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Acknowledgement of country and traditional owners 22

We acknowledge Aboriginal Peoples are Australia’s first Peoples and the Traditional Owners and Custodians

CHARGE TO SYNOD Presidential Address to the Second Session of the Fifty First Synod of the Diocese of Newcastle The Rt Rev’d Gregory Thompson BISHOP OF NEWCASTLE

Loving Our Neighbour” INTRODUCTION When we formally adopted revised liturgies as the Anglican Church of Australia in 1978, we moved from reciting the Ten Commandments each Sunday as part of the Communion Service to reciting the Two Great Commandment. In most parishes, week in and week out, as we gathered for worship we were reminded that Our Lord Jesus Christ said: You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all of your strength. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbour as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. These great words of Jesus recounted by Mark in his Gospel echo the great teaching of the Old Testament in Deuteronomy and Leviticus. We hear the call to honour God, who has given us so much, with our entire being. The covenant relationship we enter into with God is that with thankful hearts we worship him and express to the world around his love, his peace and his justice. It is a loss that with the changes permitted by the 1995 A Prayer Book for Australia many parishes have become less practiced to hearing this ancient call to love God and love our neighbour on a regular basis. Our gathering as Synod must always be shaped by our desire to fully love and serve God who we have come to know in Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit. In this Synod address, I want to spend most of our time in focussing on the second part of these commandments – loving our neighbour as ourselves.

In my presidential address last year, I focussed on the pressing needs of the diocesan family and introduced the idea of “safe uncertainty” from the social sciences. I shared with you some of the things I had learnt about the Diocese. Together we recognised that the certainty that we yearn for may not exist and may never have existed. As we live among people who have experienced world wars, the cold war, genocide, and racism we accept that the certainty often looked for is a myth. This myth is eroded further when we acknowledge the impact of globalisation and technological advances. We also recognised that to negotiate the maze of uncertainty we need some levels of assurance and comfort. We need to know that we are safe. I suggested to you last year that there were aspects of our diocesan life that were unsafe. Since then I have led the Diocese in understanding that a significant reason for this lack of safety was a culture in which the abuse of children and young people went unnoticed and unaddressed. We did not hear the cries of our children and we did not see the sins of the perpetrators. Our diocesan culture was blind to what was going in our midst and silenced those who tried to speak up. By “facing the past and shaping a healthy future” we are beginning to name our cultural issues and address them. One of the ways I have invited the clergy and laity of the Diocese to face the past, enable safety and shape a healthy future, has been to

introduce the work of Parker J Palmer and the Centre of Courage and Renewal. This work, centred on “circles of trust”, seeks to create safe spaces where people can explore those things that will enable them to strengthen their vocation as they integrate more deeply their soul and their roles as disciple, spouse, parent, worker and the like. They are encouraged to embrace their shadows and limitations as well as their light and their gifts. The circles of trust principles or touchstones are central to creating communities of wellbeing in which each person is invited to deeper wellbeing. This year I want to focus this presidential address on other people. My call is for us to be “an outward looking people”. I want us to be more acutely aware of the needs of people in our communities and across the globe. I want us to be alert to the last three marks of mission for the Anglican Communion that invite us to embrace the whole of life – •

To respond to human need by loving service

To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation, and sustain and renew the life of the earth

To transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and pursue peace and reconciliation

I want us in this Diocese to renew our sense of participating in God’s mission by participating in his loving purpose towards people. In this address, with the assistance of a number of people, I want to direct our attention towards God’s concern for those in need and his desire that they may know freedom and justice. 


OUR NEIGHBOUR – THE SURVIVOR OF SEXUAL ABUSE I come to my next topic with a very heavy heart and a deep sense of the gravity that our conversation will bring. I want to reflect further on the culture that allowed sexual abuse to exist in our Diocese. I am going to do this by looking at the experience in another part of the Anglican Communion. My focus is on the victims and survivors of abuse and their families. As a community of the Gospel we are also aware of those accused of causing harm and their families.

realise that for nearly 40 years people were victimised by someone they should have been able to trust. They were victimised again by systems and cultures that did not hear their voices.

A few weeks ago, Peter Ball, a retired bishop from the Church of England, was sentenced to nearly three years in prison after pleading guilty to two counts of indecent assault. He also pleaded guilty to one charge of misconduct in public office, relating to the sexual abuse of 16 young men over a period of 15 years from 1977 to 1992. All of these criminal offences occurred while he was a bishop. Two more allegations of offending won't be put before the court. Overall, he offended against at least 20 young men by getting close to them by inviting them to explore their religious life and vocation to ordained ministry. As one of the leading police on the case said, he “used religion as a cloak behind which to carry out his grooming activity”. When Ball finally admitted to his wrongdoing, it was after investigations over a number of years.

I am pleased to lead a Diocese where a number of initiatives have been taken, most especially by Bishop Farran and the diocesan leadership team. I am aware of the undermining they faced. I am committed to building on that work as we create a culture of transparency, safety and care. This approach has always included offers of pastoral care and counselling to all involved in investigations – complainants and respondents. The process of facing the past and shaping a healthy future is bearing fruit. We have had people who have been willing to come forward and speak of their experience. As confronting as this can be for us, it requires great bravery on their part. We must continue to hear what people are saying to us. We need to have practices in our parishes that affirm that children will be seen and heard in our churches and in our families. We must welcome our children and listen to them. We must also hear from the children of the past. We are going to do more of that today.

Some recent events in the Church of England will remind us that one offender may have many victims. That offender may be popular, well connected and abuse over a number of years. We will see how much bravery and persistence is required for victims to come forward.

This conduct rightly shocks and scandalises us. Our anger is intensified when we hear from one of his victims that the abuse “stayed with me throughout my life’s journey and even this far down the track [the investigation into him] doesn’t feel like there’s any real closure.” This man’s struggles intensified because it took a long time for people to be convinced the events actually took place. That victim will not see justice as he took his life in 2012.

I recount these facts because they are from a long way away and they are in the public domain. As we hear them, we


In 2012, the BBC produced a television report on the Diocese of Chichester. We played this at a professional development day last year. As a group of clergy, we were confronted by what we saw and together realised that much of what was reported could have been said of our Diocese. We had cultures that did not respect the sanctity, dignity and wellbeing of our children. We had cultures that dissuaded people from speaking of their experience. We had cultures that protected abusers.

At the end of this address, two people, well known to us, will speak of their experience of abuse as young people. Rather than speak directly they have recorded an interview. This is troubling listening and I am so grateful that they have been willing to speak so that we might learn. 

OUR NEIGHBOUR – THE SURVIVOR OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE Today people everywhere are struggling through life with damaged emotions, too often these emotions eat away at people who live with their terrible, shameful secret that is so often swept under the carpet – the reality of violence in their home.

One survivor spent eighteen years of her life in an abusive environment and as soon as she got away from the situation, she acted as though nothing was wrong. She never told anyone what had gone wrong in her private life. She realised she was an expert at building walls and stuffing things into dark corners, pretending they never happened. They are many steps that people can take towards survival and receive healing. One of the first steps is to face the truth. One can’t be set free whilst living in denial and pretending that the violence and abuse of power didn’t happen. So often people are afraid of what people will think. Afraid of being rejected, misunderstood, or unloved by those they care about or that they might have a different opinion if they really knew all about the person. Verbalising to another by drawing upon knowledge, understanding and insight of those past situations can be of great benefit. To share with someone that can be trusted, old hurts and offences that have been buried and hidden away and facing the past, can be the beginning of a new life.

Another approach is to recognise that humans have basic rights and to believe in that truth with the right to have thoughts and feelings acknowledged, the right to live a life free from fear, the right to live a life free from physical and emotional threats and violence, the right to be heard and treated with respect and the right to be loved and cherished. As Christians, our call is love, and it is love that connects us to life because the presence of genuine care and love for each other reveals the presence of God.

Nelson Mandela captured a profound truth about the nature of love. “Love that comes from the heart connects us to all God’s children. It also connects us to his creation – our world. God’s heart of love moves us from the isolation of self to a connection with life that cannot allow any ultimate divisions or categories.” Love is everything that makes us human and so new experiences, new levels of love to give to others, helps the survivor of Domestic violence to begin to move towards being loved themselves. Our humanity in essence is love, because God is love, and because we are made in God’s image, love is who we are. 


OUR NEIGHBOUR – THE HOMELESS PERSON As we recognise the significance of sexual abuse in the home and domestic violence across the nation and in our communities we quickly learn of their impact. When people flee their homes for safety they often have nowhere to go. Australia has been experiencing high levels of homelessness for more than a decade. At the last census, there was an estimated 105,200 and closer to home we estimate the number of homeless people across our diocese to be about 5000.

I asked Samaritans to provide an indication of the work they are doing with homeless people. As I list some of the responses, you will quickly recognise the extent of the problem and the many ways it affects people’s lives. Samaritans is responding to this crisis in a number of ways: •


As a major emergency relief provider in the region, our centres are often a point of contact for people who may be sleeping rough, living in cars, living temporarily with a friend (couch surfing) or leaving an institution. Our 120 emergency relief or ER volunteers support approximately 50 families each month as best they can with food vouchers, referrals to emergency accommodation and homelessness care packages. These care packages, consisting of toiletries and other essential items you need when you have nowhere to live, are supplied by Mothers Union groups and parishes. In the Hunter region on any given night, we support some 220 young people who are homeless. We support these young people in our 2 refuges, 11 transition houses and provide ongoing case work support as they move towards more independent living. When those young people come to us, approximately 90% will be unemployed, 60% will have mental health issues and 50% will have lived in a home experiencing family violence. Closely associated with this service, we have a ‘Reconnect’ program where our social workers engage with young people at risk of homelessness and support them to stay at home, get back to school and connect with their local community. Also in Newcastle, Samaritans offers a ‘Foyer’ model of accommodation for homeless young people who are undertaking vocational education. It’s hard to escape homelessness if you don’t have a job and the Samaritans Foyer helps the young person to set and achieve vocational goals. A group of 12 volunteer mentors meet with the students each fortnight to share their wisdom and knowledge, to listen kindly to the young person as they struggle to get ahead and encourage them in their education and career development. Samaritans has recently taken on the management of the Women’s Refuge in Taree. The agency also manages a number of transition houses in the area where mothers and their children can begin to rebuild their lives after their traumatic experiences. These are essential services as we have often in the past come across situations where mother

and children have had to return to a violent home because they cannot find or afford anywhere else to live. The services in Taree receive ongoing support from the parishes of Taree & Foster /Tuncurry, who provide donations of clothing, food, household items and toiletries.

In September, Samaritans celebrated the 20th Anniversary of Friendship House, a small, unfunded half way house service for men leaving prison. The service is staffed by volunteers who visit the house daily, spend time with the men as they make the difficult move back to community living. Almost one third of the residents are Aboriginal. Sadly, the imprisonment rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders people has almost doubled since the Royal Commission into Deaths in Custody in 1987 and recidivism rates are high. Nationally, over 40% of men and women leaving prison become homeless and re-offend. We do better than this in Newcastle because of Friendship House.

In Lake Macquarie, Margaret Stibbard Close is a block of units which provide good quality, long-term rental accommodation for men who were formerly homeless – a most cost effective model of helping homeless people called Housing First. A second major cause of homelessness in Australia is the lack of affordable and appropriate housing. For this reason, Samaritans has established a new social enterprise named Samaritans Housing. In Samaritans Housing, we will manage properties provided by government, ethical investors and properties owned by Samaritans itself. We believe this initiative has the potential to develop extensive affordable housing options across the diocese in years to come.

And finally, each year on Christmas Day, Samaritans hosts approximately 1000 people for a very special Christmas Lunch. Guests include rough sleepers, people living in cars, many living in very substandard boarding houses, and many who are just plain lonely. The day is funded from donations and sponsorships and some 300 volunteers help out. The brief period of fellowship they share together is a wonderful experience for all who attend. All children and adults receive a gift as we seek to ensure that the joy of Christmas reaches the most marginalised in our community. 

