Who we are

The Social Responsibilities Committee (SRC) was set up by an Act of the Melbourne Anglican Diocesan Synod. Its purpose is to enable the Archbishop, clergy and members of the Diocese to facilitate respectful dialogue and education across the Anglican community regarding their Christian social responsibilities to society. The SRC acts as a resource on social issues by:

  • identifying and formulating responses to key social issues
  • undertaking research and preparing materials on social issues
  • promoting accessible education on personal, social and environmental ethical issues and
  • serving as a communication channel with other agencies, schools, individuals.

What We do

Establishing the SRC, Synod recognised that church members are called to seek and dialogue concerning the common good, voicing our biblical belief that all people are created in God’s image (Gen 1:26-28) and that the shalom or flourishing of all creation should be sought (Jer 29:4-7)

Current, Ongoing and Upcoming Events

Palm Sunday Walk  – Justice for Refugees

Sunday, 2nd of April – 1:30pm

Revd Dr Andreas Loewe, Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral

"We are marching for those who are unable to march themselves, because they remain in detention. When we raise our voices, we give a voice to the voiceless. When we march, we walk on behalf of the detained, and the many thousands who are still in limbo, living in the community without adequate support. We will continue to march and raise our voices until our government and the opposition commit to fully welcoming refugees in our nation. Join us at the Palm Sunday Walk for Justice, so that we can make our voices heard and bring about that change."

Work and Wellbeing March for the 8 Hour Day

Friday, 21st of April – 11:00am to 12:30pm

Welcome Home Project


More than 60 people from churches all over Melbourne gathered on Saturday afternoon February 4 at St Thomas Burwood to hear how we might be involved in welcoming and supporting refugees arriving in Australia. The meeting was convened by Naomi Chua who introduced attendees to the soon to be launched, Welcome Home Project, an initiative of NAYBA. 

Key note addresses were made by:

  • Nick Mackay the CEO, of NAYBA, a network of Christians from across the Australian Church with a vision to see churches transforming their neighbourhoods.  
  • Lisa Button, CEO of CRSA (Community Refugee Sponsorship Australia) then spoke about 
  • CRISP (Community Refugee Integration and Settlement Pilot), a program that was launched in mid 2022 to support 1,500 refugees over four years 
  • CRSA Community Engagement Manager Blaise Itabelo, talked about his experience fleeing the Democratic Republic of Congo and spending fifteen years in a refugee camp before migrating to Australia. 
  • Barb Deutschmann spoke of being in a group already sponsoring an Afghan family as meeting Jesus ‘at the margins’.

    Written by
    Denise Cooper-Clarke, SRC

No One Left Behind

We must urgently call on government for humane, compassionate treatment of refugees

Read the full article on TMA

It was taken as a sign of hope by refugee communities, advocates and supporters when the Labor party won the recent federal election that a more humane and compassionate approach would now be taken towards refugee policy and the treatment of refugees and people seeking asylum in this country. Labor was quick to make good on one of the commitments it made concerning refugees in the lead up to 21 May. In August, the Labor government gave permanent visas to the Tamil Nadesalingam family from Sri Lanka who were finally allowed to go home for good to Bilolea, Queensland. However, they haven’t yet honoured their other election promises to refugees.

Referendum on A Voice to Parliament

The Referendum will give Indigenous communities a route to help inform policy and legislation that impacts their lives. Looking for information about #referendum2023? See a 15 minute overview here: fromtheheart.com.au/education 

See resources on the VCC website available for people running discussion groups and information sessions etc.  

The ‘From the Heart’ campaign launch is in Adelaide on 23rd February, with Drs Garry Deverell and Anne Pattel-Grey speaking. 


Previous Events

Palm Sunday Walk for Justice for Refugees

Melbourne Anglicans Walking Together for Refugees pray for Justice at the Cathedral then gather at the State Library and march. 

 2021-05-29 Diocese of Melbourne Zoom Webinar on Environment

Christian leaders pledge to back post-Covid recovery

On 22nd February 2021 Melbourne Anglican Social Responsibilities Committee Chair Gordon Preece was part of a broad alliance of Christian social service and educational organisations that delivered a letter to then Prime Minister Scott Morrison. It expressed their willingness to partner with the government to help Australia’s most vulnerable recover from the COVID-19 recession. They also met with then Opposition Leader, now Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, and relevant Ministers and Shadow Ministers. 

Click the link and read full the story here Christian leaders pledge to back post-COVID recovery – Eternity News

8 Hour Day Commemoration Event

Church leaders on the Eve of Labour Day, 13th March 2022, on the steps of the Eight Hour Day Memorial at the Corner of Lygon and Victoria Streets, Carlton. From left to right: Dr Gordon Preece SRC Chair, Rev. Denise Liersch, Moderator, Uniting Church of Victoria and Tasmania, and Rev. Dr Canon Stephen Ames, St Paul’s Cathedral; Mrs Joy Freier, a relative of an original 8 hour Day marcher; and Archbishop Philip Freier, Anglican Archbishop of Melbourne.

