Christians for Biblical Equality


Recordings are available for those sessions with a link to the audio file.

Dr Graham Cole Better together: The Biblical Ideal  audio

Dr Funmi Para-Mallam Social Justice for Women and Girls in Africa: Issues, Challenges and Ministry Strategies  audio

Dr Kevin Giles Jesus and women audio

Dr Cheryl Catford Riding the third wave: Biblical Equality in the Twenty-First Century audio

  • Conference opening speaker.  audio


General Eva BurrowsGeneral Eva Burrows became the world leader of The Salvation Army in 1986, only the second woman to hold that position.  She served as General for seven years, administering the Salvation Army's religious and charitable work in 100 countries.  Significant during this period was the re-establishment of The Salvation Army in Russia and other former communist countries.  Over the years she has addressed meetings and preached in more than 70 countries.

  • Conference Dinner Speaker audio

Jessie Taylor is an outstanding young Australian. She is a distinguished honours graduate in Law and Arts who has travelled widely in Europe and South East Asia. She has a passion for social justice and is particularly concerned with the plight of refugees. She is chair, Law Institute of Victoria, Refugee Law Reform Committee, secretary, Liberty Victoria, chair the Working Group on Submission to Inquiry into Immigration Detention, a committee member of the Mazar Development Fund among other things. In 2008 she was chosen by Rotary as ‘The Young Achiever of the Year’. What is particularly significant is her hands-on involvement in the lives of refugees. For years she regularly visited refugees in detention centres in Australia seeking to help detainees.  Last year she visited refugees in detention camps in Indonesia and she lives in a communal home that takes in young Afghan refugees. Jessie is actively involved in St Hilary’s Kew.

  • Workshops and speakers.

    One dictionary definition of a workshop is "a group meeting to exchange ideas". All the following are workshops in this sense but the way the material is presented will differ from one group to another. However, all will involve informed presentations of up to date information and open discussion. Most of the panels have three people presenting with a chair to direct and guide the discussion.  The workshops are in three streams.
    1. The biblical and theological framework for equality

Dr Graham Cole The Trinity without Tiers -  audio

Dr John Capper God, no-body -  audio

Dr Cheryl Catford Gift -based ministry not gender-based ministry - Workshop sessions 2 & 4 audio

Shane CliftonWhat is the slogan “equal but different” all about? -  audio

Barbara Deutschmann Midwives and Concubines: Women's stories and God's voice in the Old Testament - Workshop session 5   audio

Tim Foster Along Gender Lines: An egalitarian reading of 1 Tim 2:8-14 -   audio

Dr Kevin Giles The most important text in the whole Bible on the male-female relationship: Genesis 1-3 -   audio

Dr Jacqui Grey Reading the Bible as the foundation for equality -   audio

Mimi Haddad A Passion for Scripture, Evangelism, Justice and the Cross: How the Early Evangelicals helped liberate slaves and women -  audio

Jim Reiher Servant Leadership in the church and home -   audio



2. Gender in the Australian church and culture

Dr David Clarke Why we believe what we believe: the role of the psyche in interpreting the bible and forming attitudes -

Panel: Women leaders in business and society? (Chair: Noelene Horton, panel: Cindy Shay, Penny Mulvey, Jo Knight) -

Dr Alan Craddock Better Together in Marriage: Research on Marital Satisfaction and Headship - audio

Panel:Better together in Church (Chair: Diane Shay,panel:Jill Firth, Brad and Katrina Potter, Kevin Giles) -

Dr Denise Cooper-ClarkeAre women more prone to sin? Gender and ethical decision-making - audio

Susan Orr “I just want the violence to stop”……….Women and Abuse -  audio

Panel: Men in a changed world (Chair: Barry McGaw, panel: Nick Foster, Andrew Newmarch, Dave Fuller) - Workshop session 1 & 4

Panel: "A Clash of Cultures" - Challenges in gender relations for Christians migrating from the Third World to Australia. (Chair: Jan Shattock, panel: Rachel Lie, Rachel ...)