OUR NEIGHBOUR – THE PERSON LIVING ON A LOW INCOME Would you be able to live on $600 per week? How would you go if from that $600 you had to rent accommodation for yourself and two children? What would you go without? Unless we are living that way, it is hard to picture what it would be like. Yet, this is the reality for many people in our Diocese. We are most familiar with the age pension as a good number of parishioners receive it. We are probably not as familiar with those who receive Newstart, Youth Allowance, single parenting payment or the disability support pension. Their struggle is greater than aged pensioners. As at 30 June, nearly 1 in 10 people in our region received this support from the Commonwealth Government - 38,885 on Newstart and 15,244 on parenting support as a single parent .

If I ask you to create a mental picture of this group of people I am sure all sorts of images are likely to come to mind. Our media often concentrates on them. It is likely that you may at least wonder whether some on Newstart are bludgers or whether those on disability support are rorting the system. You are likely to ask these questions even though we already have one of the tightest systems of welfare supervision in the world. These doubts have been seeded in our minds as part of political discourse. An alternate picture is of the young woman who has escaped horrendous violence from her partner. She has taken her two young children and is trying to rebuild her life after years in which her self-confidence and self-esteem have been eroded. Another picture is of the man involved in manufacturing that has closed like all the other industries in his area. He would like to work but isn't sure that long term work is available even if he moves across the country - far from family, friends and support. Another image is of the refugee, once resettled, trying to make their way in their new country. As a nation, we accept that there are always people who will be in need of support. We must reject approaches that suggest that life is luxurious for them. We must reject language that denigrates or diminishes them.

Fairfax economics editor, Peter Martin helps understand this. He highlights the work of British economist John Hills who “reckons that in Britain at least most people get back roughly what they put into the welfare system”. He writes that, “Over a lifetime … we fund pensions while we work and

then receive them when we retire. At any moment we can lose our jobs or lose our health or become disabled. Later we can recover.” Life on pensions and allowances can be very difficult. The 2015 Samaritans Rental Affordability Snapshot provides an insight into the difficulties faced by people receiving government support . Samaritans surveyed the rental properties in the local government areas which form part of the Diocese. In April, they collected data on the 4107 advertised properties. They wanted to work out whether the properties were affordable and appropriate for people living on low incomes. Only 442 satisfied the criteria for people on some type of income support payment. In 9 of the 11 local government areas there was no affordable or appropriate rental properties for: •

a Single person on Newstart Allowance;

a Single person over 18 years receiving Youth Allowance.

a Single person in a share house on Youth Allowance;

Eight local government areas had no affordable and appropriate rental properties for a couple with two children on Newstart allowance.

Anglicare Australia has been looking at changes in living standards for a broad range of family types in Australia between 2004 and 2014 . It found that living standards have increased in Australia over the past 10 years but that growth has been uneven. It wanted to look forward so they also looked at what living standards will be by 2024. It estimated that living standards will change much less in the coming years.

Anglicare Australia found that the gap between the richest and poorest had increased over the last ten years and is projected to widen further in the next ten years. Couples with children have done better in recent years than single parents. This looks likely to continue into the future. Anglicare Australia indicates that “for low income families the projections suggest families with children and without children are expected to have lower living standards than today by around 3 per cent. The main factor in reduced living standards relates to recent Federal budget cuts.” A key finding in the report was that over the next ten years “allowance and single parent pension families will experience a serious reduction in living standards … the main drivers are relatively lower payments due to changes in the most recent two Federal Budgets and policies in place that see payments such as family payments and allowances only increase with the CPI.” I encourage parishes to be alert to the needs of people on allowances and receiving parenting support in their communities. I would very much like to see Samaritans and parishes identify more opportunities for partnerships in responding to local need. I am hoping that changes in our Federal Government will lead to more thoughtful and compassionate attention to those who are most in need in our community. 


OUR NEIGHBOUR – THE REFUGEE It would not have been possible, in recent years, to reflect on the biblical narrative without being conscious of the plight of Asylum Seekers and Refugees. The Hebrew Scriptures are clear “You shall not wrong or oppress a resident alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt.” (Deuteronomy 22:21) as are the teachings of Christ, “for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me,” (Mattherw25:34).

The Christian tradition is clear “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares” (Hebrews 13:2). The biblical concept of hospitality is to love the stranger and so it is difficult to understand how so many Australians, who identify as Christians, can support the human rights abuses being perpetrated upon Asylum Seekers by current policies that continue to enjoy bipartisan political support. The most vulnerable people in the world are being used as a political wedge. The difficulties that Christians have in engaging this issue was evident during the ecumenical “Give us a Sign” campaign, where churches were encouraged to use their street signs to raise awareness of this humanitarian crisis. The disappointing lack participation in this campaign was indicative of this struggle.

The number of forcibly displaced people worldwide is now approaching 60 million. Australia has a current annual intake of just 13,750 increasing moderately over the next few years. In coming months there will be a one off intake of 12,000 refugees from Syria.


Surely we can do better. If the majority of Australian Christians were to find their voice and demand more humane treatment of Asylum Seekers the policies would change within a matter of days. In the mean time we now abandon over 600 Refugees, men, woman and children to the failing State of Naura. The Nauruan people do not want the “newcomers”, women are raped, children abused and the rule of law is notional at best. Nauru cannot offer any hope of employment, adequate housing or medical services. The United Nations has confirmed that Manus Island is a place of human rights abuses and brutality and yet inspectors are not given unfettered access to staff. The current government policy is based on deterrence by deprivation. It is inhumane and should be unacceptable to civilised people. The rhetoric that this is necessary to stop people drowning is not supported by experts in the field or the UNHCR.

As the Syrian Refugees begin to move into our communities Diocesan Agencies and parishes will be encouraged to seek partnerships with other community groups to welcome and support these most vulnerable people. It can only be hoped that personal contact with refugees and the opportunity to hear their stories will inspire our community to rise up and demand more humane treatment of the world’s most vulnerable. 

OUR NEIGHBOUR – AFFECTED BY CLIMATE CHANGE Dr Keith Joseph, the Dean of Darwin recounts that from his office window he can see an old and beautiful frangipani tree. He tells of leaving his office and experiencing the exotic fragrance wafting across the lawns, and its delicate white flowers are a tropical snow on the grass. However, as the seasons rotate, the tree changes. At the end of the Dry Season it is quite stressed, and loses its leaves and flowers. But equally, it is also stressed at the height of the wet season. Too much water, too much heat and it also starts to die. To survive and to flourish it needs to be in the right soil, with the right amount of sunshine and water.

That which applies to the frangipani tree, also applies to the Pacific Islands. Take, for example, the coral atoll of Ontong Java in the north of the Solomon Islands. This peaceful and beautiful place is home to a rich Polynesian culture, which has flourished on this outlying atoll for over a thousand years. But now, like the frangipani tree, it is stressed. The fresh water does not come like it used to; the climate is changing, the rain is no longer consistent. And the salt water is rising, the sea surges across the atoll in storms at high tide, destroying homes and food gardens. The atoll is starting to die.

So, where do the people go? There is some land set aside for them on the Melanesian island of Malaita. But this is no easy solution. Malaita is already overpopulated; and land issues were at the heart of the civil war in the Solomon Islands from 1998 to 2003. But the people of Malaita, who are quite different in culture from the Polynesians, see the people of Ontong Java as their neighbours, their brothers and sisters in Christ. They offer the land not because it is easy, but because it is something they can do for those who are threatened. It is an act of Christian love and sacrifice. But even suppose the people of Ontong Java do move to Malaita, and can they peaceably acquire land. What next?

Their leaders and clergy ponder bigger question: how do his people maintain their culture in a foreign land? How do his people even continue to exist when in exile? Like the frangipani tree, they need to be in the right soil, with the right water and sunshine. But because of climate change, this cannot be so. It is not just their homes that are threatened: it is their culture and their existence as a people. We might be able to save the individuals – but how do we prevent the cultural genocide that seems inevitable? If the people of Malaita see themselves as the neighbours of the people of Ontong Java, giving to them what is most precious – their land – then who are we in Australia? The Solomon Islanders are our geographical neighbours, to be sure. But they are also our brothers and sisters who share the same ocean, and who did not cause the problems that they are now facing. We caused those problems. But what has been the Australian response? Some miniscule foreign aid? Have we made any real attempt to cut our pollution and CO2 emissions? Our response has been laughable. We dare not make any real sacrifices; the economy is sacrosanct. ”No Australian jobs must be lost, the market must be allowed to be free”. But of course, there is no economy without the environment. If you are living on a wet dot in the ocean it does not matter how much money you have. But it is even worse than that. We have the money; and our neighbours in the Pacific have the salt water up to their ankles. If the people of Malaita can sacrifice their land for the people of Ontong Java, what are we willing to sacrifice for the people of the Pacific? Are we, their neighbours, prepared to make any real sacrifice at all? Or should we just be honest and concede that we are driven by greed and mammon? If we truly worship God, then let us make the sacrifices needed to help our brothers and sisters in the South Pacific. For they surely are our neighbours. 


LOVING OUR NEIGHBOUR – MISSION ACTION One of the most converting aspects of the New Testament and especially the Gospels is the record of Jesus’ concern for those marginalised by the religious and civil leadership of Israel at the time. The Gospel places before us Jesus’ concern for widows, children, prisoners, sinners, the injured and the ill. God revealed in Christ is a missional God who calls the church to share with and engage in His mission.

Last year I asked every parish to develop mission action plans. By now, every parish should nearly have completed this work but I recognise in a number of communities this has moved more than slowly than we hoped.

As part of these plans, every one of our faith communities should be looking at the community in which it is set as well as further afield. All of our mission action plans should be identifying a way in which local people in need receive our care and support. All of our mission action plans should incorporate clear intentions to support the work of an Anglican mission agency committed to the relief of distress in another part of the globe. These features of a parish’s work should not be novelties but a recurring commitment to the love of neighbour.

Our communities should also be looking at Fresh Expressions of church life. The Diocese embraced such a call in 2009 and it remains true for us now. In September, the UK Fresh Expressions leader and author Mike Moynagh visited our Diocese, to engage with us in conversation about mission and Fresh Expressions of church. This visit proved to be a valuable opportunity for us to re-engage with the underlying principles that have influenced our work in this Diocese. At the heart of Fresh Expressions are the principles of mission, community and faith.

Fresh expressions are about community – bringing people together in community, around a shared interest or theme. The local community is best placed to identify what might be possible and local initiative’s develop so much better than those which come from the top down.

Fresh expressions are about faith – ultimately about gathering as a community of faith, which is an essential element of their life. Often when we have explored a new mission or ministry we have been very good at loving and serving the people in our communities and gathering them together. But we have left the matter of what happens next to chance.

I want to encourage you again in the work of listening well to your communities – and then keeping going, intentionally, past the formation of community to faith formation. Here is how Mike Moynagh depicts it.


loving and serving

building exploring community discipleship

church taking shape

doing it again

I encourage every parish in the Diocese, as part of their Mission Action Plan, to be working on a project that engages with the local community in a way that brings the gospel of the love of God in Jesus Christ into that community. Where the gospel forms part of the engagement with the community there will be two possibilities: 1.

That some of those touched by the gospel may be encouraged to come and join us in existing expressions of worship.

2. But equally that some of those touched by the gospel may be encouraged to establish new worshipping communities in their own right – Fresh Expressions of Church.

I am encouraged by those who have already expressed interest in continuing this conversation. 


LOVING OUR NEIGHBOUR – BEING CLEAR WHO WE ARE Finally, I want to present to you some work of the Diocese of Brisbane. That Diocese set itself the task of cultivating and celebrating its Anglican identity. With a vast network of parishes, schools and community services it is seen and sees itself as an integral part of society, working to care for and improve the life of the community. They looked for a way in which they could with one, consistent and considered design, ensure clear understanding and give a sense of belonging to all engaged with our Church.

I would like to play a video showing their work. The Diocese of Brisbane is very happy to grant us permission to use this logo and have provided support to help us make it our own. A logo does not replace the Diocesan coat of arms. They are still used on the formal documents and formal occasions. A logo helps people quickly identify who we are. The staff of the Diocese of Brisbane have helped make a version of the logo that reflects our Diocese incorporating the red and the gold from the Diocesan coat of arms.

