lifeboat Geelong Foundation, which has raised significant funds and provided survivors with personal, financial and practical support, together with friendship, respect and empathy. The organisation has a committee of 25 and, while Geelong-based, it assists survivors from every state in Australia.
Rev Dr Brendan J Reed
Brendan is a priest of the Archdiocese of Melbourne, and is currently Parish Priest of Deepdene and Balwyn and Camberwell parishes. He is an adjunct lecturer at Catholic Theological College, University of Divinity, where he teachers in the area of Systematic and Pastoral Theology. Brendan received his PhD in Pastoral Theology from the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium. He has worked extensively in Catholic Education and in Parish Ministry in the area of Catholic school and parish identity. He is the author of Engaging with the Hopes of Parishes (2018).
Ming Long is a non-executive director in funds and investment management, real estate, education and professional associations. She has held leadership positions including CEO and CFO roles, with a track record of taking on challenging roles, including successfully navigating the global financial crisis. She is the only Asian woman who has led an ASX-100 or 200 listed entity in Australia. Ming led the establishment of the Property Male Champions of Change, was named as one of the 100 Women of Influence, and was a finalist in the Telstra Business Womens Awards. She is a Fellow of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, a Fellow of Finsia, a Graduate of Australian Institute of Company Directors, and a member of Chief Executive Women. Ming is a non-executive director and Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee for AMP Capital Funds Management Limited. She is also on the board of Chartered Accountants and Diversity Council of Australia.
Natalie Acton is Centre Director of the Mount St Benedict Centre, a spirituality centre that is a ministry of the Sisters of the Good Samaritan in Sydney. She previously worked with the Institute of Sisters of Mercy of Australia and Papua New Guinea in the area of formation with boards of governance, executive leaders, staff and volunteers in a diversity of ministry sectors across Australia and Papua New Guinea. The role involved supporting ministry leaders in evaluating and assessing the ethos and culture of their ministry, and developing and delivering programs, resources and formation experiences. Prior to this, Natalie worked for the Diocese of Broken Bay as Project Coordinator in the Office of the Bishop, which included coordinating a Diocesan Synod. Natalie has also worked in the for-profit sector in the areas of staff training, business development and performance management, and she has operated her own business in the financial services sector. Natalie has undergraduate and post-graduate qualifications in theology specialising in the areas of mission and culture.
Br John Wong OFM, Custos of the Franciscan Custody of St Anthony (Malaysia-Singapore-Brunei)
A member of the Franciscan Friars Province of the Holy Spirit (Australia-Aotearoa New Zealand) for the past 23 years, Brother John has served as Custos of the Franciscan Custody of St Anthony (Malaysia-Singapore-Brunei) since 2010. As President of the Conference of Religious Major Superiors (Malaysia-Singapore-Brunei) since 2015, and as part of the Order of Friars Minor Commission for Dialogue since 2017, he has been actively engaged in regional inter-entity and inter-agency initiatives against Human Trafficking, and in the process of ecumenical and inter-faith dialogue.
Very Rev Dr Brendan Daly, lecturer in canon law, Good Shepherd Theological College, Auckland
Dr Brendan Daly has been a priest of the diocese of Christchurch in New Zealand since 1977. He has been a lecturer in canon law at Good Shepherd College – Te Hepara Pai – in Auckland since 2001, and was principal from 2002–2016. Brendan studied canon law in Ottawa in the 1980s, completing a doctorate in canon law in 1986 with a thesis on infant baptism. He has taught seminarians in New Zealand since 1987, and was rector of Holy Cross Seminary from 1995–2000. He is Judicial Vicar of the Tribunal of the Catholic Church for New Zealand. He authored the book Canon Law in Action (2015), and has written over 50 refereed articles and chapters in books.
