Email from Martin J Cowling – UnitingCare Australia

Dear Colleague

It was great to meet many of you in Sydney and Parramatta. I was excited by the sheer richness and diversity of the work and models that exist in this space. Thank you to Peter McDonald for his organising and for many people too many to name)  for your contributions and for Keith’s hosting.

There have been a number of changes at UnitingCare Australia. On  June 9th,   Lin will be concluding her 14 years of service to take up an exciting role with the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet as the Deputy Secretary for Social Policy. I will be acting as the National director from June 10 during the recruitment process. I will also be responsible for this network. Thank you to Peter for your work. I have really appreciated your wisdom and assistance. I am happy to answer any questions you may have about the changes here.

I am trying to catch up with as many of you as I can for coffee and to get to know you, your context and your work. I will be in contact when I am nearby or sing out if you are in Canberra.

I have attached the UnitingCare Australia response to the 2016 Budget if you have not previously seen this.

As discussed at the meeting in Sydney/Parramatta , the UnitingCare Australia Executive endorsed new Strategic Priorities for UnitingCare Australia in March with eight key areas earmarked for our work going forward. I have attached the document. The work of the Ministry and Mission Network is key to supporting the achievement of this work.   There are two key strategic priorities I wanted to draw your attention to that we expect will be a key part of this network’s thinking:

  • 7.1 – Renew the connection between UnitingCare’s theology and practice; and
  • 8.1 – Taking the wider Uniting Church (Assembly, Synods and congregations) on a journey of sharing UnitingCare’s purpose and mission.

We revisited the Terms of Reference for all of the networks after the adoption of the new Strategic Directions. A small group from this network are looking at the TOR for this network to ensure it represents our aims and needs.

In terms of 7.1, Rick Morrell, Peter R McDonald, Les Underwood and myself are focusing on a paper and then steps to move forward on our theology of service. I know there is already a lot out there.

To assist with this work, can I ask that you please forward to Rick Morrell (, Peter McDonald and myself ( any documents, readings or papers that you may wish to contribute, in order for them to be used in development of this paper.

Can we receive them by May 31? Thank you.

As previously flagged, a Network meeting will be organised, to take place in Canberra.

The proposed dates are currently 23-24 August 2016. Should you have any concerns regarding these dates, please contact me as soon as possible.

As we work on preparing an agenda for this meeting, I would appreciate your suggestions and feedback on any items to cover or issues to discuss.

We want to ensure we include time for learning, sharing and exposure to ministry.

Finally, I am keen to ensure that this Network is inclusive and engaging with people around the Network who are involved in ministry and mission work. Therefore, can I ask that you please forward this email on to any of your colleagues who are Directors or Executives of Ministry or involved in the spiritual side of service delivery, and please let myself or Tanya von Ahlefeldt ( know who they are, in order for them to be included in the Network’s mailing list and in activities going forward.

Should you have any queries regarding the above information, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. I look forward to working with you.

Kind regards

Martin J Cowling Associate National Director UnitingCare Australia

T | 02 6181 1010

M| 0437 544 487

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