In this increasingly pluralistic age, we need simple means for people to identify who we are and where we are. Many of you will have noticed that the Catholic Diocese of Maitland and Newcastle have done something similar.

In the 1970s, parishes adopted the Diocesan coat of arms in many ways such as on notice boards and the like. I hope that the Synod might welcome this resource and that over the coming years we will see its use across the Diocese as a means of proclaiming our presence in the communities we love and serve.

FINAL WORDS This will be the last Synod that Mr Cec Shevels attends as Chief Executive of Samaritans. There will be occasions early next year when the Samaritans and Diocesan communities are able to acknowledge his outstanding leadership in justice and welfare ministries. I want to place on record my affirmation of the work that he has done and the spirituality with which he has demonstrated the teachings of Jesus Christ. Last year the Synod met without the input of Archdeacon Stephen Pullin who was quite unwell. His health has now improved but the medical advice was that stresses and travel associated with the demanding role of Archdeacon of Newcastle might cause his health to deteriorate. There was a fitting farewell in the Parish of Mayfield in September. I place on record my appreciation to all of the Diocesan Office staff. Our Diocesan Business Manager, Mr John Cleary together with Mrs Linda Wilson, Parish Services Manager and their teams who serve the Diocese well. I want to particularly thank Alison Dalmazzone and Danielle Rodway for the support they provide.

Thank you to Bishop Peter Stuart for his leadership and wisdom and for Archdeacons Roulston and Copeman for their support to the Diocese.

And now let us continue our work with the command of Christ before us. Let us love the Lord our God with all our heart, and with all our soul, and with all our mind, and with all of our strength. Let us love our neighbour as ourself. Let us do this first by hearing from two survivors. ď Ž


BISHOP PETER STUART The Right Reverend Dr Peter Stuart ASSISTANT BISHOP THE WORK OF OUR SCHOOLS Every week the four diocesan schools (Scone Grammar School, Lakes Grammar – an Anglican School, Bishop Tyrrell Anglican College and Manning Valley Anglican College) and our affiliated school (Newcastle Grammar) reach around 3000 children and their families. They provide high quality education and are an important part of the mission of the church. We welcome two new School Heads this year who join with the other three in providing excellent educational and administrative leadership. Through the Schools Corporation and its School Management Division, we are able to provide best practice accounting services. Each of the five schools which are part of the diocesan family are in good shape and each is well placed to strengthen its work. New building work has begun at BTAC and Scone Grammar will sign building contracts soon.

THE WORK OF SAMARITANS Some highlights since the last Synod

THE WORK OF OUR PARISHES On most Sundays of the year, the bishops are with a parish community to preside at the Eucharist and preach. So one of the highlights is the gift I have received of hospitality. It is a privilege to be welcomed into communities that you know pray for you, by name, every week. These visits provide a great opportunity to meet with parish leadership – the Ministry Team, the Resourcing Team and/or the Parish Council. My first question is often “What are we celebrating about the parish.” There are always wonderful answers reflecting ministries of loving service, community engagement and pastoral care. Parish after parish continues to accept the challenge to be a church in mission. Since June, I have also heard many engage in the complex work of facing the past and shaping a healthy future.

THE WORK OF OUR CLERGY Every week the bishops see a number of clergy to prepare for parish visits, to explore ministry options, to review ministry, to plan new ventures and the like. We have clergy who continue to read to deepen their theology and explore new ventures. We have clergy who willingly go out of their comfort zones to expand the ministry in their area. We have clergy intent on building relationships with each other and their community. These meetings are often the highlight of the week!


When Cec Shevels announced that he was to retire in January 2016, we undertook a staff survey to see some of the things they are looking for in the next CEO. Over and over the affirmed the importance of Samaritans mission, vision and values. This is perhaps the best testament to Cec’s work and ministry. Samaritans with over 100 services and operating in a number of NSW regions seeks to provide unconditional support to people in their needs and to promote social and economic policies. All of this is done under the overarching values of compassion, integrity and justice. Samaritans as the welfare arm of the Anglican Diocese of Newcastle is making a huge different in the lives of the people we serve.

THE WORK ON PROPERTY We have continued the work on property in the Diocesan office through a small team called the Diocesan Property Services Unit (DSPU). The DPSU assigns a case manager to each project to work through the complexities of each property matter. It promotes innovation, actively communicates and makes sure that the decisions coming to the Property Approvals Board are well researched and ready for decision. The work of the DPSU has enabled a number of property processes to be streamlined and simplified. Work on property can mean delving into decisions made in the nineteenth century or understanding the latest WHS guidelines; examining complex tenders or pondering the impact of the latest hail storm.

THE WORK OF THE DIOCESAN OFFICE On Tuesday mornings we meet for prayer. It’s not compulsory but staff working on both levels of Housden Hall get involved. We meet for morning tea around big life celebrations. There have been a few birthdays, a farewell and a wedding to give an excuse for a cake. It’s a privilege to be part of a team who are motivated by serving. It comes out in service of God, service of His Church, service of people and service of communities. Going the extra mile is the norm and I delight in the professional, humour, wisdom and commitment around me.

DIOCESAN ARCHDEACON The Venerable Canon Sonia Roulston ARCHDEACON OF NEWCASTLE As I begin to write this report outlining the ministry of the Archdeacon of Newcastle for the year 2014-15, I begin by paying tribute to Archdeacon Stephen Pullin who, as Archdeacon, undertook his ministry with faithfulness, wisdom, a gentle sense of humour, and compassion. Fr Stephen has been a visionary leader within the Diocese, and we assure him and Robyn of our ongoing prayerful support as their new ministries unfold. The ministry of the Archdeacon of Newcastle includes the areas of The Diocesan Convention, clergy training and retreats, discernment, licencing, and reviews.

THE DIOCESAN CONVENTION: CIRCLES OF TRUST At this year’s Diocesan Convention our reflections focused largely around the ministry of the Centre for Courage and Renewal. This Centre was founded by Parker J. Palmer. Its work focusses on Circles of Trust®, a pathway allowing ‘a process of shared exploration, where people can find safe space to nurture personal and professional integrity and the courage to act on it’. Dr Janet Smith, from the Australian Centre led us in reflection on what Circles of Trust are, and gave us opportunity for a ‘tasters’ of these.

You are invited to consider being part of the February retreats led by the Centre of Courage and Renewal facilitators. The clergy retreat is to be held Feb 1-3, and the lay retreat be held Feb 5-7. Application forms are now available.

CLERGY TRAINING The Diocesan Leader’s Conference follows the Diocesan Convention. This year’s keynote speaker was Dr Janet Smith, leading deeper reflection on the Circles of Trust approach. Other speakers included Mr Ron Farrell on the Clergy Assistance Programme, and Archdeacon Les Forester on Critical Conversations. Our Bible Studies this year were ably led by the Reverend Bruce Perry . At our annual end of year training The Reverend Canon Professor Dorothy Lee from the University of Divinity, Melbourne, presented to the clergy on Mark’s Gospel, as the church began the Year of Mark. In February Bishop Andrew Curnow (Bendigo), led the clergy in a training session on Mission Action Plans.

An additional training day was included in September to take advantage of a visit to Australia by the Reverend Dr Mike Moynagh, a leader in Fresh Expressions Ministry.

CLERGY ANNUAL RETREATS For the first time this year there were 3 choices of retreat for clergy. This allowed the opportunity for clergy in local mission and some retired clergy to also participate in the retreat programme. The third retreat was timed with a view to the needs of school chaplains, following a request by them. The retreats were led by Bishop Graeme Rutherford (Melbourne), Fr Michael Whelan and Sr Marie Biddle (the Aquinas Institute, Sydney), and Bishop Jonathan and Mrs Kerrie Holland (Brisbane). All retreats received good feedback.

OTHER MATTERS The other key areas overseen in the ministry of diocesan archdeacon are discernment, clergy reviews and licencing.

This year 8 people, exploring a range of vocations, attended the Diocesan Discernment Conference, held at Kurri TAFE. The Examining Chaplain reports are now with the Bishop.

The clerical ministry ordinance 2009 requires that all parish clergy undertake a review after the first 18 months of a placement , and then after each 4th year. The Ministry Development Review provides members of the clergy with the opportunity to reflect on their practice of ministry and make plans for future work. The Bishop receives all reviews. Please encourage your clergy as their reviews fall due. Licencing is a key area of Diocesan life, and an important legal obligation. All who work in ministry as leaders in worship and pastoral care are required to maintain their licences and safe ministry training. The office staff appreciate your patience as the required checks and processes are undertaken.

In closing I extend our thanks to all the office staff in their ministries of support and administration in the life of our Diocesan community. Working amongst them, as I now do, I can assure you we are very well served by a dedicated and hard working team.



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Photo courtesy of the Catholic Diocese of Maitland/Newcastle



Redhead men have acted as would-be surrogate grandfathers for newly arrived refugee families preparing for their first Christmas in Australia.

The Annual Service to celebrate the Tri-Diocesan Covenant took place on May 27 at Sacred Heart Cathedral. The Covenant is between the Catholic Diocese of MaitlandNewcastle, Catholic Diocese of Broken Bay and the Anglican Diocese of Newcastle. Bishop Greg and Bishop Peter were joined by Bishop Bill Wright from the Maitland-Newcastle Diocese and Bishop Peter Comensoli, the new Bishop of Broken Bay.

Members of Redhead Men’s Shed spent the four months leading up to Christmas 2014 handcrafting wooden toys for 10 Afghan women who attend weekly English lessons at Penola House and have 14 children among them. ‘‘Many of these families arrived with very little,’’ said Penola House volunteer Marilyn Deas.

‘‘The children’s eyes lit up when they saw our toys and we wondered what we could do to help.’’ President Phil Lindsay, Vice President Steve Evans, and the men presented to Redhead Anglican Church 5 jeeps, 6 racing cars, 3 rocker cots, 6 doll high chairs and 5 wheelbarrows.

Such thoughtful, handmade gifts will mean so much to the refugee families. ‘‘They were carefully made with love and weren’t at all like anything you could buy from a shop,’’ Marilyn said. ‘‘Hopefully the women will feel the welcome, warmth and love that’s in each gift.’’ These gifts not only brought smiles to children but built bridges across cultures, showed welcome and love when acts such as these are so much needed to counter other negative treatment of people coming to our shores. Most of the women are the wives of men who served as interpreters for the Australian Army.


Mother Moira Evers and Maitland MP Robyn Parker celebrate funding for St Christopher’s Anglican Church community garden. Picture by STUART SCOTT (Maitland Mercury)

RUTHERFORD COMMUNITY GARDEN FUNDING In December 2014, Maitland MP Robyn Parker announced $300,000 in grants for the city including $26,893 for a community garden outside St Christopher’s Anglican Church at Rutherford. The church’s Parish Pantry helps feed families in need every week and people will be able to take produce from the ­garden as they wish. The money will help provide eight garden beds and upgrade

the church kitchen so people can make preserves from the produce. "We support a lot of people in the community and people have said to me they can’t wait to see the garden,” parish priest Mother Moira Evers said. “The money will enable us to start right away and feed the hungry in more ways than one.”

CHRIST CHURCH CATHEDRAL NEWCASTLE EARTHQUAKE 25TH ANNIVERSARY The Christ Church Cathedral hosted a special service to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the Newcastle Earthquake on December 28, 2014. On December 28, 1989, at 10.27am, the Newcastle region experienced an earthquake estimated at 5.5 on the Richter scale and 13 people tragically lost their lives.


MORPETH RECONCILIATION SERVICE The parish of Morpeth held a lovely service for reconciliation week on June 1. The church is 175 years old and members of the community are 7th and 8th generation First Fleeters. It was a very lovely atmosphere.

MADDI ELLIOTT NAMED YOUNG ATHLETE OF THE YEAR Hunter Paralympian Maddison Elliott was named alongside Stephanie Gilmore and Michael Cheika at the NSW Sport Awards. Elliott clinched the Young Athlete of the Year with a Disability award at the ceremony on Thursday night. It caps a stellar year for the 16-year-old Gilliestown Heights swimmer, who claimed gold in the para-sport 100m freestyle S8 category in world-record time at the Commonwealth Games in 2014.


