Theme: Faith, Justice and Community Service
We live in a tension between faith, justice and service. Many discard the faith dimension or at least relegate it from the discourse of evidence based activity. Yet more are recognising that practice is underpinned by beliefs, values and attitudes as well as an evidence base. These elements lie at the heart of relationships between individuals, organisations and communities. They can also be a potent source of misunderstanding and conflict. We all believe in something even it if it is that something comes out of nothing! A secular society says all views are welcome in public debate and the shaping of public policy. Faith based organisations have a significant role in delivering community services and advocating for justice. This conference will facilitate a conversation about that role and in particular how it can be usefully carried out in refugee and homelessness services. Presenters include World vision Chief Advocate Tim Costello, Welcome to Australia Founder Brad Chilcott and Salvation Army Major Campbell Roberts.
Tim Costello is one of Australia’s best known community leaders and a sought after voice on social justice issues, leadership and ethics. For 13 years until October 2016, Tim was Chief Executive of World Vision Australia, placing the challenges of global poverty on the national agenda. In his current role as Chief Advocate, Tim continues to use his public profile to affect change. In addition Tim is Chair of the Community Council of Australia, and is a member of the following: the Multi-Stakeholder Steering Committee of the EU-Australia Leadership Forum; Australian National Development Index; Concern Australia Advisory Group and the Campaign for Australian Aid. Tim is a founding board member and spokesperson for the Alliance for Gambling Reform, which campaigns for law reform to prevent harm from poker machine gambling. In earlier roles Tim was National President of the Baptist Union of Australia and Mayor of St Kilda. He has been Baptist Minister at St Kilda Baptist and Collins Street Baptist in Melbourne, as well as Executive Director of Urban Seed. In these roles he spearheaded public debate on problem gambling, urban poverty, homelessness, reconciliation and substance abuse.
Brad Chilcott is the founder of Welcome to Australia a movement committed to cultivating a culture of welcome in Australia. He's also lead pastor of Activate Church in Adelaide and sits on the boards of RESULTS (Australia), Common Grace, Reconciliation SA and Food for Education (Kenya). Brad will share about his faith journey, how that led him to founding Welcome to Australia and some of his thoughts on improving support for refugee families.
Khadija Gbla is Director of NoFGM Australia working to abolish female genital mutilation in Australia. She is an ambassador and specialist advisor for AIDS Global Fund for Women and Director of Reacher’s Philanthropy committed to women’s girl’s self empowerment. She was a 2011 State Finalist Young Australian of the Year and included in the 2009 South Australian Women’s Honour Roll.
Major Campbell Roberts OF has been a pioneering social advocate in the Salvation Army in New Zealand for many years and brings a wide breadth of experience in working with government and faith based community services. He is the National Director of Social Policy for The Salvation Army in New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga. In this role Campbell is responsible for all government and parliamentary relationships for The Salvation Army in New Zealand. Campbell is the founder director of The Salvation Army Social Policy and Parliamentary Unit. The SPPU has a mandate from The Salvation Army to work towards the elimination of poverty in New Zealand by influencing, and engaging nationally, political, corporate, government, education and media leaders. The unit focuses on providing quality social research and policy advice.
Ian Cox is the CEO of the Hutt St Centre regarded as one of the leaders in the inner city welfare sector and the organization has a strong and progressive vision to both continue offering quality services to its client group, whilst ending people’s homelessness. Last year the Centre provided just over 50,000 meals to approximately 2,000 different individuals and has a wide array of services including the Eastern Adelaide Homelessness Service, a new Street Crew Program (outreach into the inner city streets and parklands), an aged care service, a Pathways to Education and Employment Program and approximately 14 visiting services (RDNS, GP’s Psychologists etc.). Hutt St Centre received a commendation from the Australian Government in conjunction with the St Vincent de Paul Society and Australian Red Cross for its innovation in partnerships in delivering services in 2012, recently won a third national fundraising award for the Walk a Mile in my boots event and in 2015 won the award for the most outstanding SA community service organisation in the homeless sector. Ian is currently the co-chair of the SA Anti-Poverty Week facilitating group which aims to highlight issues and is actively involved in efforts to reduce poverty and hardship here in Australia. He is a fellow of the Governors Leadership Program (known as the Leaders Institute of South Australia).