Panel: The realities of being a woman in church leadership today. (Chair: Cheryl Catford, panel: Nicole Connor, Lynnette Leach, Bp Barbara Darling - W

Panel: Christian young women in a postmodern world  Chair : Hannah Craven - Workshop session 5

3. Equality and justice on the global scene

Dr Funmi Para-Mallam Issues and Challenges on Gender Justice in an African Context - audio

Peter Deutschmann Releasing the Potential of Women -  audio

Deborah Storie Interpreting parables: power and privilege, context and culture - Workshop session 3 audio

Esme Bamblett will be looking at our indigenous people    audio

Deborah Storie Reading with Hagar and Ishmael - Re-membering familiar stories - audio

Angus & Fiona McLeay Women, Men and the Human Rights Debate. - audio

Elena Down Was blind but now I see - Seeing God's heart for people with disability - in Australia and the world beyond. A workshop -  audio

Panel: Making the Connection… what separates us, what binds us (Chair: Penny Mulvey, panel: Funmi Para-Mallam,Joanna Cruickshank,Erica Keen,  - Workshop session 5

Panel: Gender and the Millennium Development Goals (Chair: Penny Mulvey, panel:   Andrew Newmarch,Deborah Storie, Peter Deutschmann, Claire Beck Session 4


Lea Davis Half the Sky: An Introduction to Women and Men in the Developing World. A workshop -

Gordon Preece:  Fair work for the Fairer Sex, A Global sampling of womens work -   audio



Sunday Informal Discussion:  Theological Stream:  Facilitators:- Jacqui Grey, Mimi Haddad, John Capper - Workshop session 6

Sunday Informal Discussion: Gender in the Australian church and culture:- Facilitators:  Gordon  Preece, Cindy Shay, Alan Craddock - Workshop session 6

Sunday Informal Discussion:   Equality and justice on the global scene:  Facilitators:-  Barbara Deutschmann, Andrew Newmarch, Funmi Para-Mallam - Workshop session 6

Monday Wrap-up - Panel led by Mimi Haddad

More on the keynote speakers and their topics.

The Rev Graham Cole,
(ThD) Formerly Principal of Ridley Melbourne he is currently professor of biblical and systematic theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Ill. He is an ordained Anglican minister and married to Julie, a fashion designer and author. He has written books on the Holy Spirit and the atonement in addition to numerous academic articles. He has three children, two daughters-in-law, and a grandson. He enjoys food, film, and fishing.

'Better together: The Biblical Ideal'. Many believe that better together is the biblical ideal. However, for some, togetherness is to be had within a complementarity based on a hierarchical structure, whilst others advocate, as I do, complementary togetherness without hierarchy. In this session we consider how the Scriptures envision women and men in mutuality rather than in competition. We examine the great ideal of better together, the great rupture that undermines it, the great repair that restores it, and the great challenge to live it.


Oluwafunmilayo (Funmi) Para-Mallam
(Phd) works as senior research fellow at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies in Kuru, Nigeria. Her publications include: Gender Dimensions of Peace and Security: Issues for Nigeria; Faith and Gender Agendas in Nigeria: Conflicts, Challenges and Opportunities; and Nigerian Women Speak: An Analysis of Government Policy on Women. Funmi enjoys reading, writing, dancing, and interior decorating. She is married to Gideon Para-Mallam, the regional secretary for the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students and they have 5 children.

Funmi lives with her family in the city of Jos in north central Nigeria, the Plateau
state capital of about a half million people. It is in the northern region of
the country that ethno-religious conflicts have been rampant leading to loss of life, property and livelihoods. There have been many incidents of violence in
and around this city in recent years and in 2010 fresh outbreaks of violence began on January 17th with attacks by Muslims on Christian residents and Churches. Sadly this then  lead to reprisal attacks on Muslims by indigenous groups who are predominantly Christians, thus escalating the violence. Muslims, including Fulani cattleherders, have continued to attack rural villages leading to deaths in the hundreds, particularly of women and children, and more reprisal killings. Silent and secret killings persist around the city and environs. There are widespread allegations of military complicity in the violence and killings under the watch of the a Muslim Commander, heightening the tension and insecurity.

Social Justice for Women and Girls in Africa: Issues, challenges and ministry strategies
Conventional interpretations of biblical texts can converge with indigenous customs and traditions to promote gender discrimination and deprivation, and the cost to females in particular and to society in general id great. The African Church in light of secular development interventions and faith-based strategies can be a powerful forceto bring about positive change.


The Rev Kevin Giles,
(ThD) has served as an Anglican Minister for forty years. He has written widely on women in the Bible, the church, ministry in the apostolic age, and the Trinity as model for mutually enriching relationships and church health. He now works in a church part time, writes and lectures. He is married to Lynley and they have 4 grown up children and  9 grandchildren'

Jesus and women
As we come to the NT to work out what we should believe about the relationship of the sexes we should begin by carefully studying the Gospels to work out what Jesus thought on this matter. We should come to St Paul second, reading what he says on this sexes in the light of the ideals set by Jesus.  In the Gospels we discover that Jesus not once spoke of the 'headship' of men and said and did much that suggests he in no way supported this idea.