ST JAMES' MORPETH CELEBRATES 175 YEARS The main celebrations for St James' Church 175th Anniversary were held on the weekend July 25-26 with a dinner on the Saturday evening and a service in the Church the following morning. 130 guests attended the celebration dinner at East Maitland Bowling Club; 30 of those were descendants of the founder, Edward Close, many of whom had travelled some distance to be present for the entire weekend's activities. Archdeacon Sonia Roulston welcomed the guests at the commencement of the evening. After the church service the congregation gathered in front of the rectory for an old fashioned picnic.

TWO BISHOPS’ DIALOGUE 2015 On October 1 a crowd of 50 gathered as an ecumenical and interfaith community at the Therry Centre, East Maitland, to hear our Anglican and Catholic bishops discuss health and wholeness. The serving bishops of the Catholic and Anglican dioceses have met annually since the tri-diocesan covenant was signed in 2008. The Two Bishops’ Dialogue aims to be a vehicle for engagement with the local community on spiritual, religious, ethical and theological issues.


INTERFAITH DIALOGUE On June 2, leaders from different faiths came together for the Interfaith Dialogue at The Factory - St Pius X High School. Bishop Greg Thompson was joined by Bishop Bill Wright (Catholic), Sheikh Mohamed Khamis (Imam: Newcastle Mosque) and Farooq Ahmed (Newcastle Muslim Association).

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VISITORS TO THE DIOCESE Bishop Andrew Curnow Bishop Graeme Rutherford Father Michael Whelan Sister Marie Biddle RSJ Bishop Jonathan & Mrs Kerry Holland The Reverend Dr Michael Moynagh Bishop Nathan Tome The Reverend Professor Dorothy Lee, Dean of Trinity College Professor Frank Woods Bishop Daniel – Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church Father Thomas (accompanying Bishop Daniel) Bishop John Harrower Dr Janet Smith The Reverend Glenda Blakefield The Reverend Neil Millar


CHRIST CHURCH CATHEDRAL ANNUAL FLOWER FESTIVAL The Annual Flower Festival at Christ Church Cathedral launched with huge success in September, an event which marked the centenary of the ANZAC for 2015. Throughout the Cathedral were elaborate and thoughtful tributes that remembered both wars and other major conflicts since, including Vietnam and Korea. Woven crosses, red floral displays and names of fallen soldiers detailed the displays.

IN MEMORIAM Among the faithful departed, we make special mention of: Bishop Arthur Stanley Goldsworthy died on 16 November 2014. Mrs Norma Colman died on 19 November 2014.

Bishop Barbara Darling died on 15 February 2015. Emily Fleming-Quinn died on 23 February 2015. Mrs Joanne Renfrey died on 7 March 2015.

The Reverend Paul Dunn died on 3 April 2015. Dr Geoff Rigby died on 6 April 2015


Mrs Brenda Robinson died on 23 April 2015. Mary Shaw died on 19 May 2015.

The Reverend John West died on 12 June 2015. Bishop Barry Hunter died on 28 July 2015. Norman Hanmer died on 5 August 2015.

The Reverend Warwick Turvey died on 17 August 2015.

The Reverend Michael Williamson died on 28 August 2015. The Reverend Campbell Brown died on 18 October 2015.

CHRIST CHURCH CATHEDRAL ILLUMINATION PROJECT COMMEMORATES 100 YEARS OF ANZAC Newcastle's skyline was lit up as the iconic Christ Church Cathedral was illuminated with images from World War I throughout the four weeks from ANZAC Day. Images of Anzacs were projected onto the central tower of the Cathedral, offering the city a regular reminder of the sacrifice that was made by Australia's armed forces. Picture: Marina Neil, Newcastle Herald.

ST DAVID'S TERALBA TURNED 100 The little church of St David in Teralba celebrated its centenary on August 23. Teralba was first recorded as a district by European settlement in 1831 and by 1886 the first major subdivision took place. The early industries were a quarry established to provide gravel to the Northern Railway construction and several coal mines were established by 1900. St David's church was consecrated on the August 23 1915, and to mark the occasion a special thanksgiving celebration led by Bishop Greg was held followed by a lunch.

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GIVE US A SIGN PROJECT The Give Us A Sign project that ran throughout Lent proved successful with churches and organisations from all over Australia showing their support for Asylum Seekers. The Give us a Sign project sought to engage churches and organisations across Australia in displaying positive messages about asylum seekers on their public noticeboards during the six weeks of Lent.

DIOCESAN CONVENTION 2015 The 2015 Diocesan Convention took place at Bishop Tyrrell Anglican College on August 15. Around 300 participants from around the Diocese gathered to pray, listen, reflect and engage with important issues which are facing the church in this place. Dr Janet Smith, a long term facilitator with the Center for Courage and Renewal based in Seattle USA, was the guest speaker.



The Reverend Will Johnston was ordained a Deacon on 29 November 2014.

The Reverend Stephen Moore retired on 19 April 2015.

The Reverend Marianne Reynolds was ordained a Deacon on 29 November 2014.

The Reverend Ken Craft was ordained a Priest on 29 November 2014. The Reverend Jim Innes was ordained a Priest on 29 November 2014.

The Reverend Jennifer Foley was ordained a Priest on 29 November 2014. The Reverend Rob Llewellyn was ordained a Priest on 29 November 2014.


The Reverend Judy Walsh was ordained a Priest on 29 November 2014.

The Venerable Stephen Pullin retired from full-time ministry on 31 August 2015.

The Reverend Canon Brian Gibbs will retire as Rector of the Parish of Terrigal in November 2015.

RESIGNATIONS / DEPARTURES FROM THE DIOCESE The Reverend James Cooper resigned as Rector of the Parish of Cessnock on 1 July 2015. The Reverend Canon Hugh Bright resigned as the NASC Schools Liaison Officer on 15 July 2015. The Reverend Canon Keith Dean-Jones resigned as Rector of the Parish of Taree on 15 August 2015. The Reverend Andrew Mead resigned as Chaplain of Anglican Care on 2 October 2015. The Venerable Canon Sonia Roulston resigned as Rector of the Parish of Morpeth on 11 October 2015. The Reverend Michael Birch resigned as Rector of the Parish of Bulahdelah Tea Gardens on 22 November 2015.

APPOINTMENTS THE ANGLICAN CHURCH OF AUSTRALIA The Reverend Dr Gregory David Anderson was elected as Bishop of Northern Territory on 20 November 2014. Ms Anne Hywood was appointed as the General Secretary of General Synod on 9 February 2015.

Bishop Kay Goldsworthy was elected as Bishop of Gippsland on 21 March 2015. The Reverend Chris McLeod was appointed Assistant Bishop in Adelaide and Willochra on 11 April 2015.

The Reverend Peter Robert Lin was appointed Assistant Bishop in the Diocese of Sydney, with the title of Bishop of Georges River Region on 30 May 2015.

The Venerable Matt Brain was appointed as Assistant Bishop in the Diocese of Canberra and Goulburn on 13 June 2015. Bishop Genieve Blackwell was commissioned as Assistant Bishop in the Diocese of Melbourne on 19 June 2015.

The Reverend Canon Kate Wilmot was appointed Assistant Bishop in the Diocese of Perth on 6 August 2015.

Bishop John Harrower, Bishop of Tasmania retired on 12 September 2015.


The Reverend Rod Bower – Central Coast

The Reverend Les Forester – Paterson and the Manning The Reverend Canon David Battrick – Maitland

The Reverend Wendy Dubjoski – Lake Macquarie The Reverend Charlie Murry – Upper Hunter

Archdeacon Arthur Copeman - Archdeacon for Ministry Support & Archdeacon for the City Archdeacon Sonia Roulston - Diocesan Archdeacon

The Reverend Chris Jackson was appointed Priest in Charge of the Parish of Mount Vincent Weston on 10 November 2014

The Reverend Will Johnston was appointed Assistant Curate in the Parish of East Maitland on 29 November 2014. The Reverend Brian Ford was appointed Bishop’s Appointment on the Manning Valley Anglican College Board 22 December 2014 The Reverend Jessica Grant has withdrawn from full-time ministry on 1 January 2015.

The Reverend Karen Jansson was appointed Priest in Charge of the Parish of Clarence Town (0.33 EFT) on 1 January 2015.

The Reverend Wendy Dubojski was appointed Supervising Priest of the Parish of Charlestown on 1 January 2015. The Reverend Dan Connor was appointed New South Wales Police Chaplain based in this Diocese on 1 January 2015. The Reverend Jody Zammit was licenced Priest in Charge of the Parish of Denman on 1 January 2015. The Reverend Glen Hughes was appointed Area Dean Upper Hunter on 1 January 2015.

The Reverend Canon Janet Killen was appointed Area Dean Lake Macquarie on 1 January 2015.

The Right Reverend Dr Peter Stuart was appointed Chair of Scone Grammar School Board on 1 January 2015.

Raymond Terrace on 11 February 2015.

The Reverend Les Forester was appointed Rector of the Parish of Stockton (0.5 EFT) on 23 February 2015. Mr Peter Moulds was commissioned Principal of Bishop Tyrrell Anglican College on 18 March 2015.

The Reverend Jane Trigg was appointed College Chaplain at Bishop Tyrrell Anglican College on 18 March 2015.

The Reverend Andre Jacobs was appointed Associate Priest to the Parishes of Charlestown and Belmont–North Redhead on 29 March 2015. The Reverend Mark Harris was appointed Rector of the Parish of Forster-Tuncurry on 13 April 2015.

The Reverend Dr Fergus King was appointed to an Honorary Fellowship at the University of Divinity with an affiliation via Trinity College on 24 April 2015. The Reverend Bruce Perry was appointed Rector of the Parish of Bateau Bay on 25 May 2015.

The Reverend Mark Cooper was appointed Rector of the Parish of MICA on 6 July 2015. The Reverend Lyn Porritt was appointed Samaritan’s Assistant Chaplain Central Coast, (1day per week) on 14 July 2015.

The Reverend Robin Lewis-Quinn was appointed Area Dean for the Paterson Deanery on 14 July 2015. The Reverend Kevin Wares was appointed Rector of the Parish of Wyong on 16 July 2015. The Reverend Dr Julia Perry was appointed an Honorary Clerical Canon on 16 July 2015.

The Reverend Dr Fergus King was appointed Co-ordinating Chaplain for University Ministry on behalf of the Anglican Church (Callaghan Campus) on 25 August 2015.

The Reverend Andrew Harrison was appointed Locum Chaplain at Anglican Care on 1 October 2015. The Venerable Canon Sonia Roulston commenced as Archdeacon of Newcastle (fulltime) on 12 October 2015.

DECONSECRATIONS, CONSECRATIONS AND BLESSINGS St Egwin’s Tenambit Church, East Maitland was deconsecrated on 13 November 2014. Saint Swithun’s Chapel in Bishopscourt was deconsecrated on 20 April 2015. St Peter’s Timor, Murrurundi was deconsecrated on 29 June 2015. St Luke’s Blandford Church, Murrurundi was deconsecrated on 29 June 2015.

AWARDS Mr John Kilpatrick OAM was awarded an AM in the Queens Birthday Honours on 8 June 2015. Mrs Suzanne Thomas was awarded an OAM in the Queen’s Birthday Honours on 8 June 2015.

The Reverend Keith Dean-Jones was appointed Chair of Manning Valley Anglican College Board on 1 January 2015.

Mrs Sue Williams was appointed Diocesan Director of Vocations on 1 February 2015. The Reverend Canon Katherine Bowyer was appointed Diocesan Director of Formation on 1 February 2015. The Reverend Chris Yates was appointed Rector of the Parish of


BISHOP PETER VISITS THE ANGLICAN CHURCH OF KOREA In December 2014 Bishop Peter had the opportunity to visit the Anglican Church in Korea to join in the consecration of a new bishop and see many aspects of their mission and ministry. It was inspiring to see so many clergy passionate about social justice, teaching and ministry. It was encouraging to meet with senior lay leaders who are generous in many ways in seeking to see the Church grow. Church leaders are interested in deepening their ties with us.