Dr Peter Wilkinson
Dr Peter Wilkinson is President of Catholics for Renewal, Australia, and Treasurer of the Australian Association for Mission Studies. He has a Licentiate and Doctorate in Missiology from the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, and a Bachelor in Education from LaTrobe University. Ordained to the priesthood with St Columban’s Mission Society in 1961, Peter taught at Columban seminaries in Melbourne and Sydney, before being sent to minister in the Diocese of Andong in the Republic of Korea. After resigning from canonical ministry in 1976, he worked at the Victorian Good Neighbour Council, at the Ecumenical Migration Centre, Richmond, as Director of the Clearing House on Migration Issues (CHOMI), and then as Chief of Research and Community Education at the Australian Institute of Multicultural Affairs. For some years, he was a guest lecturer in Missiology at Yarra Theological Union, a member college of the University of Divinity. Now retired, Peter has continued his research into parish ministry in Australia, as well as Australian synods and councils and synodality. With Professor Des Cahill, he co-authored the 2017 RMIT report Child Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church: An Interpretive Review of the Literature and Public Inquiry Reports.
Peter Johnstone OAM
Peter Johnstone is Convener of the Australian Catholic Coalition for Church Reform, Deputy President of Catholics for Renewal, and Chair of Council for the Jesuit College of Spirituality at the University of Divinity. Peter has worked in senior positions at all levels of government in Australia, and has been chief executive of many public-sector organisations, and director and chair of various boards in the public and not-for-profit sectors. He has been Secretary of a number of Victoria Government departments including Community Services, headed Commonwealth human services programs, and been CEO for a number of local governments. He is a former chair of Jesuit Social Services, VincentCare Victoria, and the Council of Catholic Social Services Vic, and former deputy chair of National Seniors Australia. Peter’s is Principal of his business PJ Governance, and is committed to good governance for organisations serving communities and to social justice, with a particular interest in subsidiarity, social inclusion, justice for indigenous people, and the role of seniors in society. He is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the Australian Institute of Public Administration.
Rev Joe Johns
Joe Johns is Assisting Deacon in the Anglican Diocese of Willochra in South Australia, based in Clare. After serving as a US marine, Joe did his undergraduate studies in Theology at California State University, and graduate studies at St Patrick’s Seminary, Menlo Park, California and Mt Angel Seminary, St Benedict, Oregon. He later worked as parochial administrator in a remote Catholic mission in the Queen Charlotte Islands in British Columbia, before serving as a chaplain in the Canadian Armed Forces, including with the First Canadian Air Division Search and Rescue Squadron based in Winnipeg, and with the Canadian Atlantic Fleet. From 2009 to 2014, he was Catholic pastoral associate chaplain in the Royal Australian Air Force, and in 2010, provided chaplaincy support to RAAF personnel deployed to the United Arab Emirates and Afghanistan.
Dr Muriel Porter OAM
Muriel Porter is a Melbourne journalist, author, religious commentator and Anglican laywoman. She has been a member of the Anglican Church’s national decision-making body, the General Synod, since 1987, and has been a member of its key committees. She was a leader in the decades-long struggle to see women ordained as priests and bishops in the Anglican Church. Muriel has written numerous books on the contemporary Australian religious scene, including Sex, Power and the Clergy (2003), and The New Scapegoats: The Clergy Victims of the Anglican Church Sexual Abuse Crisis (2017). Muriel was formerly a senior lecturer in journalism at RMIT University, Melbourne, and is now an Honorary Research Fellow of the University of Divinity and a member of the adjunct faculty, Trinity College Theological School, Melbourne.
Dr John McManus
Dr John McManus is a psychologist with over thirty years of experience in both clinical and organisational settings. A member of the Australian Psychological Society, he has worked in community groups, schools, colleges, hospitals and has consulted widely to organisations including the St John of God hospitals group. John is currently involved in a variety of psychological work including the provision of high quality employee assistance services (EAPs). He is a past President of EAPAA, the peak body for EAP professionals in Australia and New Zealand, and is the Chair of the Ethics Committee. He has dedicated himself to elevating the issue of effective and ethical practice and the promotion of relevant professional development. He is widely acknowledged in the field throughout Australia and New Zealand including for his work with young and emerging practitioners. John earned his PhD from the University of Queensland. His doctoral thesis focused on the psychodynamic study of organisations and established that effective interventions do provide significant health benefits to employees and their families. He is a partner in Mind and Matter Consulting which provides a wide range of psychological services. He specialises in the treatment of trauma as well as mediation, conflict resolution, coaching and supervision and remains committed to an ongoing diverse caseload of counselling and therapy.