Cheryl Catford
(PhD) currently serves as national director for Australian Evangelical Alliance. She spent fifteen years at Tabor College Victoria, first as a lecturer and then as principal. She has a strong interest in the access of women to ministry opportunities and for six years coordinated the network, Women in Ministry. Catford has also worked as Victorian State Coordinator for TEAR Australia, and as operations manager for Urban Neighbours of Hope. She is a mother of two adult children, owner of a small dog (Eddie), an avid reader, and dedicated coffee drinker.


'Riding the third wave: Biblical Equality in the Twenty-First Century'
Chrsitian young women and men living in the first decades of the twenty-first century view the world from a very different perspective than do those born in the latter half of the twentieth century. What is their view of biblical equality and how should the older generations help them find answers to their questions? How do we hand the baton of biblical equality to the next generation?


More on the workshop and panel presenters and their topics

1. The Biblical and theological foundations for equality

Graham Cole
(Th.D.). See above on keynote speakers for peronal details.

The Trinity without Tiers
Some claim vigorously that God the Son has eternally been subordinated to God the Father and that provides a model for male-female relations in the church and the home. Others deny this claim strongly as hurtful to our understanding of God and male-female relations. This workshop addresses the debate and with it our understanding of the Trinity.


John Mark Capper is a theologian involved in education.  Born in Sydney, he is an ordained Anglican with a PhD from Cambridge.  He has trained evangelists, and is fascinated by the joyfulness of God, the beauty of creation and the wearing of colourful socks.  John and Wendy have four daughters for most of whom ministry is second nature.

God, no-body
In this workshop/seminar I will explore the question, is God a man/male?
In the ongoing debate about the subordination of women, some claim that the male names and pronouns used of God in the Bible indicate that God is literally male and not female. Others insist this language is metaphorical and that the God of the Bible transcends human sexual differentiation. How we answer this question tends to determine what we conclude about the man-woman relationship.


Dr Cheryl Catford
(PhD). .

'Gift -based ministry not gender-based ministry'
Much of our current thinking about ministry and the involvement of women in church leadership is predicated on our experience and understaning of the church as it exists in its institutional form in the 21st century.This workshop will examine the teaching and practices of Paul and argue that he conceived of ministry as emanating from Spirit-empowered gifting rather than gender.


Shane Web
Shane Clifton (Phd) is  lecturer in theology at Alphacrucis College, Sydney and the editor of Australasian Pentecostal Studies Journal and author of Pentecostal Churches in Transition and Globalization and the Mission of the Church (with Neil Ormerod).  Together with Jacqueline Grey, he also edited the recently published, Raising Women Leaders: Perspectives on Liberating Women In Pentecostal and Charismatic Contexts.


What is the slogan “equal but different” all about?
This workshop addresses the (il)logic of the argument that women and men are equal “in being” and yet women are subordinate to men “in function”/"role" (meaning, permanently subordinated to male leadership).  It also explores the possibility of recognizing gender differences (or tendencies) that do not imply subordination, but rather contribute to the development of richly diverse communities.



Barbara Deutschmann:
Barbara's interest in women's issues stems from years of life and work in India and in aid and development with TEAR Australia. She has research interests in Biblical Theology and especially Old Testament, seeking to bring the message of the Bible into engagement with current issues. Married to Peter and with three adult children, she now manages the Indigenous program at TEAR Australia.

Midwives and Concubines: Women's stories and God's voice in the Old Testament
How do believing twenty-first century women read the shocking Old Testament stories about women, as scripture? This workshop will discuss reading strategies that can help us to hear God's voice within the patriarchal texts of the Old Testament.


Tim Foster

Tim Foster (DMin) is Director Theological Education and Formation at Ridley Melbourne. He teaches Pastoral Theology including "Church Planting", "Ministry Formation" and "Australian Church and Culture". Tim has served as a Youth Minister, Curate and Vicar in multicultural, suburban and urban contexts. He is married to Alison, with three children aged 10 through to 18. He loves sailing and organic veggie gardening. He supports the Carlton Football (AFL) club.