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The Reverend Chris Butterworth celebrated 30 years of being ordained a Priest on 24 November 2014. The Reverend Brian Gibbs celebrated 20 years of being made a Deacon on 2 February 2015. The Venerable Canon Sonia Roulston celebrated 20 years of being made a Deacon on 2 February 2015. The Reverend Mark Cooper celebrated 20 years of being made a Deacon on 2 February 2015. The Venerable Arthur Copeman celebrated 25 years of being made a Deacon on 4 February 2015.

The Reverend Terry Frewin celebrated 40 years of being ordained a Priest on 22 February 2015. The Reverend Fergus King celebrated 25 years of being ordained a Priest on 8 June 2015. The Reverend James Cooper celebrated 30 years of being made a Deacon on 30 June 2015. The Reverend Michael Hill celebrated 45 years of being made a Deacon on 30 July 2015. The Reverend Glen Hughes celebrated 10 years of being ordained a Priest on 17 August 2015. The Very Reverend Stephen Williams celebrated 40 years of being ordained a Priest on 24 August 2015.

our organisations

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SAMARITANS FOUNDATION A snapshot of the year 2014-2015 has indeed been a period of much growth and innovation at Samaritans, particularly in the areas of homelessness, disability and children/youth. And we are busy planning for yet further growth in the year to come. With 100 services and over 700 staff it is impossible to note all of the achievements across the organisation. Below are just a few highlights: The introduction of the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA), providing funding services to people with a disability living in Newcastle. This scheme was introduced to Newcastle as a trial site during the 2013-2014 period, and Lake Macquarie during the 2014-2015 period. Samaritans currently provides services to over 280 participants in the scheme and as an experienced service provider we expect the numbers of people we support to continue to increase over the next 12 months;  There has been much in the media about domestic violence. Samaritans is committed to supporting women experiencing domestic violence. The organisation is working towards becoming a White Ribbon Australia Accredited Workplace with many of our male staff becoming Ambassadors to advocate for the program. And as a result of successful tendering, Samaritans now operates women’s refuges in both Taree and Kempsey.  Samaritans continues to grow its Out of Home Care Services. Some 150 children are currently supported, mainly in our foster care program.

 Both Federal and State governments conducted major reviews / restructures of their funded programmes during the past year. As a result Samaritans has become the major service provider for homeless young people in the Hunter, where we support some 220 young people who are homeless on any given night.

 The continued support Samaritans receives from its volunteers is indeed wonderful and enables the smooth day-to-day operation of key services and activities such as Emergency Relief, Christmas activities, Home For Good (post release services) and retail stores. During the last year, Samaritans worked with 490 regular volunteers and approximately 300 volunteers who specifically volunteer for Christmas activities.

During the last year, Samaritans worked with 490 regular volunteers and approximately 300 volunteers who specifically volunteer for Christmas activities.  Christmas is always a very busy time for Samaritans, with the undertaking of Christmas lunches throughout the Diocese. In 2014 Christmas lunch was provided in the park at Newcastle Foreshore, at Wyong Race Course on the Central Coast and at Singleton in conjunction with the parish. Some 1300 guests who might otherwise have been lonely or gone without have the opportunity to enjoy a meal, companionship and festive spirit. It is wonderful to ensure that the joy of Christmas reaches the most marginalised in our community. The above is a glimpse of an exciting and dynamic year full of growth and innovation. We look forward to the year ahead.

Cec Shevels CEO


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Samaritans recently celebrated the 20th Anniversary of Friendship House. Volunteers, men supported through the program, official guests and staff gathered to celebrate the success of the post-release program over the last 20 years. The program helps these men be part of the community by providing them with the support and guidance of a volunteer to assist them in meeting their goals and as they re-enter society. The recidivism rate for men who participate in the Friendship House program is below 14%, compared to a significantly

higher rate of 60% in the general post- release population. Guests enjoyed hearing stories from the volunteers and the men we support, as well as watching a historical video about the program followed by a celebratory morning tea. Local MP’s, Sonia Hornery and Tim Crackanthorp attended the landmark event along with other esteemed guests. As non-Government funded program, Samaritans is proud of the longevity of Friendship House, which has supported over 480 men in the last 20 years.

Pictured: (from the left) Michael Johnsen MP, The Hon. John Ajaka, MLC, The Minister’s PA and residents from Singleton ELO.

Pictured: Senior male staff at Samaritans supporting White Ribbon.

Pictured: Andrew, supported by Samaritans ELO Raymond Terrace




Samaritans is working to meet criteria to become accredited through the White Ribbon Australia Workplace Accreditation Program. This accreditation promotes quality and accountability and recognises the integrity of the whole organisation in relation to upholding equality standards. Samaritans has identified the importance of its male staff, and in particular, the male members of its Senior Management Team, to be White Ribbon Ambassadors. White Ribbon Ambassadors are men who become formal representatives of White Ribbon and who have the knowledge, skills, attributes and determination to influence Australian men to critically evaluate their attitudes and behaviours toward women.

Recently a group of men from Samaritans Central Coast Disability Services enjoyed an action-packed holiday to Camp Breakaway in San Remo. The men had a great time, with lovely meals and accommodation. Activities included a dolphin cruise in Newcastle, where a pod was spotted up close and trike riding. Residents from Samaritans Enhanced Living Options (ELO) Accommodation in Raymond Terrace also enjoyed a special trip away to Uluru. It was a very cultural experience for residents and their support workers with dinner under the stars and an Indigenous performance. Samaritans offers unique social and recreational activities that are tailored to suit the individual so they have voice, choice and control.

Residents from Samaritans Enhanced Living Options (ELO) in Singleton welcomed some special visitors into their home. Michael Johnsen MP- Member for Upper Hunter and The Hon. John AjakaMinister for Disability Services joined the residents for a meet and greet. Residents enjoyed treating guests to an afternoon tea followed by a guided tour of their ELO home in Singleton. Samaritans Enhanced Living Options (ELO) Accommodation encompasses a number of accommodation houses for people living with a disability. This program supports the development of living skills and provides advocacy and assistance.

Pictured: Tegan from Samaritans Student Accommodation (right) and her Mentor, Shelley (left).

Pictured: The Quinn Family



Residents at Samaritans Student Accommodation identified that school and support services do little to prepare young people for life in the real world. Understanding how to do some basic things such as budgeting, managing and paying rent, shopping and dealing with services such as Centrelink can be a challenge. In recognition of the need of residents to develop life skills and achieve their goals, Samaritans launched the complementary Mentor Program. This program is designed specifically to provide the opportunity for each resident to build a relationship with a like-minded mentor who will provide guidance, friendship, advice and motivation. Each mentor and young person is carefully matched to ensure like-mindedness and an enduring relationship ‘fit’. Tegan has thrived with the guidance and friendship of her Mentor, Shelley, enjoying activities such as shopping together.

As a local service provider with the National Disability Insurance Agency, Samaritans provides quality, personalised disability support. Vanessa and Peter, who have three children – Tyler, Indie and Shaye, have experienced the quality support of Samaritans first hand. Like most parents they juggle the demands of family life and their active children’s busy schedules and school commitments. Their children are also on NDIS packages, supported by Samaritans. Vanessa and Peter could not be happier with the services provided. Vanessa explains, “We found Samaritans through the NDIS and think it provides a wonderful service. And its Allied Health Service provides specialist services such as OT, Speech Therapy, Physiotherapy and Psychology all under one roof. It makes life so much easier.” Samaritans is working with the Quinn family to help them achieve their hopes and dreams – anything is possible with Samaritans. 27

ANGLICAN CARE During 2014/2015, Anglican Care continued to provide quality and caring ministry within the Diocese, guided by the Strategic Plan to 2017 as adopted by the Board in August 2014, following extensive consultation and workshops. One of the major challenges during the 2014/15 year was the introduction of significant Government changes as part of the Healthy Life Better Ageing reforms and supporting our residents, consumers and staff with the implementation of these changes. This has been achieved with very caring support from the staff at each of our many facilities and services ably supported by the Corporate Executive Group. As part of our commitment to providing quality facilities and services to older persons within the community, the 2014/15 was a period of growth for Anglican Care. The extensive redevelopment at Toronto was a major focus with work commencing on construction of a 147 bed facility in August 2014. In November 2014 Northwood Retirement Village at Tenambit was acquired. This Village had been partly developed with the completion of 12 units and it is proposed to complete this development with the addition of a further 24 units and a community centre over

the next 2 years. In May 2015, Anglican Care was named the successful proponent by Hunter New England Local Health District to take over the aged care services that it operates in Gloucester. Planning is underway for the construction of an 80 place facility in Gloucester. Anglican Care was also successful in obtaining additional Home Care Packages for the Central Coast and Manning Regions as part of the Aged Care Approvals Round issued by the Department of Social Services. A number of new senior staff with extensive knowledge and experience in aged care joined Anglican Care in the past 12 months. Chris Giles as General Manager Community Care Services, Karen Best as General Manager Residential Care Services and Gerard Bowen as General Manager Property Services. Anglican Care was also excited to appoint Nurse Practitioner, Palliative Care and Dementia, Jacqui Culver, to lead in the introduction of special caring programs in “caring for people approaching the end of life”.

Business Excellence Awards. We were also named as a finalist in the 2014 Hunter Business Awards in the “Contribution to the Region” category. We continue to develop new programs with the introduction of “Life in Motion” at Jesmond and this exciting program is now being implemented throughout Anglican Care. The professional skills of our staff have been recognised with members of staff being invited to present papers on the program at seminars and workshops including the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency Better Practice Seminar in Sydney in August 2015. As always we are thankful for our skilled and dedicated staff, our wonderful volunteers, including our Board Members, and our Chaplains for their care and support. It is the combined efforts of this group of people that make Anglican Care the special and unique organisation that it is today.

Anglican Care continued to be recognised as a leader in the aged care arena, again being recognised as the winner of the Not for Profit or Charity category of the 2014 Lake Macquarie

Colin Osborne CEO



In early 2015, Anglican Care received funding from DecisionAssist to implement a Palliative Care and Aged Care Services Linkage Project to assist in the delivery of advance care planning and palliative care to older Australians. Anglican Care’s project focuses on the introduction of ‘Comfort Care Coordinators’ into our residential and community and home care services to support elderly frail people to experience a comfort focused journey towards end of life and a natural death, within the residential aged care home where they live, their own home in the community or where they may choose to move to for the end of life. Underpinning the provision of comfort care is the understanding that ‘comfort’ takes priority over ‘cure’ for many people with life limited disease/s and that providing comfort relies on a collaborative approach which brings together medical, nursing, care and lifestyle professionals with a person and their family to explore what comfort means to the person at this stage in their lifespan. It also requires access to specialised support in situations where comfort cannot be achieved. Strong linkages to other more specialised health professionals and services is a key factor in ensuring comfort is maintained right through to the end of a person’s life. Anglican Care’s Nurse Practitioner, Palliative Care and Dementia, Jacqui Culver is leading Anglican Care’s project as well as continuing to support clinicians in Anglican Care’s residential aged care homes and community services with more complex palliative care issues including family discussion, symptom management and on site education and mentoring.

ANGLICAN CARE WELCOMES NEW VILLAGE In November 2014, Anglican Care welcomed residents from Northwood Retirement Village in Tenambit to its group of retirement living villages. The village is another sign of the continued growth of Anglican Care, as the organisation moves into the Maitland Local Government Area providing excellent care and enhanced lifestyles to residents. The purchase of the village; to be known as Anglican Care Northwood Retirement Living was been welcomed by residents and their families alike as the Village had been plagued by issues since the initial development stalled in the hands of the previous operator. The first stage of Northwood Retirement Village was developed in 2007, but subsequent stages of the development stalled and the village remained largely incomplete with only 12 of the originally approved 38 dwellings having been constructed. Anglican Care will be submitting an application to Maitland City Council to vary the Development Application for the village slightly with construction of a further 11 units and a community centre set to commence in 2016. The final stage of the development, consisting of a further 13 units will then be completed in 2017. The new Anglican Care location is ideal for seniors living; situated close to bus services, local retail and community facilities such as a public pool, together with the new hospital, and will provide enhanced choices for people seeking aged care services in the Maitland LGA.