Rev Dr David Ranson
Fr David Ranson is a priest of the Diocese of Broken Bay, where he serves as Parish Priest of Holy Name Wahroonga. He served as Vicar General from 2015-2018. For many years he was a senior lecturer in the Sydney College of Divinity, teaching in Spirituality at the Catholic Institute of Sydney. He holds a Master of Theology degree from the Melbourne College of Divinity and his PhD from Australian Catholic University. David has written numerous articles on spirituality, pastoral formation and on the issue of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. He was invited by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse to be a member of an international academic advisory committee and appeared before the Royal Commission during Case Study 50.
Maureen O’Hearn is Coordinator, Healing and Support, with Zimmerman Services, the child protection and healing and support agency of the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle. Maureen has a degree in Social Work and a Bachelor of Social Studies from the University of Sydney, and over 35 years as a social worker, mainly working with children and families and in the area of child protection in both government and non-government agencies. Maureen gave evidence at both the NSW Special Commission of Inquiry in 2013, and the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in 2016.
Deborah Swain is Safety and Wellbeing Officer with the Professional Standards Office of Marist Brothers Australia. Prior to this, Deb served for over 20 years on the frontline of policing, including as a detective in the western suburbs of Sydney, and later as a covert surveillance specialist, a crime analyst, and a Detective Sergeant investigating the sexual and physical abuse of children and adult survivors. After leaving the NSW Police Force, she was involved in undertaking Towards Healing assessments and investigations under the NSW Ombudsman’s Act. Deb’s role with the Marist Brothers’ Professional Standards Office includes the development and review of personal safety and wellbeing plans of restricted Brothers, encouraging and supporting them in their compliance of the provisions of their plans.
Anna Tydd is the Director of Professional Standards and Safeguarding for the Diocese of Wollongong, a post she has held since August 2017. Anna has spent the vast majority of her legal career focusing on the systemic and cultural factors that have influenced individual and institutional responses to child sexual abuse and other harmful behaviour in the Catholic Church, and the risk factors with respect to that behaviour. Previously, Anna acted as a Legal Team Manager for four years with the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, and from January 2006 to 2009 Anna was a team member for the legal firm engaged to act for the Archdiocese of Dublin during the government-sponsored Commission of Investigation into the Dublin Archdiocese (the Murphy Inquiry). This inquiry related to the response of the Archdiocese of Dublin to clerical child sexual abuse.
Tony Doherty is a priest of the Archdiocese of Sydney. Most recently he had pastoral charge of Rose Bay/Dover Heights parishes, before which he was Dean of St Mary’s Cathedral. Over several decades, his ministry has been in the area of adult faith education. Currently he is retired from parish administration.
Very Rev Professor Ian Waters
Ian Waters was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Melbourne in 1970. He has five graduate degrees in canon law, is a senior fellow of Catholic Theological College – University of Divinity, Melbourne, where he has lectured canon law since 1991, and is the only canonist to have been promoted to the academic rank of professor in an Australian university. He is a past president of the Canon Law Society of Australia and New Zealand.