Along Gender Lines: An egalitarian reading of 1 Tim 2:8-14
1 Timothy 2.8-15 remains one of the most challenging passages for egalitarians and situational readings are often criticised for reading too much into the passage from outside the Epistle. However, there are numerous clues within 1 Timothy itself suggesting that the Ephesian heresy had created division in the church along gender lines. This opens up new possibilities and strengthens the egalitarian case considerably.


Kevin Giles
(Th.D.) Kevin first published on Genesis chapters 1-3 in 1977 and has returned to this matter several times in publications in the subsequent thirty years.The most important text in the whole Bible on the male-female relationship: Genesis 1-3.This seminar examines the most fundamental premise of the so called 'complementarian' position, namely that in creation before the fall God set the man over the woman as her head/leader. On this reading of the Genesis texts woman's subordination is the God-given ideal for all of human history. It is what is pleasing to God. In reply it will be shown this interpretation of Genesis 1-3 runs counter to the text itself and has very little scholarly support today. The creation ideal as spelt out in Gen 1:27-28 speaks unambiguously of the eqaulity of the sexes in dignity and authroity.


Jacqui Grey
Jacqueline Grey
(Ph.d) is lecturer in Old Testament studies and Academic Dean at Alphacrucis College (formerly Southern Cross College) in Sydney. She is an ordained minister with the Assemblies of God in Australia and active member in her local church. Jacqui enjoys coffee with friends and fine Italian food.


Reading the Bible as the foundation for equality
This workshop is about how to read the Bible as the foundation for our theology. Using Paul's household code in Ephesians (where he exhorts in parallel women slaves and children to be subordinate or obedient) as a case study, we will explore how to interpret the biblical text. From this basis we can explore what the bible says about the role of women and men in the home. So whether you are a newcomer to the Bible or are a seasoned veteran, you will be equipped to read and value the Bible.


Mimi Haddad
(Phd) is president of Christians for Biblical Equality. Mimi has contributed to seven books, authored more than fifty articles, and speaks frequently on issues related to faith and gender. She is adjunct faculty at North Park Theological Seminary, Chicago, IL.

A Passion for Scripture, Evangelism, Justice and the Cross: How the Early Evangelicals helped liberate slaves and women.
The early evangelicals were biblicists of the highest order. Their passion for Scripture, evangelism and social action drove the modern missionary movement, a movement that led to sweeping social justice for slaves and women. This workshop will trace the development of the evangelical movement, assessing its unique characteristics and the prominent manner in which women helped define and shape these qualities.



Jim Reiher
Jim Reiher;
husband to Julie, father of four, and grandfather to 7 grandkids under 9 at the last count. Since finishing high school in 1974, he has been an Ambulance Officer (4 years), a High School Teacher (8 years), and a Theology lecturer (13 years in total, the last 8 with Tabor Victoria). At the end of 2007, Jim and Julie joined Urban Neighbors of Hope (UNOH) based in Springvale, Noble Park and Dandenong. Jim is working full time for UNOH overseeing its training programs. In 2006, Acorn Press published his Women, Leadership and the Church, which offers strong Biblical support for women's ministry and leadership opportunities in the church. Jim has a Bachelor of Arts, with a double major in History, a Diploma in Education, and a Masters in Theology with Honours. Jim is also actively involved in politics.

Servant Leadership in the church and home
The issue of the "role" of women in the church has been muddied by a tangential discussion about the relationship of husbands and wives in the home. Some use a particular model of life in the home (the man is the boss, the authority, the final say) and impose that on life in the church. Not only is that model for married relationships flawed, it is also a false imposition to make it apply in the church. This workshop will consider the Biblical call to servant leadership, from both partners in marriage and from both genders in the church. It will show that shared servant leadership does not restrict the outworking of gifts and talents in either the church or the home.



2. Gender in the Australian church and culture


David Clarke
is a psychiatrist and Professor in Psychological Medicine at Monash University. He has been chair of Keriva, a Christian counseling centre in Melbourne, and editor of Luke's Journal, published by the Christian Medical and Dental Fellowship of Australia.  He is currently Research Advisor for Beyondblue: the national depression initiative in Australia. He will speak on,

Why we believe what we believe: the role of the psyche in interpreting the bible and forming attitudes . Does reading the Bible determine attitudes, and therefore behaviours - or could it be the other way round?  This seminar will explore to what extent our psyche affects our attitudes and ways of relating, and what that means for our religious beliefs and practice.