THE JOY OF GAMING CATCHES ON AT ANGLICAN CARE In mid 2014, Anglican Care launched a new program called 'Life in Motion' designed to assist mobility and wellbeing for aged care residents using Xbox Kinect gaming technology. A three-month study was conducted, evaluated by independent researcher Jane Sims and Associates, to assess the physical, mental and social health benefits of physical activity on residents. A group of eleven participants between the ages of 82 and 97 took part in the pilot research sessions involving Xbox Kinect games. The program is different to traditional physical activity programs used in aged care, with a variety of movements from both a sitting and standing position. At the conclusion of the study, some functional improvement, notably in balance and upper limb movement was reported. Progression through the activities produced physical and cognitive benefits, particularly around memory and concentration. The sessions also afforded greater social interaction and engagement. Jane Meldrum, Lifestyle & Wellbeing Coordinator at Anglican Care instigated the Xbox Kinect research pilot and says its success is due to the stimulation and fun it provides participants. "The residents who took part enjoyed the fact they were exercising without actually feeling like it," said Ms Meldrum. "We have seen decreased sedentary behaviour amongst residents and participants really enjoyed the social interaction it afforded." Anglican Care resident, Neville Mayton (pictured) enjoyed the program and found it helpful with mobility. "I feel 100 percent better since starting the program and we have had lots of laughs whilst playing the games," said Mr Mayton. "I started with alley ball and moved onto three or four other games, but my favourite is definitely the horse racing," he said.

ANGLICAN CARE'S NEW RESIDENTIAL AGED CARE HOME AT TORONTO During 2014/15 work commenced on the construction of a state of the art contemporary aged care facility in Toronto that will offer 147 bed places for people with a variety of differing individual care needs including dementia specific care and respite care. To get things underway, on Tuesday, 5 August 2014, the Anglican Bishop of Newcastle, The Right Reverend Greg Thompson was joined by the Mayor of Lake Macquarie, Councillor Jodie Harrison to officially "turn the sod" on the site. Joining Bishop Greg and Mayor Harrison were John Kilpatrick and members of the Anglican Care Board, CEO Colin Osborne, staff and residents as well as neighbours and invited guests. A traditional Welcome to Country was conducted by Auntie June from the Awabakal Land Council. Appointed to deliver stage one of the project on behalf of Anglican Care are project managers APP Corporation, along with well-known local architects Jackson Teece and well known national building firm Hansen Yuncken. Anglican Care believes the re-development will go a long way towards contributing to the "Lake Macquarie City Council Ageing Population Plan 2008-2017" and reaffirms our commitment to the Westlake Macquarie area. Later in 2014, it was announced that the facility would be named ‘Kilpatrick Court’ in honour of the incredible contribution made by current Chairman, John Kilpatrick and his family to Anglican Care.


ANGLICAN SAVINGS AND DEVELOPMENT FUND During the 2014-2015 Synod year The ASDF reached its largest ever Fund size of $20,358,924 as at 31 January 2015. This was due to support from parishes moving their general working accounts to the ASDF, in particular Singleton parish, who moved their All Saints Trust account to the ASDF in November 2014. In addition, both Manning Valley Anglican College and Bishop Tyrrell Anglican College have their general working accounts in the ASDF and their large Government grants usually boost the ASDF in January, March, July and October.

August 2015 saw the Diocesan Council approve the Designated Fund Ordinance. This Ordinance makes the ASDF the financial institution for the parishes, agencies and schools of the Diocese and phases that requirement in over an 18 month period. This will further increase the size of The ASDF and in turn increase the grant The ASDF gives to the Diocese. Over the past few

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years the grant has increased from $0 in 2013, $75,000 in 2014, a budgeted amount of $85,000 for 2015 and a proposed amount of $250,000 for 2016. With the support from more parishes and schools, we believe the $250,000 grant for 2016 will be achievable. The ASDF parish commission amount claimable for 2015 was $33,689. This was an increase from $26,114.49 in 2014 and $25,566.65 in 2013.

The end of the year should see the launch of a new BPay facility allowing schools to upload their BPay credit files directly into their accounting software. We are currently at the testing stages and hope to have this up and running before the end of the year.

Jessica Murnane ASDF MANAGER

NEWCASTLE ANGLICAN SCHOOLS CORPORATION The Newcastle Anglican Schools Corporation continues to serve and support the four member schools of the Corporation under the direction of the Board.

Under the supervision of Mrs Lorin Livingstone, the Schools Management Division (SMD) continues to assist three member schools with centralised financial processing. The schools assisted are Manning Valley Anglican College, Lakes Grammar – An Anglican School and Bishop Tyrrell Anglican College. The Newcastle Anglican Schools Corporation also continues to maintain financial oversight of Scone Grammar School. The Newcastle Anglican Schools Corporation continues discussions with Scone Grammar School regarding scheduling their formal participation in the Schools Management Division.

The central banking initiative of the Newcastle Anglican Schools Corporation continues to operate well. The initiative has been very successful for the Diocesan schools and the Diocese as a whole. Plans are continuing to centralise schools transactional banking into the Anglican Savings and Development Fund. This will lead to further cost savings for schools and further operational efficiencies for the Newcastle Anglican Schools Corporation and its member schools. Importantly, it shows our Diocesan schools supporting the missional activities of the Diocese in the same way the Diocese supports Diocesan schools and their mission. The Towards Best Practice review of the School Administration in the Diocese continues. Initiatives regarding Administration costs and teaching staff costs in Diocesan Schools are being pursued to ensure we have best practice, build sustainability and therefore enhance ongoing missional opportunities in our Diocesan schools. The Newcastle Anglican Schools Corporation has assisted Bishop Tyrrell Anglican College, Scone Grammar School and Lake Grammar – An Anglican School with large building projects in 2015. These are major projects in their own right which are expected to be completed in the next 1-5 years.

John Cleary


• • • • •

The Combined Schools Boards Conference in September 2015 Schools Celebration Day at the Cathedral in November 2015 Induction of New Staff in NASC Schools in January 2015 Quarterly meetings with school Principals Quarterly meetings with school Chaplains Visitation program to school boards Exploring further office space at Bishop Housden Hall (134 King St Newcastle NSW) to allow for further expansion of the NASC’s support and services for member schools Our Diocesan Schools Liaison Officer assisting our four member schools towards a common curriculum in Christian Religious Studies. The end goal being to deliver a syllabus encompassing years K to 12 Exploring further central initiatives through the NASC for the benefit of all diocesan schools Initiating Compliance and risk audits for diocesan schools (conducted by the WHS Officer for the Diocese) Investigating professional support for school staff delivering the Christian Religious Studies syllabus Opportunities for better reflecting the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ in our schools’ structures and extending the missional impetus of the schools. Research and monitoring of government funding trends and challenges in the educational sector



The Anglican Schools Australia Annual Conference AIS (NSW) Governance Day Association of School Business Administrators and the Bursars’ Association of NSW Conference and professional development days Various seminars and networking events


LAKES GRAMMAR - AN ANGLICAN SCHOOL 2015 marks 12 years since the opening of Lakes Grammar – An Anglican School in February 2004. As Principal for that whole period I’ve been privileged to see many children grow to be young men and women of whom we and their parents can be proud. It is gratifying and humbling to know that the staff of our school have played such a big part in the lives of so many young people. Not only do we now have some of our graduates teaching here but we are also beginning to see their children enrolled. One of the highlights for me this year has been discovering how many of our students are achieving at an elite level in sports and other activities outside of school, as well as through school pathways. I have been fascinated to learn that we have national representatives in sports as diverse as kayaking, shooting, spearfishing, water-skiing, martial arts, gymnastics, trampolining, dragon boating, surf lifesaving, Futsal and indoor soccer. Others have achieved high levels in singing, dancing, poetry writing, equestrian events, and motocross. Through school pathways we have had students compete at the national level in Chinese speaking, swimming, snowsports and athletics. One student received a Gold Award in the NSW Board of Studies WriteOn competition while another topped the Newcastle Permanent Maths Competition. I have been highlighting these achievements in our regular newsletters to share our students’ achievements with the school community. I encourage students and parents to let me know of their achievements, particularly those outside of school, which we don’t know about otherwise. Our Christian ministry has expanded during the year in a number of ways. Now that we have two full-time chaplains, one focusing on Junior School and one on Senior School,

our school community has much greater access to pastoral care – and many in our community have needed that as their families have faced serious illness, deaths and family breakdown. Our chaplains and others in our school have given support, comfort and met concrete needs in demonstration of God’s love and grace. We also run Cru groups (ie Christian fellowship and enquiry groups) in both the Junior and Senior Schools, with the chaplains, some teachers and Annette Shorten giving their time to lead these. This year saw our first loss of a graduate, at the age of 21, after having a brain haemorrhage. Our Senior chaplain, Reverend Matt Shorten led the funeral service and it was wonderful to see so many current and former students and staff attend to support the family. This dreadfully sad event brought home to me the depth of community and friendship that students and staff develop while a part of Lakes Grammar. The importance of strong bonds and a sense of belonging and identity that a Christian school can engender was reinforced.

Lakes Grammar has been blessed by God and is privileged to have the support of our Diocese as we carry out our Christian mission on the Central Coast. The school has a bright future as we look to God for wisdom and as we do all “with heart, soul, mind and strength”.

Michael Hannah PRINCIPAL

YEAR 6 VISIT TO CANBERRA Our Year 6 visit to Canberra involved a very special meeting with then Prime Minister Tony Abbott thanks to our local MP Karen McNamara. Mrs McNamara then came to school assembly and presented our students with a certificate to acknowledge their visit to Parliament House.




The 2015 Senior School production ‘Pure Imagination’ was a massive hit. An original script written by Ms Louisa Newton based on foolish fun and fantasy, taking the audience on a journey through strange worlds and meeting even stranger characters.

Years 7 to 10 students showcased their History projects which included a decade study, WW1 soldier scrapbooks and a study of Japan and its structures. The quality of work on display was exceptional.



Junior School Showcase 2015 ‘A Sprinkle of Stories’ saw a young Christmas Elf begin to think there was more to life than making toys. So he sets off to see if there is a more exciting story to be a part of.

Our Senior School students participated in an Anti-Bullying Day which included a range of group activities such as chalk art and banner making, to raise awareness around this important issue. A new Anti-Bullying School Policy was also launched on the day.

YEAR 10 CAREERS DAY For the first time, Lakes Grammar held its own Careers Day for Year 10 with Year 11 and 12 students invited to participate for some of the day. A fabulous calibre of exhibitors attended including the National Art School, Blue Mountains School of Hospitality, University of Newcastle and the Armed Forces just to name a few. It was a very successful day and will become an annual event.

SIMULTANEOUS STORYTIME A select group of students participated in National Simultaneous Storytime. Mr Hannah was guest story reader and the students enjoyed hearing "The Brothers Quibble", a heartfelt story about family life.

ABORIGINAL DAY To enhance our K – 6 curriculum we held an Aboriginal Day which focused on educating students about traditional dance, art and Aboriginal culture and traditions.


