Rev. Elenie Poulos, National Director
Reverend Elenie Poulos is a Minister of the Uniting Church in Australia. She was appointed National Director in 2002. She attends Pitt Street Uniting Church in Sydney.
Elenie represented the Uniting Church at the World Council of Churches General Assembly in Port Alegre, Brazil in 2006 and is a member of the World Council of Churches' Commission of the Churches on International Affairs (CCIA). Elenie is also actively engaged with the National Council of Churches in Australia (NCCA) as Chair of the Commission responsible for Act for Peace, the NCCA's international aid and development agency, and a member of the Social Justice Network.
Prior to her current position with the National Assembly, Elenie was School Chaplain at MLC School Burwood, NSW, for six years. She has a professional background in book publishing and an academic background in linguistics (BA Hons), language in education (MA), and theology (BTh).
Siobhan Marren, Senior Policy Officer
Immediately prior to joining UnitingJustice, Siobhan taught philosophy and social justice at the University of Western Sydney where she was undertaking her PhD in political philosophy, investigating the nexus between theology and politics in communal apologies.
She has worked as a consultant for the not-for-profit organisation, JobQuest, on projects designed to re-engage young people in their education; the NSW Department of Education & Training, on pathways for students from a refugee background; as well as researching and writing for ChilOut and other policy-based organisations. She is on the Board of Directors for ReThink Australia, and has spent considerable time working and teaching in East and Northern Africa with young refugee students.
Our Reference Committee
The UnitingJustice Australia Reference Committee is appointed every three years by the Assembly Standing Committee (ASC) at its first meeting after the Triennial Assembly. Nominations are submitted to the ASC by the National Director after a public call for expressions of interest which are assessed by a team which usually includes the Chair of Reference Committee for the coming triennium, the National Director, the Uniting Faith and Discipleship Team Leader, and a representative of the national justice staff network.
The Chairperson of the Reference Committee is elected by the Triennial Assembly on submission of a nomination from UnitingJustice Australia.
The Reference Committee consists of a Chairperson, the National Director, a representative of the Synod justice staff, and five members and can co-opt up to two additional members. The Assembly Associate General Secretary is an ex officio member.
Duties of Reference Commitee members include:
- providing support and advice to the National Director and staff on such matters as strategic planning, priority setting, and the development of policy positions;
- receiving and considering matters referred by the National Director;
- together with the National Director, assisting and advising the President and General Secretary on urgent political and social issues; and
- communicating and promoting the work of UnitingJustice Australia in their local contexts and spheres of influence.
Rev. Janet Dawson (Chair)
Janet has recently retired after a number of significant ministry roles, including Minister at Parramatta Mission (with both congregational and community service responsibilities) and most recently Presbytery Minister of the Mid North Coast Presbytery in NSW. During this time she also served as Presbytery Secretary (4 1/2 years) and Chair (3 1/2 years). She is currently a member of the NSW Synod Mission and Education Board and a member of the Board of Lifeline Mid-north Coast.
Janet holds a MTh, is a previous member of the Assembly Commission for Doctrine (1991-94) and has been a visiting lecturer and tutor in liturgical studies and systematic theology at United Theological College. She has a long history of commitment to working for justice both within and beyond the Church, grounded in deep theological and spiritual reflection, and is a very experienced and gifted chair and facilitator.
Dr Colin Cargill
Colin is a member of Morialta Uniting Church in South Australia, where he is Leader of the Social Justice Ministry Team. He was previously a member of the SA Synod Bioethics Committee, and served as a Uniting Church representative on the South Australian Council of Churches Justice, Peace and Creation Commission for over 10 years.
Colin has had a long and successful career as a research veterinarian, specialing in animal production, health and welfare. From 1987 to 1990 he served as a Uniting Church volunteer establishing a paraveterinary training program at an Agricultural College in Tonga. Since then he has worked on a number of Australian Government aid projects aimed at reducing rural poverty in Indonesia, Vietnam and the Pacific and for the last ten years has been project leader of a major rural development project in the highlands of West Papua and West Papua Provinces in Indonesia. He enjoys living and working with people of other cultures.