Panel: Women Leaders in Business and Society

In the light of evangelical arguments for the ongoing subordination of women in the created order this seminar will explore the leadership potential of women and the contribution Christian women can and have made to society.

Panel chair, Noelene Horton AM is the former Principal of Lowther Grammar School in Melbourne.  She is a director of three not for profit companies and a Lay Canon of St.Paul's Cathedral.  Her current work is as Executive Officer to the Anglican Archbishop of Melbourne.

Panel Members :Penny Mulvey is a journalist, author and speaker. Among other things she manages the Anglican Archbishops conversations. She is married to Peter and has three children.

Jo Knight is an honours graduate in Arts and Law from Monash University. She has worked as an Immigration Lawyer, is actively involved as the advocacy for refugees and is founding chair of the board of the Oaktree Foundation. She is married to Peter.  

Cindy Shay worked for 17 years with a large international consulting firm focusing primarily on business transformation. For the last l0 years she has worked predominatly in healthcare as CEO of hospitals and currently works for the largest health insurer in Australia. A key focus of her work is funding models for healthcare which support the principle of right care, right setting.


Alan Craddock
Alan Craddock
(Phd). Honorary Senior Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Sydney; National Coordinator of Prepare-Enrich, Australia. 

Research on marital Satisfaction and Headship. In the last 25 years, Australian and North American research has consistently indicated that egalitarian role expectations are strongly associated with marital satisfaction.  Egalitarian expectations involve commitment to a democratic role structure and the rejection of rigidly segregated role performances based on conventional sex-role stereotypes and a hierarchical and patriarchal interpretation of “Headship” as it is described in some of the NT Epistles.


Panel: Better together in Church

In this panel discussion the rich potential of men and women ministering side by side in Christian leadership will be explored. Different models will be recognized, for example, husbands and wives together, husbands and wives in different ministries, a man and a woman or men and women ministrying together (not married), mixed gender ministry teams et etc. The question is, "Can the dominant mono-ministry pattern be transcended and improved to further the work of the Kingdom?"

Chair: Dianne Shay has lived in eleven towns in five Anglican Diocese. She works for a bank and regularly explains why that's a fabulous use of her degree in Theology. Dianne worships at St. Michael's Anglican Church, North Carlton, is a member of Melbourne Diocesan Council and the General Synod Professional Standards Commission.
Panel: Jill Firth is Assistant Minister at St John's Anglican Church West Brunswick in Melbourne and an adjunct lecturer in theology at Ridley Melbourne. She is married to Len and has 3 married children.  After ministry in parishes around Western Australia as a clergy couple Jill and Len were missionaries with CMS in Groote Eylandt and Hong Kong.  Jill was ordained in 2006 She is a trained spiritual director.
Katrina and Brad Potter hold the rank of Major in the Salvation Army.  They have served for 15 years as Church pastors and for the last 12 months they have been on the staff of the Salvation Army Training College. They have two children, Josiah 14 and Caitlin 12.
Kevin Giles has written extensively on church and ministry in the apostolic age and on church health today.









Dr Denise Cooper-Clarke is a graduate of medicine and theology with a Ph.D in medical ethics (end of life decision making). She is a voluntary researcher in the Public Theology Department, Evangelical Alliance, an adjunct Lecturer in Ethics at Ridley Melbourne, and a tutor in medical ethics at the University of Melbourne. She is chair of the Melbourne chapter of Christians for Biblical Equality, and secretary of the New Cranmer Society. Denise and her husband David have three adult children and one grandson. They worship at SHAC community church, Kew.

Are women more prone to error ? Gender and ethical decision-making

Until the second half of the twentieth century,  theologians were agreed that women are more prone to sin, error and deception than men, and this was considered a reason to bar them from teaching and leadership in the world as well as the church and the home. Although today even so called complementarian commentators mostly repudiate the notion that women are morally inferior, the idea persists that they have a different style of decision-making in doctrine and ethics, which renders them unfit to lead and teach. This workshop will examine evidence from studies of gender and ethical decision-making, particularly the work of Carol Gilligan, and the notion of feminine ethics and the ethics of care, and assess their contribution to the question of whether women are more prone to error.


Susan Orr
Susan Orr
is a counsellor (Grad. Dip. Counselling) and a Marriage and Relationship Educator.  For more than 7 years Susan has worked with pre and post marriage couples using Prepare inventories, counselling and group work sessions.  Since 2006 Susan has worked at Doncare Community Care in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne with women who have experienced intimate partner violence and family violence, supporting them through a process of recovery. She ismarried  to David and they have thee children.