MANNING VALLEY ANGLICAN COLLEGE It has been a year of growth and success for Manning Valley Anglican College, and I am most excited about the direction in which our School is headed. Since the beginning of 2015 our strong academic focus has yielded pleasing results. Of our Graduating Class of 2014, comprised of 15 students, 14 have begun a career pathway through tertiary education, in a diverse range of fields including Law, Pharmacy, Education, Nursing and Information Technology. The School’s Leading Learning program conducted throughout the year has enabled us to identify and further assist students in need of academic support. The effectiveness of this program was reflected in our promising half-yearly exams in the Secondary School and our NAPLAN results across participating years. We have also seen many wonderful opportunities for learning beyond the classroom, such as our major Drama production, the Taree Eisteddfod and our Edible Garden project. After many months of preparation our Secondary School put on two fantastic performances of The Secret Garden in July, which for many participants was their first stage production. Singers

CELEBRATING FOUNDATION DAY We gathered together as a school to celebrate our Foundation Day on the Thursday of Week 9. The occasion was marked with a wonderful assembly and Eucharist, led by our Captains and Father Keith Dean-Jones. Congratulations in particular to our Foundation Day Award recipients. Each year we recognise students who have made exceptional contributions to our community or who actively live according to the College ethos. Though the carnival aspects of the day’s celebrations were cancelled due to ongoing poor weather and muddy conditions, the afternoon was still filled with many great activities, including arts, crafts and gardening challenges, movies, games, cultural cooking lessons and a hall disco.


and dancers from all years were able to take their talents to the stage during the Eisteddfod, walking away with a range of awards. Meanwhile, our Primary School students have shown great dedication in tending to the gardens at the front of the School and have been using the produce they have grown to make healthy snacks and meals in the School kitchen. Our comprehensive Pastoral Care program has contributed greatly to the welfare of our students throughout the year. In the Secondary School students have been gathering regularly to discuss issues relating to their study, health and relationships during Pastoral lessons, building strong relationships of trust and support between students and their teachers. The regular provision of Chapel services and Christian Studies classes continues to complement the Pastoral lessons. We have also seen great success in sporting endeavours. Following on from our School and HRIS carnivals, a handful of students have gone on to represent MVAC and the Hunter Region at AICES all the way up to the All-Schools Athletics and Swimming Carnivals. We hosted a regional Rugby

tournament run by NSW Rugby, participated in a number of interschool competitions and galas and we have a team of Year 6 students attending the Australasian Champion of Champions Futsal competition in Brisbane later this year. We continue to grow and develop as a school. I am delighted that our enrolments are increasing and that our school is thriving. As opportunities develop to expand our curriculum, serve our community and nurture our students, we watch Manning Valley Anglican College go from strength to strength. We will continue to approach students as individuals and support them academically, socially and spiritually. It is my great hope that our children leave Manning Valley each and every day the better for having attended. Please join me in encouraging them to let their light shine.

Sandra Langford PRINCIPAL

EDIBLE GARDEN REPORT The Edible Gardens have continued to provide unique learning experiences to our students using fresh produce grown right here at school. Throughout the Term, students in Years 4 & 5 have been helping to build new beds, which will be used to grow herbs and berries. They have also been tending to the current crops, and using what they harvest to make food in the kitchens. Notable activities have included making popcorn from ears of popping corn grown in the gardens, adding irrigation for the new beds, and producing pesto pasta using fresh basil and vegetables.



We came together as a school during Week 7 to raise money for the Cancer Council's Daffodil Day. Students were asked to bring a gold coin donation and come dressed in as much yellow as they could manage, resulting in a sea of bright yellow shirts and dresses across the school. Our fundraising efforts resulted in around $500 raised, and for that we thank our community for their generosity.

It was wonderful to see so many students representing the College in Taree’s ANZAC Day March. Our contingent looked very sharp as they marched in full school uniform. Special mention must be made of those students who chose to honour their family members by wearing medals, and our Captains for leading the march.

CAPTAINS RECOGNISED BY COUNCIL School Captains Tal and Ashley were formally recognised in a ceremony by Greater Taree City Council in Week 8, alongside their counterparts at other high schools in the Council area. The plaque commends Captains on their achievement in reaching the peak of student body leadership, and recognises their unique position as mentors and role models for their school.


SCONE GRAMMAR SCHOOL A celebration of successes

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The achievements, successes and developments at the Scone Grammar School during the year are extraordinary. Seeing young people make growth in an area is a success to celebrate and this is a daily occurrence. Here are some simple examples: a young Kindergarten student who is grappling with the beginnings of letter sound correspondence, and then commencing to read; the delight of a young person in discovering something new about their world; witnessing a senior student who has struggled with learning and has been a challenge for staff, develop in maturity and, with the support and care from staff, turn around their approach to learning and start to see success. These are worthwhile of celebration! During the end of 2014 and the start of 2015 we planned and opened The Yellow Cottage – Scone Grammar School Preschool. This is an amazing facility and a centre that significantly raises our School’s reputation and adds a thoroughly worthwhile addition to the educational offering of the School. The facility offers a wonderful

environment for the children and has an outstanding staff who are working incredibly as a team, right from the beginning. Our year of celebration must include the excellent HSC results from our Year 12, 2014 cohort. Their achievement was fabulous which resulted in them being 7th in the Hunter with Rachel Henderson achieving an ATAR of 99.05. These results are the culmination of 13 years of education under the care and direction of many dedicated teachers. We continue to have students achieve in the extra-curricula activities of the School, excelling in sport and cultural pursuits. We also celebrated 25 Years of Excellence in Education on our Founders’ Day on St Luke’s Day, 18 October 2014. This is a very important milestone for the Scone Grammar School. The celebration was a party, to have fun recognising this occasion. The Rev Chris Bullock was our guest on both Founders’ Day and our Speech Day, honouring him as the first Principal of the Scone Grammar School

as he shared the original vision with the school community. The Christian witness of the School continues to grow. The work of the Chaplain, Rev Nate Atkinson, and the staff, in sharing the Christian message in words and actions within the School and the wider community is a great blessing. Students and their families have a clear message of the nature of our School and how to follow up or develop their understanding of the Christian faith. This is often best lived out in how the community cares for those who experience something of life’s challenges, big or small. We look forward to the ongoing development of the School over the next 25 years.


Year 6 Canberra Excursion

The Yellow Cottage

The Yellow Cottage

SGS Founders Day 2014

Secondary Students

Secondary Science

HICES Music Festival37

BISHOP TYRRELL ANGLICAN COLLEGE Reflections Bishop Tyrrell Anglican College is a learning community where academic rigour, personal integrity, humour and hard work are equally encouraged. We are a school community of high expectations. At the same time, we are devoted to helping students develop intellectual, physical, spiritual, artistic and personal interests. Our strong emphasis on leadership preparation, constructive service and personal fulfilment combine to challenge and inspire students to reach new levels of inquiry, understanding and achievement. Ours is a rich vision and an equally rich everyday reality. 2015 has been a year of challenge, change and achievement. As we continue our quest to position Bishop Tyrrell Anglican College as a school with a strong culture of excellence, we acknowledge the broad base of support that we receive from our students, staff and families. Excellence in anything starts with a vision, a passion and a will. At Bishop Tyrrell, excellence is something of the highest quality, it sets the standard to be followed and it is something of great virtue and worth. More than anything, a proper focus on performance and values are essential in any organisation with high expectations.

At Bishop Tyrrell Anglican College we believe leadership should be prompted through a compassionate commitment to others, a desire to serve and a vision for human excellence. Our College’s Christian mission challenges us daily to be responsive to student’s needs and unique contributions, and to be proactive in the development of a culture and philosophy of care. Through the diversity of our programs, we aim to encourage and unfold, to the fullest extent possible, the students’ particular and unique gifts and abilities. We hope that their lives will be ones of constructive service to their immediate neighbour, to the world and to God. In 2015, our phases of learning – preschool, junior primary years, senior primary years, middle years and senior years – were aligned and centred on a continuous academic program with unique points of focus. The review and restructure of academic leadership across these phases has created a system of interlocking teams that ensure we have achieved continuity and compliance in curriculum delivery and planning. We have been consciously ‘looking out and looking in’ in our attempt to internally align our effort and deliver results and at the same time remain externally focussed. Creating networks, managing relationships, remaining balanced, and adapting rapidly to change meant that the following achievements and insights remained at the core of our general direction, culture and values: We know where we have come from and why this is important: We have embedded a clear understanding of our faith, heritage and honourable traditions into the fabric of College life through the Strategic and Operational Plans, publications, websites, marketing and speeches.


We feel that we are moving forward, we know what we are doing and we are beginning to do it together: Strategic leadership through the development, communication and implementation of a clear vision and mission for all key areas of the College through our Strategic Intent, Operational Plan and Master Plan documents. We are becoming one College: We have implemented a genuine P-12 model by unifying our leadership, streamlining the educational programs of the College in their different stages of learning, capturing the distinctiveness of our brand, developing key messages and claiming the value in our heritage, values and identity. We are gaining in our confidence in aspiring to be excellent: We have encouraged an expectation of aspiration, excellence and accountability at all levels for staff and students, and a distinctive ethos of leadership through teams. We are continuing to improve academically: We have set and achieved clear expectations for improved academic outcomes through the review, restructure and realignment to our strategic intent of our academic leadership and operations. In addition, we have established innovative approaches to academic learning through the delivery of engaging educational partnerships, foundational academic programs, and consistent and regular measures against external benchmarks. We are making our physical environment more beautiful: We have begun to plan, to procure and to provide outstanding facilities which are aligned with our strategic planning and whose aesthetic qualities enhance our sense of who we are and what we might achieve together. We are resourcing the College community more effectively: We have secured the College’s highest ever level of enrolments, clarified and improved the operation of our budget, strengthened our financial capability, and have improved the quality of our staff in support of our educational vision.

2015 has been a year of great blessing and achievement. I thank our broad community for their support and encouragement and trust that 2016 will continue to strengthen and affirm our deep commitment to Bishop Tyrrell Anglican College and the education for life of fine young men and women.

Peter Moulds PRINCIPAL

MISSION TO SEAFARERS NEWCASTLE Our aim at the Mission to Seafarers in Newcastle is to care for as many as we can of the 54,000 seafarers who enter the Port of Newcastle each year on bulk carriers and container ships. In 2014 we transported just under 13,000 seafarers in our buses from their ships to our Seafarers’ Centre in Wickham and on to local shopping centres and other sites of interest in Newcastle. At our Centre we provide free internet, good-quality secondhand clothing, nourishing meals cooked on our premises, and free books and bibles. Our chaplains provide pastoral care and hospital visits for seafarers who require medical treatment in Newcastle. We know that, due to work commitments on board, many seafarers will be unable to come ashore during the short time their vessel is berthed, so we have a dedicated team of ship visitors who go on board to connect with crew. In 2014 we visited of all the ships that came to the Port of Newcastle (over 600 ships). This will increase in 2015 with the addition of a part-time Chaplain, Fr David Hesketh, who is focusing on ship-visiting.

The Mission to Seafarers in Newcastle is proud to have been selected in the 2015 International Seafarers’ Welfare Awards as one of five shortlisted Centres for the “Seafarer Centre of the Year” award. We are greatly encouraged because the “Seafarer Centre of the Year” was nominated directly by seafarers themselves, which is a great affirmation of the good work being done by our dedicated team of chaplains and volunteers. Through the generosity of the Port of Newcastle, the Rotary movement in Newcastle, and the Australian Mariners Welfare Society we have been able to purchase a new 12-seater bus, which will enable us to increase the number of seafarers we transport ashore for rest and refreshment. A highlight for us this year was the privilege of hosting the Mission To Seafarers National Conference. This brought to Newcastle many MTS chaplains and workers from all around Australia and New Zealand. It was an exciting week of meeting new friends from the MTS family and reconnecting with old ones. Another unexpected highlight this year has been the generosity of a

retired couple on Central Coast who have a real heart for seafarers and their relationship with God, and make a large number of beautiful fridge magnets featuring an Australian scene with a Bible verse. We offer these as gifts to our seafarers. This is just another small way of sowing the seed of God’s good news in the lives of seafarers from around the world. One challenge we’re facing in the future is the likelihood of a new Seafarers Welfare Centre being opened in the Port of Newcastle on Kooragang Island, close to the wharves where most ships are berthed. We’re not sure how this will impact on the ministry at our Wickham Seafarers Centre and whether this new venture will reduce the financial support we receive from the shipping and coalloading industry.

