​The Revd Gloria Shipp, from the Gamilaroi tribe in New South Wales, has been elected Chair of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Anglican Council (NATSIAC) by members at their Annual Gathering in Brisbane.

Ms Shipp, the Indigenous Ministry Coordinator and Chaplain at Orana Juvenile Justice Centre in the Parish of Dubbo (Diocese of Bathurst),  is the first woman to be elected as Chair, having previously held the Treasurer’s position.

She said she was “excited and honoured” to be elected Chair.

“The work achieved since the inception of the Council in 1992 is testimony to the previous Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander members and leaders within the Anglican Church of Australia,” she said.

Gloria has been a part of NATSIAC since its inception 21 years ago.

“We will continue to promote the need for the Church to assist, encourage and resource ministries in the Torres Strait Islands and in mainland Australia,” she said.  “Our present aim is to have another national Aboriginal bishop. 

“I believe we can play a significant role in promoting our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and spirituality and incorporating them within the life and worship of the Anglican Church. I would also like to see significant occasions acknowledged and celebrated in the Anglican Church as a whole, for example National Sorry Day, the Week of Prayer for Reconciliation and NAIDOC Week, to begin with.

“One of the discussions that took place at the recent Gathering was the need for a Youth Leadership camp to encourage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders within the Anglican Church and to also become a part of NATSIAC”.

The 27 NATSIAC members present elected the Revd Chris McLeod, from the Diocese of Adelaide, as Deputy Chair; the Revd Bruce Boase, from the Diocese of Brisbane, as Secretary; and the Revd Shannon Smith, from the Diocese of Riverina, as Treasurer.

The retiring Chair, Archdeacon Brian Kirk from Armidale diocese, and Brisbane laywoman Ms Rose Elu were elected as General Synod Standing Committee members.

It is planned to hold the next NATSIAC Annual Gathering in the Diocese of the Northern Territory in September 2013.


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