“I just want the violence to stop”……….Women and Abuse.
Violence against women is a reality.  It exists in every country of the globe.  Among all people groups.  Abuse occurs within every faith community.  And it knows no boundaries.  Rich women, poor women, black women, white women, educated women, illiterate women, religious women, beautiful women - all women are potential targets of violence and all women are at some degree of risk. (Kroeger and Nason-Clark, 2001, p.14)  This workshop will include; How to recognise intimate partner and family violence.  How prevalent is it in Australia?  What are common beliefs about family violence.  How does it impact women, children and families.  What can one person or a congregation do to respond?


Panel: Men in a changed world

In this panel discussion the pressures on men wanting to be men in a world where women are now equal in so many ways is explored.


Chair: Barry McGaw is a professorial fellow in the Melbourne Graduate
School of Education at the University of Melbourne and Chair of the
Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority. He was previously
Director for Education at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and
Development (OECD) in Paris. He is a member of St Michael's Anglican Church
in North Carlton, Melbourne.

Panel: Nick Foster holds a doctorate in psychology from the University of London.He has worked in industry in Australia, South Africa, Canada and Russia.  He has led personal and professional development and leadership programmes for several corporate and charitable organisations, including Mensline, Vietnam Vets counselling line and Beyond Blue. He is married to Cathy-Jean and they have two young children.

Andrew Newmarch grew up in Asia in a missionary family and completed his schooling and tertiary education in Australia. He is now senior Quality Advisor with World Vision Australia and has worked in the development sector for almost 20 years . He is married to Ruth who is a children's ministry specialist and ordination candidate.  They have 4 sons and two daughters in law.

Dave Fuller has been in professional Christian ministry work for 22 years. The main themes of his ministry have been evangelism, schools and youth ministry and theological education. He is currently a school chaplain and he is a chaplain trainer at Ridley College, Melbourne.  He is a life-member of  the God Squad.


Panel: A Clash of Cultures:

Jan Shattock - chair - Jan is a trained teacher and studied theology at Deaconess House and Moore College in Sydney. With her husband she worked in Brunei. They have 4 children and 9 gandchildren. Jan has taught English as a second language in different centres for 25 years and now coordinate ESL classes at St Thomas’ Burwood as well as conducting a simple English service/bible study on Sunday evenings. She also trains people to teach ESL in a Certificate IV in TESOL course.

This panel will explore the challenges in gender relations facing Christians migrating from the Third World to Australia’.

Rachael Lie comes from Malaysia and graduated from BCV with a BMin in 2009. She currently leads a ministry to Cantonese spekaing young adults atSt Thomas' Burwood Anglican Church

Samuel Anthony Priest-in-Charge, Tamil Christian Congregation Victoria and All Saint's East Malvern Anglican Church




The realities for women in church leadership today.

Very often there is a gap between the writings and official stance of an organisation (the ideal) and what happens in practice (the real). This workshop will address the practical realities of being a woman in leadership, both positive and negative. A panel of prominent Australian Christian women leaders will share their experiences and answer questions.

Panel:       Cheryl Catford - chair (For her personal information see above)

Nicole Conner is the associate pastor at City Life Church, possible the largest church in Melbourne.  Her husband Mark Conner is the senior pastor.  Nicole is a gifted speaker and communicator.

Lynette Leach is an ordained minister at the Williamstown Church of Christ. She is involved in the mentoring of women in leadership and professional supervision of ministers-in-training and chaplains.  Also, a member of the Endorsement Taskforce for Churches of Christ ministers and those seeking ordination. Lynette is a Board member for Urban Neighbours of Hope -a missional order serving the urban poor. She has 2 adult children and 7 grandchildren.

Barbara Darling is currently the Bishop of the Eastern Region in Melbounre

topBarbara was trained as a high school teacher in English/History. She studied at Ridley College and then became a tutor, then lecturer and librarian at Ridley College.  She has been a trained woman worker , a deacon, and vicar in different Churches until she was consecrated bishop in 2008.


