National Chair and Spokesperson
Rev. Dr Hedley Fihaki (Queensland)
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 - Mooloolaba Uniting Church, Sunshine Coast Qld.
Member UCA National Assembly 2006, 2009 & 2015.
Member of the 19th World Methodist Conference 2006, South Korea.
Previous placements: Bowen Uniting Church, North Qld. 2001-2004; Emmanuel Uniting Church, Cairns, 2005 - 2012, KIngaroy UCA (supply 2013 - 6 months) and is presently the minister at Mooloolaba Uniting Church.
Council Secretary: See Rev. Ian Weeks
Rev. Walter Abetz (Tasmania)
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 retired from that parish after four years of service and continues to visit and support ACC congregations within Tasmania in his retirement.
Rev. Dr Max Champion (Victoria) (and Deputy Chair)
Max was ordained in 1975 and has now formally 'retired' after 40 years of ministry in city and rural parishes in Victoria and overseas and is married with 4 adult children.
Over the years Max has 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).
Max completed a doctorate in theology from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1988 with a thesis 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.'
Bruce Fairhall (NSW) (Treasurer)
Bruce Fairhall is the Treasurer for the ACC and a member of Dapto Uniting Church, having previously been a long-serving member of St Andrew's Richmond Uniting Church.
Rev. Trevor Faggotter (South Australia)
Trevor is the Minister at Clare Uniting Church and convenes the ACC Discipleship and Evangelism Commission.
Rev. Mike Fawcett (Western Australia)
Mike is a minister in Perth and helps to coordinate the PNEUMA group in WA (Pastoral Network of Evangelicals Uniting in Mission Action)
Rev. Anne Hibbard (NSW)
Anne is a Minister of the Word in NSW, presently leading a prayer and fasting ministry and also the prayer network for the national ACC.
Barry O'Ryan (Queensland)
Barry was elected to the council in 2017 and is a member of Edmonton Uniting Church in Far North Queensland.
Rev. Lulu Senituli (Queensland)
Lulu is the minister at Beenleigh Region Uniting Church in Brisbane and chairs the ACC Cross Cultural Commission.
Rev. Garry Towle
Garry is a member of Dapto Uniting Church and a retired minister of the Churches of Christ, and now in the UCA.
Mariska van de Loo (South Australia)
Mariska is a member of the SA ACC State Movement.
Rev. Ian Weeks (NSW) - Also Secretary of the National Council
Ian is the Minister of the Word at Belrose Uniting Church