Very Rev Christopher de Souza
Chris is Vicar General and Episcopal Vicar for Education and Formation in the Diocese of Parramatta and Vice-Rector of Parramatta’s Holy Spirit Seminary. He was born in Colombo, Sri Lanka, in 1958. Moving to Australia at a young age, he grew up in the western suburbs of Sydney, and was educated at Patrician Brothers’ College, Fairfield. He was ordained in 1983 and has worked in the Diocese of Parramatta since its inception in 1986. His parish appointments have included Windsor, Penrith, Harris Park and, since 2017, Marsden Park, Australia’s newest Catholic parish community. Chris has been Director of Vocations and Formation for the Diocese of Parramatta (1993–2003), Director of Deacons and Students, and Director of Prison Chaplains. Chris has a Bachelor of Sacred Theology degree from the Catholic Institute of Sydney, a Masters in Spirituality from the Milltown Institute in Ireland, and a Graduate Diploma of Religious Formation in Ministry, also attained in Ireland.
Rev Peter Maher OAM
Peter is a Catholic priest of the Sydney Archdiocese who works as a supervisor and supervisor trainer with Transforming Practices Inc. He is a member of the Australasian Association of Supervision (AAOS) and the Association of Pastoral Supervisors and Educators (UK). Peter is chair of Rachel's Vineyard Retreat Ministries, Sydney, and editor of The Swag, the National Council of Priests quarterly magazine. He is currently a member of the Human Research Ethics Committee of The University of Technology, Sydney. He has worked in parish ministry for 40 years, and also in hospital and university chaplaincy and youth retreat work. His qualifications include Bachelor of Theology from the Catholic Institute of Sydney, and a Masters in Education (Adult) from UTS. Peter received a UTS Human Rights Award in 2008, the Ally Award Celebrating and Supporting Sexual Diversity and Identity, and the UTS Alumni Community Award in 2015. He was awarded an OAM in 2015. He is a member of Rainbow Catholics InterAgency (RCiA), a group supporting ministry with LGBTI Catholics and their allies, and a member of Equal Voices, an ecumenical group affirming LGBTI diversity.
Josh Tuhipa-Turner is the Safe Church Coordinator for the Uniting Church Synod of Victoria and Tasmania. He has oversight of the Synod’s Person of Concern Intervention, a program originating out of the Synod of Victoria and Tasmania that will be introduced across the Uniting Church nationally. Josh has a Bachelor of Social Work from Massey University, New Zealand and his practise is heavily informed by his statutory work in New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Queensland and Victoria.
Kate is Director of Safeguarding for Catholic Professional Standards Ltd. Kate has worked with children and families, providing counselling services, program delivery, policy development and emergency management response. Over the last 25 years Kate has undertaken leadership roles with Commonwealth, State and Local governments and NGOs. Kate set up the Child Protection Compliance Section, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (formerly AusAID), implementing a child safeguarding risk management framework across Australia’s overseas aid program. Most recently as a consultant, Kate has worked with a range of Government Departments and NGO’s internationally and domestically delivering child protection training and supporting many organisations, with weak or no child safeguarding systems in place, to become compliant and resilient organisations that embed child safeguarding into organisational culture. Kate is committed to improving the lives of children by creating safer environments where children can thrive and grow up free from abuse.
Broadcaster and commentator John Cleary is best known for his two decades as host of the nationally broadcast Sunday Nights on ABC local radio. In his long career with the ABC Religion Unit, John was part of the original Compass team on ABC TV, and was the founding presenter/producer of The Religion Report on Radio National. In 1986 John was the recipient of a British Council Chevening Fellowship looking at the future of public broadcasting with a particular focus on Religion and the Media. On his return from the UK John served two terms as staff-elected director on the ABC Board of Directors. His 1992 book, Salvo! The Salvation Army in the 1990s, was awarded Australian Religious Book of the Year. In his years with Sunday Nights, John was active in the promotion of Inter-faith relations. He was invited by the Catholic Church to host the inter-faith event in Association with the visit of Pope Benedict for World Youth Day. He currently facilitates a quarterly public conversation for the Anglican Primate Dr Philip Frier with leading public figures. He is also a member of the advisory board of the Islamic inter-faith organisation, the Affinity Inter-cultural Foundation. In the context of the Royal Commission on Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, John presented a two-part Compass television documentary on ABC-TV about the Salvation Army and the abuse crisis.