Young Christian women in a postmodern world

In this panel discussion the challenges facing young Christian women today will be explored; finding a life partner, singleness, sex, pornography, the contrasting church and work valuing of women, church membership etc
Hannah Craven - Chair - Hannah is Young Adults Pastor at St. Hilary's Anglican Church, Kew,  whilst completing her studies in Theology at Ridley Melbourne.  Hannah works  with 18-30's to help them navigate the challenges and transitions of young adult life - studies, relationships, work, family - and to help them build and maintain a life-transforming faith in Christ amidst these.  Hannah is an ordination candidate in the Melbourne diocese, and is married to Tom.
Evonne Paddison - Evonne Paddison is Chief Executive Officer of ACCESS Ministries; is a Vice President of the Church Missionary Society, and a Canon of St Paul’s Cathedral Melbourne. She lectures in New Testament Studies at Ridley Theological College where she was also Warden of the University College. She was Foundation Director of the School of Christian Studies at Robert Menzies College, Macquarie University and served as a missionary in Tanzania. She serves on the Arrow Leadership Board and the Academic Board of the Australian College of Theology.
Christy Capper (BA -Ancient History), Youth and Young Adults Pastor, currently studying a Graduate Diploma in Theology and a Master of Vocational Practice (Ministry) at Tabor Victoria.  Christy was previously working for Student Life, the university arm of Campus Crusade for Christ Australia, as a Campus Missionary at Macquarie University and then as the Campus Co-ordinator at the University of Newcastle.

topAAnna Hooper works for Mustard Schools Ministry


3. Equality and justice on the global scene

Funmi Oluwafunmilayo (Funmi) Para-Mallam (Phd). See above on keynote speakers for personal details. 

Better together: Issues and Challenges on Gender Justice in an African Context
The session will seek to demonstrate that gender justice is part of the entire gospel mandate to bring good news in practical ways. Eliminating oppression of the weak and vulnerable, including women and girls, was a key concern of Christ as expressed in both the Old and New Testaments. Comparisons between faith-based social justice efforts and secular development concepts and strategies will also be analyzed.


Peter Deutschmann is associate director of the Nossal Institute for Global Health at the University of Melbourne. A surgeon who subsequently trained in public health while living and working in rural north India, Peter has over twenty five years experience in the planning and implementation of population based health programs in many countries of the Asia Pacific region. Peter is also the chairman of the International Council of Interserve, an inter-denominational Christian agency that assists development needs in the countries of Asia and northern Africa. He, together with his wife Barbara, is a member of an Anglican community in Yarraville, Melbourne.

Releasing the Full Potential of Women (workshop)
Using stories and images from Asia and Africa, the workshop will explore the consequences to societies of not enabling the full potential of women.


Deborah Storie is committed to read and respond to the Bible with justice/equity in mind germinated during the years she lived and worked in rural Afghan as a TEAR Australia Field Worker. Now a PhD Candidate at Melbourne College of Divinity/Whitley College, she also lectures in Biblical Studies or Aid and Development at Whitley and elsewhere, and continues to support TEAR Australia in a variety of capacities. Deborah enjoys the Australian bush - and occasionally works as a vet at the RSPCA.

Interpreting parables: power and privilege, context and culture

Predominant traditions of interpretation tend to (i) read parables in isolation from the broader conversations or conflicts to which they belonged; (ii) reduce things with real meaning in the biblical world (money, land, slaves, etc) to allegories for other things; and, (iii) view powerful characters in parables positively and subordinate characters negatively (unless Jesus or the evangelist explicitly specifies otherwise).  This presentation draws on studies of communities living in perilous power-laden situations, and Deborah’s own experience of living in rural Afghanistan, to suggest that attending to the stories and readings of poor and marginalised communities, and attending to parables within their narrative and historical contexts, might enable us to interpret and respond to parables more responsibly.



Deborah Storie, see details above


Reading with Hagar and Ishmael – Re-membering familiar stories.
Several Genesis narratives have been interpreted in ways that promote or excuse various forms of religious and ethnic violence. This presentation will describe how exposure to the Hagar and Ishmael stories as a child influenced Deborah’s attitude to Muslims in subtle but powerful ways.  It will examine how unconscious cultural assumptions influence interpretations of these and other biblical narratives, and demonstrate several reading strategies that might enable us to resist oppressive traditions and respond to these stories in life-giving ways.


Angus & Fiona Macleay - A workshop

Jesus, Gender and Human Rights

It’s estimated that 60 – 110 million women don’t exist today because of practices which preference men over women (females are more likely to be aborted, given less health care, food and protection). Gender inequality is one of the great global justice issues. It is also increasingly identified as a prime cause of global poverty, since educated and empowered women are so economically productive and promote the welfare of families. How should Christians respond?