Sunday March 13, 2022 7:30 pm at 8 Hour Day Memorial Cnr. Swanston & Victoria Sts, next to Old Melbourne Gaol.

Church leaders on the Eve of Labour Day, 13th March 2022, on the steps of the Eight Hour Day Memorial at the Corner of Lygon and Victoria Streets, Carlton. From left to right: Dr Gordon Preece SRC Chair, Rev. Denise Liersch, Moderator, Uniting Church of Victoria and Tasmania, and Rev. Dr Canon Stephen Ames, St Paul’s Cathedral; Mrs Joy Freier, a relative of an original 8 hour Day marcher; and Archbishop Philip Freier, Anglican Archbishop of Melbourne. 

Another memorial 8 Hour Day event is in planning by the SRC, Victorian Council of Churches and Trade Unions on April 21, 2023. 


The SRC’s charter is to:

  • Reflect on and engage in social and ethical issues which impact the community 
  • Identify and act on opportunities for informed dialogue that build a community that values social cohesion over marginalisation, fear and difference; and 
  • Stand with and give voice to the oppressed and voiceless in our community.


  • Members are elected every three years by Synod
  • Others can be co-opted by the Chair with the oversight of the Archbishop
  • Members are involved in issue-based subcommittees e.g. Ecology and Climate Change; Human Rights and Religious Freedom; Refugees; Workplace, Technology and Economics.

Operating principles

The SRC exercises its leadership and advisory role in a collegial, participatory, and co-operative way. It  emphasises the principles Jesus Christ embodies, servanthood, love of God, humanity and creation, accountability and discernment through the prism of scripture, reason and the range of sciences, and our personal and communal experience of the Holy Spirit’s guidance, in union with God’s Word and creation.

This involves the SRC engaging in dialogue by:

  • Listening to the stories of people in parishes, workplaces and communities
  • Engaging in dialogue with all who weave the fabric of our social values
  • Seeking to exceed in co-operation and partnership with Christian and other faith traditions, while maintaining their and our distinctiveness.

Contact the Social Responsibilities Committee Chair Dr Gordon Preece via email at gordon@ethos.org.au. ​​​​

Who we are

SRC Members

Rev’d Dr Gordon Preece is Chair and Executive of the SRC and Director of Ethos Centre for Christianity and Society (providing executive and research services to SRC). He was also until recently senior policy officer, Catholic Social Services Victoria and has led three tertiary ethics centres and authored/edited 12 books. gordon@ethos.org.au

Rev’d Prashant Bohle, Honorary Assistant Priest, St. Matthew's (Glenroy) with St. Linus' (Merlynston). Rev’d Bohle serves on a number of social responsibilities boards in several Indian diocese. He leads research and advocacy programmes regarding poverty climate change, migration and gender.

Dr. Denise Cooper-Clarke has a background in medicine, theology and a doctorate in medical ethics. She is a researcher, writer and editor with Ethos Centre for Christianity and Society and the SRC.

Susan Foley, has expertise in Governance, Risk and Compliance consulting, investment management and Project Management. Susan has an in depth knowledge of church operations as well as regulatory and research frameworks and planning.

Rev’d Angus Monro is a licensed deacon working as a bivocational data analyst / industrial missionary running an international Christian group at ANZ. He also serves at St. Mark’s Camberwell.

Rev Dr. Christopher Porter is a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at Trinity College Theological School. His research focuses on Christian identity, and religious enmity’s intersection with race and ethnicity.

Josephine Snowdon was an occupational therapist for 38 years now working in the intersection of spirituality, disability and aged care. Educated at Latrobe University and University of Divinity she has served as a lay chaplain in Newcastle and Melbourne Diocese, with St. Mary’s N. Melbourne, and now Westhaven Nursing Home.

Dr. Audrey Statham researches and teaches in the School of Education, Deakin University, Burwood, and has been a co-opted member of the SRC since 2019. She researches spirituality, democracy, values and religious education. Her SRC work focuses on refugee advocacy, education and climate change.

Dr Natalie Swann is a social science researcher on transport and travel, housing and job services, religious community services and migration stories of Christian migrants in Melbourne suburbs.

Rev Sophie Watkins’ interests are in equality and inclusion for all and good ecological stewardship. She is committed to reversing climate change and giving voice where people have been silenced.

Brett Louise Woods is a lawyer and community development practitioner at Victoria University. Brett teaches legal ethics and critical pedagogies for culture change, particularly relating to reducing family violence.

Rev. Malcolm Woolrich is a Melbourne Grammar School chaplain.  He chairs the Anglicare Victoria Ethics Committee and is on Peter MacCallum’s Ethics Committee and Archbishop in Council.