Emeritus Professor Andrew Glenn
Andrew has been a member of the Uniting Church in Australia since the time of union, as well as a commissioned lay preacher since 1990. Since 2006, he has had the opportunity to serve at Presbytery, Synod and Assembly levels. In 2007-8, Andrew was chairperson of the Presbytery of Tasmania and currently holds that office again in an acting capacity. He was a member of the VicTas synod and also the 12th Assembly where he was elected to the Assembly Standing Committee.
Andrew holds an honours degree in microbial biochemistry, as well as a PhD. In 1998 he was appointed to the post of Pro Vice Chancellor and Vice President (Research) at the University of Tasmania. Upon retiring from the University in 2006, he was made Emeritus Professor. Andrew has served as the Director of Samaritans in Western Australia – a not-for-profit organisation that endeavours to reach out to vulnerable people and reduce the suicide rate in Australia. He has also been a long-time supporter of Amnesty International and has undertaken advocacy work in the areas of land rights for Indigenous Australians, justice for asylum seekers, and Australian government investment in foreign aid.
Professor John Langmore
John is a member of the Anglican congregation of Christ Church in St Kilda but is a regular attendee of Mark the Evangelist Uniting Church, North Melbourne with his wife Wendy. John is a Professorial Fellow in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Melbourne. Between 1984 and 1996 he was MP for the ACT seat of Fraser in the Australian House of Representatives, where he chaired several House and Labor Party committees on economic policy, the environment and the Australian Capital Territory.
John was Director of the United Nations Division for Social Policy and Development from 1997 to 2001, was then Representative of the International Labor Organization to the United Nations for two years and was a member of the World Council of Churches Commission on International Affairs from 1998 to 2005. He was national president of the United Nations Association of Australia from 2005 to 2009. He is the author of several books - most recently To Firmer Ground: Restoring Hope in Australia - and many articles and chapters on Australian public policy.
Rev. Liellie McLaughlin
Liellie is a Minister of the Word in the Uniting Church, having most recently undertaken a congregational role with Maughan Uniting Church in South Australia. While awaiting her next placement, she is working as a physiotherapist with the homeless people of Adelaide at the Brian Burdekin Centre, utilising her skills in community building. Liellie has extensive experience in grassroots social justice advocacy movements, working informally with groups such as UnitingCare Wesley, Baptist Care, Surf LifeSaving Australia, STTARS and the Muslim Women's Association. She has a particular passion for inclusive hospitality and working with groups on the margins of our society, particularly those from a refugee background.
Liellie has been instrumental in forging a strong relationship between the Sudanese community in South Australia and the Uniting Church, and has also worked as a coordinator of the Welcome Centre (funded by the Mission Resource Network of the SA Synod), where a playgroup and English conversational classes were offered to new arrivals.
Professor Graham Maddox
Graham is a member of Wesley Uniting Church in Armidale, New South Wales and a lay preacher of the Uniting Church. He is Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University of New England.
Graham has authored and edited numerous books on aspects of Australian politics and democracy and the influence of religion in politics. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia, a member of the Center for Theological Inquiry at Princeton University in the United States and a life member of Clare Hall, Cambridge.
Pearl has been working for the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress since 2006. Her current role is the Development and Promotions Officer for Congress in the Synod of NSW and the ACT. She was born in Mapoon Mission in North Queensland and grew up on Thursday Island. Pearl has had a long career in education, as a teacher and then working for the NSW Department of Education, and has worked in many roles in education, health and Aboriginal services across government.
She is committed to the Sydney Alliance, engaging in their training and looking forward to working with them in the Parramatta district on a wide range of social issues.
Rosemary Hudson Miller (Synod justice staff network representative)
Rosemary is Associate General Secretary (Justice and Mission) of the Uniting Church's Western Australia Synod. On our Reference Committee, she represents the justice staff people from the Synods of the Uniting Church.
Rosemary's long-standing involvement and commitment to social justice reflects her deep sense of calling to a prophetic role in both the Church and in the wider community. She continues to engage the Church, community and governments to bring about change for a more just society.