Elena Down has been actively involved in ministry and mission since her teens. She worked part time for St Jude's Anglican Church in Melbourne while completing her BA LLB (Hons) at University of Melbourne, 1996. She subsequently worked in legal practice and legal policy the Australian Government, and briefly with the Australian Human Rights Commission. In the past 2 years she has assisted development and implementation of a disability strategy for Australia's international development program. She has volunteered with Deaf communities in India and China, and is currently completing her Masters in International and Community Development, whilst working full time. She enjoys good coffee, and lipreads well across crowded rooms!

Was blind but now I see - Seeing God's heart for people with disability - in Australia and the world beyond - A workshop.
In seeking justice and challenging inequality, the church is a powerful witness to God's heart for the poor, the marginalized and the excluded - but what about people with a disability? How is God challenging us in Australia and the world beyond to be more inclusive? This workshop will examine and challenge our preconceptions around disability, and how God is calling us to be agents of grace who partner with, and affirm the dignity, worth and contribution of all.


Joanna Cruickshank is sick so Esme Bamblett is replacing her

Esme Bamblett is CEO for the Aborigines Advancement League Inc, She has studied at Harvest Theological College and in 2010  graduated with a PhD on Aborigine identity from RMIT .

She is also Pastor of Barak Christian Ministries from 2000-2010r

Esme is also involved on a radio programme about indigenous issues.

MC  for this session will be Archbishop Philip Freier (of Melbourne) who was Bishop of the Northern Territory for seven and a half years. Previously he had been in ministry in Queensland, first among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in north Queensland and then in Brisbane His first career was as a teacher, working for five years in indigenous communities.



Penny Mulveyis a journalist, author and speaker. Amongst other things, Penny manages the Anglican Archbishop's public conversations and moderated the Who Am I? series of conversations pre-Parliament of the World's Religions. Penny is married to Peter, and is mother to 3 children (aged 24, 17 and 15). She and Peter are long time members of St Hilary's Kew.

Panel: Making the Connection… what separates us, what binds us (panel)

A panel of women chaired by Penny Mulvey drawn from diverse settings will explore divisions in society and the power of individuals to overcome barriers drawing on their reflections of the painting ‘Feed My Lambs’ by Hunter. Panel  : Funmi Para-Mallam, Joanna Cruickshank, Erica Keen


Panel chaired by Penny Mulvey(see details above): All too hard? Efforts and issues in reaching the Millennium Development Goals Panel members : Andrew Newmarch (World Vision),Deborah Storie, (Tear Australia) Peter Deutschmann (Uni. of Melbourne) Claire Beck (World Vision) Lea Davis (Tear)

A panel of men and women who work to assist the development of communities in Asia will consider the efforts to address gender equality in seeking to reach the Millennium Development Goals.



Lea Davis has a work background in Australia, Cambodia, Kenya and Asia in women’s and children’s health and in community development. Her work with TEAR Australia has given her an understanding of the particular impacts of poverty on women (and men).

A workshop
Half the Sky: An Introduction to Women and Men in the Developing World.

Using a Nepali artist representation of village life, this workshop will explore gender roles and how they impact life in poor communities in the developing world. This workshop is designed as an introduction to the topic.








Gordon Preece was the first male on the first Movement for the Ordination of Women Committee in the Australian Anglican Church in Sydney. Hence he now lives in Melbourne! He has been a parish minister, Director of Ridley College Ethics Centre, Macquarie Christian Studies Institute at Macquarie University and is currently Anglican minister at Yarraville, Director of the Ethos Centre, and an ethics consultant and author of 11 books with two more due this year. He is on the standing committee of the Theology of Work Project and Theological Consultant to the Lausanne Marketplace Ministry stream. He is married to Susan and has three young adult children.

Fair Work for the Fairer Sex: A Global Sampling of Women's Work
This workshop will use a range of sources (but especially Ehrenreich's work) and media to give a glimpse of the working world of global women: the care drain of nannies, maids and sex workers from the developing world to the developed world; the world of female child labour and slavery, to entrepreneurial world of women using microfinance, the poor white trash world of 'Nickel and Dimed' to the transitional middle-class working world of Bait and Switch and from Bauman's Liquid Modernity to the movie Up in the Air. We will highlight the invisible and undervalued world of work and what is the best way to value women's work.



Panel Addressing questions that are submitted during the conference-

Panel:       Mimi Haddad - chair

Graham Cole

Cheryl Catford

Funmi Para-Mallam

Kevin Giles




Conference Sponsors:

Mission Travel