Rev'd Dr. Max Champion (Chair ACC)
Ordained in 1975 I have been a parish minister in city and rural parishes in Victoria and overseas for over 35 years. At present I am a minister at St John's, Mt Waverley. I am married with 4 children.
Over the years I have had the opportunity to provide leadership in a number of areas, particularly with groups that are committed to robust encounter of the Gospel with modern society. These include:
- Chair and member of Board of Communication, Synod of Victoria, (4 years) responsible for the church paper (Church and Nation) and radio and TV ministry.
- Chair of Doctrine and Liturgy Committee, Synod of Victoria (7 years).
- Chair of Forum on Faith and Society (15 years) which held quarterly seminars on theology and public issues, which published 15 Forum Booklets and The Auburn Report, to which I was a regular contributor on a wide range of topics.
- Chair of The Galatians Group (5 years), an ecumenical group which published the proceedings of annual conferences on aboriginal reconciliation, social justice, multiculturalism, education, values and the arts.
- Editor of and contributor to Forward Together: On What Basis? Essays on the Basis of Union (Forum Booklets No. 6, 1994), including articles by Rev Drs Davis McCaughey, Norman Young, George Yule and Gordon Watson.
- Editor of and contributor to The Unity of Worship and Mission in a Pluralistic Society (Committee on Doctrine & Liturgy, 1991).
- Synod elected representative to the 1994 Assembly of the UCA.
- Member of the Commission of Mission, Synod of Victoria (3 years).
- Director of the Armadale Centre for Church and Society (3 years).
- Member of Wesley College Council, Melbourne (7 years).
- Member of Queen's College Council, University of Melbourne (3 years).
- President of the International Student Association, Princeton Theological Seminary (2 years).
I studied in W.A., Victoria and USA. In 1988 I completed a doctorate in theology from Princeton Theological Seminary.
My thesis was on Dietrich Bonhoeffer, German Lutheran theologian and a staunch critic of Nazism. He was a key figure in the Confessing Church which opposed the Church's acceptance of National Socialism as being compatible with the will of God. He supported the Barmen Declaration (1934) which confessed the sole lordship of Christ over against Hitler. He was active in ecumenical circles in Britain, Europe and USA. He was hanged in a Gestapo prison in 1945 for his part in a conspiracy to kill Hitler.
I have been greatly challenged and encouraged by Bonhoeffer's courage and thought-provoking theology. In Letters and Papers from Prison he described Jesus Christ as the 'Man for others' who embodies the suffering love of God for self-willed people. In The Cost of Discipleship he spoke of God's 'costly grace' in Christ and criticised the 'cheap grace' which he saw in the Church. In Ethics he criticised 'thinking in two spheres' - private and public, spiritual and material - on the ground that Christ is the reality of the world. True faith, he said, doesn't look for 'God in the gaps' in our knowledge or at the edges of life, but in the midst of the world. Thus, the faith of the Church is not an escape from life - as many critics said - but a calling to practice a 'non-religious' faith at the centre of life.
Today, the Church is also faced with a cultural crisis which demands deep thought and bold action. The present crisis is not only about homosexuality. It is about a Church that cannot or will not challenge the 'culture of death' that permeates modern Western societies, including Australia. Too often, we haven't resisted frequent attacks on the human dignity for which we have been created and redeemed in Christ. In many places, the Church has meekly succumbed to strident criticisms of Christianity and, in order not to cause offence, has settled for the kind of tolerance and decency that is so widely applauded. Generally accepted values - such as compassion, diversity and inclusiveness - have largely replaced the distinctive marks of the Christian life - such as forgiveness, unity and discipleship 'in Christ.'
Rev'd Dr. Hedley Fihaki (Qld - Deputy Chair)
I was born in Tonga 1970, came to Australia in 1977. I enjoy playing the guitar and watching Rugby Union, particuarly Australia vs. NZ.
Current placement: Minister of the Word - Kingaroy Uniting Church (interim)
Trinity Theological College North Qld Regional Campus Coordinator
Member: Qld Synod Multi Cross Cultural Committee
Member 11th Assembly UCA 2006 – 2009
Member of the 19th World Methodist Conference 2006, South Korea.
Member of the ACC Cross Cultural Commission
Previous placements: Bowen Uniting Church, North Qld. 2001-2004; Emmanuel Uniting Church, Cairns, 2005 - 2012
Rev'd Walter Abetz (Secretary)
Walter is married with four children and grandchildren. He taught at both state and private high schools in Tasmania for 22 years before commencing ordained ministry in 1995, in the Bendigo North Parish where he served for 11 years. In 2000 he and his wife Katherine edited and published a collection of essays on the Basis of Union entitled "Swimming between the Flags." He served on the Synod Doctrine and Liturgy Committee from 2002 until it was disbanded by the Synod in 2006 After falling out of favour with the Victorian Synod over issues of sexuality and biblical interpretation, he was denied another parish placement in 2006. He returned to teaching in Tasmania, and acted as Secretary to the steering committee that set up the Assembly if Confessing Congregations within the Uniting Church. In 2008 the Presbytery of Tasmania asked him to consider serving the North East Parish as their ordained minister. He recently retired from that parish after four years of service. He continues to visit and support ACC congregations within Tasmania in his retirement.
