Susy was installed as Moderator of the Uniting Church WA during the opening worship of the 44th Annual Meeting of the Synod of Western Australia on Friday, 11 September 2020. The Moderator of the Uniting Church WA is the pastoral head of the church. Their role is to be a spokesperson for the church, and to guide the church throughout their three-year term.
Susy was born into a Christian family in Kerala, India, raised to act justly, with mercy and to walk humbly with God, never being ashamed of the gospel. She completed a Bachelor of Economics in India and met her husband Philip before she relocated to London to be with him and begin a family. In 1982, Susy, Philip and their two daughters migrated to Perth, Western Australia.
After working as a teacher in Perth, Susy took on the role of CEO of Drug Arm WA, now called Hope Community. In this challenging role, Susy supported disadvantaged people in the suburbs of Perth.
Susy chose Romans 15:13 as her theme for her three-year term. “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit”. Susy felt this verse came to her from God and is a great inspiration to support people through the challenges of 2020 and beyond. “I thought, ‘what a wonderful God to give this hope to God’s chosen people’,” she said.
Rev Dr Andrew Williams
Andrew was inducted on 18 March 2022 as the General Secretary of the Synod of Western Australia, the legal and administrative body of the Uniting Church WA (which stops at the Kimberley). He is also the Chief Executive Officer of the Uniting Church Centre in East Perth.
Since he was ordained in 1984, Andrew has held roles in the Uniting Church as: church minister at Salisbury, Eastwood and more recently in Darwin; synod social justice officer in Darwin; and world and cross-cultural mission secretary in Sydney. Internationally, Andrew has worked in London at the Council for World Mission and at the World Council of Churches in Geneva.
From 2010 to 2017, he was the General Secretary of the Synod of NSW and ACT in Sydney. Prior to taking up his current role in Perth, he was the Interim General Secretary in the Northern Synod.
Andrew holds a Master of Theology from The University of Sydney and a Doctor of Theology from Birmingham University, UK. He resonates with the words of Alan J Roxburgh, who says in his book Missional Map-Making: Skills for Leading in Times of Transition, ‘We don’t know what is emerging or what the new forms of church and mission will look like at this point. This is why we must become mapmakers. We are in a place of adaptation, a new space that is the gift of the Spirit. We are in this place of confusion where our maps no longer serve our needs not because of unsolvable world changes but because the God of creation wants to call forth in us a new imagination as God’s people’. Going forward, Andrew said, ‘I would like to be part of that map-making process for the church as it imagines a new future’.
Andrew is married to Rev Dr Katalina Tahaafe-Williams, a minister at Uniting Church in the City, Trinity Perth. They have one daughter. He has an AMusA in flute and wishes he had more time to play! He loves riding his bike and is looking forward to exploring Perth and WA on two wheels.
Presbytery of WA Chairperson
Alison was elected as the Chair of the Presbytery of WA in 2021. The Presbytery is responsible for the oversight of Ministers and Congregations and for promoting the wider aspects of the Church. Alison has been a member of the Synod Standing Committee since 2014 and before that was a member of the Social Justice Commission.
Alison was raised in the Methodist and then the Uniting Church. Her Father was a Uniting Church Minister, and she has been part of many congregations as a result. She is a lawyer and a former Member of Parliament, has an extensive background in the mental health and suicide prevention sectors, and her day job is now running CARAD, the Centre for Asylum Seekers, Refugees and Detainees.
Alison worships at Uniting Church in the City, Wesley where she is also an Elder and the Secretary of the Church Council and runs a once-a-month evening service called Social.Justice.Church.
Alison recognises that her passion for social justice has arisen directly from her Christian faith and upbringing, and as a disciple of Christ is committed to ensuring that she models the call for justice and compassion that Christ demands from all followers. Alison is also inspired by the vision of the Church as described within the Basis of Union and seeks to ensure that she practises her role as Chair respecting the inter-conciliar nature of our Church and our processes of discernment, always remembering that we are a Pilgrim People.
Alison is married and has three beautiful children.