Peter Middleton CHAPLAIN

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ANGLICAN WOMEN Anglican Women was established in the Diocese of Newcastle in 1960 as an ‘umbrella’ organisation for ALL women who belong to the Anglican Church. It does not aim to compete with other organisations, but rather to bring them together in a spirit of partnership and cooperation, as well as making provision for those not included in such groups. It aims to work toward the extension of Christ’s Kingdom through encouraging worship, study, service, fellowship and giving. There is no subscription and no admission service. However parishes and organisations are asked to pay a small annual affiliation fee. Each September sees the launch of a new focus for our giving through Thank You Boxes — where we place a coin when giving thanks to God for blessings in our lives. These are distributed through the parishes and collected at the Annual Service and Spring Celebrations. Last year the money went to the NT Ministry Fund which supports the training of non-stipendiary clergy in the Northern Territory especially in outlying communities. Currently it is Alzheimers Australia (NSW). Other recipients have included Samaritans, the Mission to Seafarers and ABM projects. HIGHLIGHTS FOR THE LAST YEAR The Lent Silent Retreats for Women, which saw 51 women from around Newcastle Diocese, plus some from further afield, spending time at the beautiful mud-built Monastery at Stroud. Retreat Conductor was Archdeacon Sonia Roulston, who led a very relaxed, positive time of reflection based on the theme ‘Come as you are, that’s how I want you’.

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Annual AW Service: A beautiful, clear Winter’s day attracted women from throughout the Diocese to the Cathedral on 2 June 2015. They came from Wingham and Taree, Merriwa and Muswellbrook, Woy Woy and all points in between. Bishop Greg Thompson celebrated and preached, thanking AW for the support given to the Thank You Box project, the NT Aboriginal Training Fund. We were invited to focus on

a small, coloured fifteenth century icon as we reflected on the Trinity and on the importance of hospitality and being welcoming to all – remembering the AW theme for this year, ‘Come as you are, that’s how I want you’. During the service Bishop Greg commissioned the new Diocesan President, Marion Willey, and the current Executive, some of whom have changed roles. Guest speakers came from Alzheimers Australia. C.E.O., The Hon. John Watson, spoke on the various forms of Dementia, which include Alzheimers, giving some very thought-provoking figures showing its wide-spread incidence and its expected growth as the population lives longer. He gave pointers on how we can reduce the risk for ourselves: maintaining good general health, exercising the brain, a healthy lifestyle including physical exercise — all help to maintain a well-functioning brain. The second speaker was Jacqui Louez, a young woman who works in the entertainment industry and whose father died a few years ago after an 11 year battle with Alzheimers. Her story was very poignant, as she spoke of the effects on him, her mother who was his carer, and herself. Spring Celebrations, 2015: Held from 7-11 September at Tea Gardens, Wallsend, Singleton, Maitland and Woy Woy, these provided beautiful, uplifting worship and fellowship in a variety of churches, with excellent homilies given by their clergy, each with its own special message and challenge. Guest speaker was Michaela Sorensen, a member of the AW Executive, who shared the very personal story of her faith journey and her experience of ‘the God of Love’, deeply touching her listeners. Full reports and lots of photos on AW events are available on the web site

Marion Willey PRESIDENT

AW Retreat 2015 AW Service 2015

Jacqui Louez & John Watkins

Some of the AW Exec at St Luke's, Wallsend LR Laurel Brook, Lynette Bignall, Marion Willey, Jacqui Currey, Pamela Wilson, Shirley Melvelle, and Michaela Sorensen Spring Celebrations 2015

AW Spring Service at St Andrew's, Tea Garden congregation AW Wallsend congregation

AW Gosford,Noeline+people 2015 Spring Celebration

AW Singleton 41

ANGLICAN CURSILLO IN NEWCASTLE DIOCESE The Cursillo movement amongst Anglicans of Newcastle Diocese looks to play a part within the body of Christ to help grow his kingdom. Some of the highlights of 2015 and plans for the future: • •

Over sixty guys attending the Men's Fellowship weekend at Tahlee in June and this will be on again in May 2016.

Over fifty men and women made their Cursillo at Hunter Valley TAFE hospitality centre in August and there will be Cursillo’s on again in August 2016, with a subsidy to reduce the costs of those whom God is calling to attend.

The Cursillo movement was brought to this Diocese 25 years ago under the leadership of Bishop Alfred Holland. The Diocesan Cursillo family includes over 800 laity and clergy. Bishop Alfred called Cursillo a “ginger” group designed to encourage a greater focus on Christ within our parishes.

Those involved in Cursillo have come to believe that attending a weekend encourages faith in Jesus Christ, enthusiasm in the Holy Spirit and renews their mutual gifts. Across the Diocese many responsible roles are filled by Cursillistas. The witness of our Cursillo presence continues to be evident throughout the diocese, including through Kairos prison ministry. The Cursillo Secretariat prays that, with the help of both clergy and laity, we will be continuing each year to invite people to be drawn closer to god through the experience of Cursillo and to be part of building up god’s kingdom.


GFS - THE GIRLS’ FRIENDLY SOCIETY Throughout Australia GFS – An Anglican Ministry is changing its focus and looking at styles of ministry. There are Dioceses where we still have a children’s focus but a lot who now have membership of a much older age group. Here in Newcastle the primary focus in no longer Children’s Ministry. We have a group of former GFS members and leaders who meet on a semi regular basis. This group supports, prayerfully and financially the work of GFS worldwide and also finds local projects to assist.

GFS Australia plays and has played an important role in establishing and supporting GFS in PNG and The Solomon Islands. In fact our current Chairman has made two trips to Honiara in 2007 and 2009 to train leaders and young adults. Whilst on these visits she has visited the Sisters of the Church; the Melanesian Brothers and Selwyn College, as well as, the girls in some branches. GFS in The Solomon Islands has a close association with these groups. Currently there are early plans to go again in 2016 for a further training visit.

In January of this year our Chairman, Gail Orchard, was elected as the Australian Chairman for the next 3 years. Also elected at the same Council were Nicole Baldwin (Australian Secretary) and Archdeacon Sonia Roulston as the National Chaplain. Our group of ladies here in Newcastle are proudly


supporting these 3 members. The term will culminate in 2018 with the National Council for GFS being held in Newcastle. We were delighted during the latter part of 2014 to welcome the then Chairman (Mrs Julie Smith from Tasmania) to this Diocese with an event that was held at St Thomas' Cardiff. This was an occasion for celebration that also introduced the current World Project to the Diocese. One of the main concerns both here and throughout the rest of Australia is how to make our Ministry effective and relevant to the Diocese in which we are situated. In this Diocese we continually look for projects to assist that bring our motto to others in everyday life. With this in mind we gave our assistance to Mem Hockley’s work with disadvantaged girls in Raymond Terrace (Mem’s Soul Food); Marilyn Deas and her work with the wives of the Afghani refugees at TAFE (where the members knitted jumpers and other items of clothing for their children); our fundraising to assist the GFS in Japan with their ongoing assistance to the survivors of the tsunami enabling them to continue to offer a means of income to these families who have lost their identity and purpose.

Gail Orchard CHAIRMAN

SOCIAL JUSTICE TASKFORCE The Social Justice Task Force works to initiate, promote and support social justice action in our Diocese. We seek to do this by working collaboratively with: our parishes, the Samaritans and other diocesan organisations, social justice groups of other churches and local community groups.

In 2014 the Social Responsibilities Commission (as it was then) continued its discussions on reshaping its structure and focus. These changes were brought to last year’s Synod, and subsequently the Social Justice Task Force was formed. Over the last year we have focused on working collaboratively with asupport social justice activities. In particular, we are actively participating in the Hunter and Newcastle Ecumenical Social Justice Network. This network is enabling each of our respective churches to promote and support more action on social justice than we are able to achieve on our own.

We have provided two training days for those interested in social justice. The first of these looked at the theory and theology of social justice. The second workshop explored a number of practical ways to be involved – to put our faith into action. We were delighted

by the attendance and response to these training days.

seeking to providing resources for churches on family violence.

The issue of asylum seekers and refugees continues to be of deep concern to us. During Lent we encouraged churches and schools to participate in the “Giveusasign” campaign, by posting messages of compassion for asylum seekers on their noticeboards. We have also worked to promote the Lenten prayer vigils for this vulnerable group of people, as well as the numerous events of Refugee Week.

Our Task Force has only a few members and has limited resources. However, we feel that we have had some success in initiating and promoting social justice campaigns and events. We will continue to focus on working ecumenically and will seek to deepen partnerships with local community justice groups. Once more, we ask parishes and those in our congregations to support the work of social justice in our diocese through prayer and by becoming involved.

We support the ongoing conversation around the recognition of Indigenous people in the Australian Constitution. In 2014 we organised a community forum explaining the importance of this issue, and will continue to support local Indigenous leadership as the movement gains momentum. We were also very pleased to partner with the Cathedral to host a NAIDOC Week event in July 2015.

Thankfully, there is a growing consensus in our Australian community that we must confront the terrible reality of domestic and family violence. We applaud the work of Rosie Batty and others who are working so tirelessly on this issue. We are participating in a newly formed Commission of the NSW Ecumenical Council that is

Other events that we have supported over the last 12 months include a series of talks given by a volunteer with the Ecumenical Accompaniment Program in Palestine and Israel, and the promotion of Freedom Sunday, which calls for an end to human trafficking and modern day slavery.

Rev'd Chris Jackson CHAIR


On Sunday July 12, The Anglican Diocese of Newcastle held a special service to celebrate NAIDOC Week 2015. The service focused on the NAIDOC Week theme We All Stand on Sacred Ground.

The service saw the Diocese partner with local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders and organisations. The service included talks from representatives from the Awabakal and Worimi communities, as well as performance on the didgeridoo. A group of young people then performed a dance telling local stories of our land and nature.


On Wednesday June 17, Bishop Greg Thompson made a media statement concerning our church's response to child abuse and an update on present initiatives in working for a healthier future. "As the Anglican Bishop, I want to express, in my own right and on behalf of the Anglican Church, profound shame and regret that individuals within the Church harmed people and harmed them again when they came forward to speak of what happened. "As we face our past, I invite victims and survivors of abuse to tell their story. I urge people who had or have suspicions or knowledge of abuse to also speak up. I encourage people to come forward to the NSW Police and the Royal Commission. "Underneath my leadership, and assisted by others, there will be no accommodation to cultures that minimise the conduct of perpetrators and diminish victims and survivors of great harm. "I am confident that the Anglican Church has a vital contribution to our society. I invite people to stand with me in facing our past and join with me in shaping a healthy future."

THINGS WE CAN DO The laity and clergy of the Diocese are being asked to •

adopt practices that will enable a safe and healthy culture to emerge in the Diocese of Newcastle.

send an email of support to the Bishop

• •

pray for victims and survivors of abuse as well as pray for the renewal of the church.

use the Facing the past: shaping a healthy future logo to show support to victims and survivors of abuse

use the Facing the past: shaping a healthy future logo to show commitment to shaping a safe and healthy church.

TELLING MY STORY CONTACTING NSW POLICE The NSW Police are interested in receiving any information about criminal activity associated with the Anglican Diocese of Newcastle including sexual abuse or the concealing of sexual abuse. People with information can call Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000 OR Make an online anonymous confidential report via the Crimestoppers website CONTACTING THE ROYAL COMMISSION You can contact the Royal Commission by calling 1800 099 340 OR Email OR Write to GPO Box 5283 Sydney NSW 2001 CONTACTING THE DIOCESAN DIRECTOR OF PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS If you would like to speak with the Diocesan Director of Professional Standards you can call 1800 774 945 OR Write confidentially to the Director of Professional Standards directly at: Anglican Diocese of Newcastle PO Box 494 Newcastle NSW, 2300 OR Email

SEEKING SUPPORT Discussing child sexual abuse can be difficult. The Royal Commission has reminded us that is especially so for survivors telling their story for the first time, their families and professional staff supporting them.


The Royal Commission provides an extensive list of care and support services which can be found at Support Services. These services connect people with counsellors or special support groups.

All services listed are provided by organisations external to the Royal Commission and the Anglican Diocese of Newcastle. For more, visit: IF YOU NEED IMMEDIATE SUPPORT CALL LIFELINE ON 13 11 14

Profile for Anglican Diocese of Newcastle

Annual Review 2015  

Annual Review 2015