Rev'd Prof. Ian Breward (Vic)
Ian has been Archivist for the Synod of Victoria since 2000. Prior to that he was Professor of Church History at the Theological Hall, Ormond College, University of Melbourne from 1982-1999. He served on The Assembly Commission for Doctrine till it moved from Melbourne and still is on the Assembly Committee for reception of ministers from other churches. Currently he is on The Board of WVA and is a member of the Port Melbourne Congregation.
Rev'd Rod James (SA)
Rod is a Minister of the Word, who after 25 year of parish ministry conducted an itinerant ministry of preaching, teaching and resourcing for several years. Now 'retired' Rod continues to serve and minister as he is able to fit in with his busy schedule. He is an active member of the SA ACC Movement.
Pastor Robyn Painter (SA)
Robyn is currently serving as the Pastor of Peterborough Uniting Church (SA). Robyn has been on many committees and was a member of the 11th, 12th and 13th UCA Assemblies. Robyn writes a well-loved column in the ACC magazine, which has made Rubey the cat well-known outside of South Australia.
Dr. Colin Adam
Dr Adam retired from CSIRO in 2001 having acted as Chief Executive during 2000. Dr. Adam’s early business career included a decade of technology management positions within the US aerospace industry. He returned to Australia in 1987 as Chief of the CSIRO Division of Materials Science and Technology at Clayton, and was later Director of the CSIRO Institute of Industrial Technologies. He was appointed Deputy Chief Executive in 1996, responsible for the Minerals and Energy Divisions, and was responsible for all CSIRO's commercial activity.
He is one of the founding Directors of a new Private Equity Fund investing in high technology start-up companies, Principals Funds Management, established in 2001. Dr. Adam has served as a member of the Commonwealth Government’s Industry Research and Development Board and the Prime Minister’s Science, Engineering and Innovation Council. He was a member of the inaugural Board of the Australian Universities Quality Agency from 2001 to 2003. He serves on the Board of Ausmelt Ltd., Universal Biosensors Ltd., and Overseas Council Australia. He has previously been a Director of Memtec Ltd., Ceramic Fuel Cells Ltd. and Melbourne IT Ltd., and was recently Chairman of TeleIP Ltd. He was Chairman of The Preston Group, a leading avaition scheduling and simulation company started by CSIRO with external venture capital, which was successfully sold to Boeing in September 1999.
Dr Adam is currently Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Australian Research Centre of Excellence for Design in Light Metals, based at Monash University, and of the Victorian Centre for Advanced Materials Manufacturing (VCAMM) based at CSIRO Clayton.
Dr. Adam has a Bachelor of Metallurgical Engineering and a PhD in Metallurgy from the University of Queensland. He has held Adjunct Professorships at the University of Queensland, and at the State University of New York at Buffalo. He is married with three adult children, and was an elder in the Morristown Presbyterian Church, Morristown NJ, from 1983 – 1987. His family has attended St.Johns Uniting Church, Mt Waverley, since 1987. He owns and flies a high-performance sailplane, and instructs with the Beaufort Gliding Club at Bacchus Marsh.
Rev'd Anne Hibbard
Minister of Liverpool Uniting Church, Sydney NSW.
Rev. Dr. Peter Davis
Peter Davis is a lecturer (Wesley Institute) in Practice of Ministry and teaches courses in Homiletics, Church Leadership and Pastoral Role. He is a graduate of Sydney University, Moore Theological College, the United Theological College and Charles Sturt University. He has a doctorate (considering homiletics) from the Sydney College of Divinity.
Peter is a Uniting Church minister and before joining the faculty at Wesley Institute was a parish minister at Lismore (1987-1989) and Pittwater (1990-2005). He has been the President of the Australasian Academy of Homiletics since its inception in 2000. Peter is married to Jen who also teaches pastoral courses at Wesley. He likes playing soccer, bush walking, reading and creative writing.
Revd Derek Schiller (S.A.)
Reverend Derek Schiller is minister at Waikerie Uniting Church in the Riverland area of South Australia. Derek is also Convenor of the ACC Discipleship and Evangelism Commission.
Rev'd Lulu Senituli (Qld)
Lulu is the minister at Bayside Uniting Church in Brisbane.
Rev'd Shane Kammermann (Qld)
Shane is the minister at the Ingham Uniting Church, North Qld.