History

The TCMA has recently begun to get together information about the Association’s history. As you can see, there are significant gaps in what we have been able to discover so far. If you are able to help us to fill these gaps, please contact the Secretary.

A Brief History of the TCMA

The idea for TCMA was presented at the Conference of University Chaplains held in Hobart in 1986. Up to this time some chaplains had been meeting for annual conferences, but there was no structure for communication between conferences. Initially such meetings were comprised of Catholic chaplains who were priests. In the nineteen seventies, chaplains from other major Christian denominations were included.

At the 1986 conference Sr. Robyn Johnson proposed that an ecumenical association be established in Australia, and a task group was elected to consider practicalities, and help plan for the 1987 conference to be held in Brisbane. At this conference the TCMA was formally constituted and the first General meeting called. The term “Tertiary” was chosen to distinguish campus ministry to Higher Education from that to High Schools; “Campus Ministry” was preferred to chaplaincy as it was a more inclusive term. The first executive was elected with Robyn Johnson as co-ordinator, Stephen Miles as Newsletter editor and liaison with conference organisers, and Judi Fisher and Tony Callinan as compilers of the first National Directory. There was great excitement when the Melbourne-based team offered to plan the 1988 conference in Alice Springs. A working constitution was written which has been amended since that time, and the first National Directory, published in 1987, noted that there were forty one financial members of TCMA at that time.

(with thanks to Sr. Robyn Johnson RSM.)

The Association was incorporated in 2003 as the Tertiary Campus Ministry Association (Australia).

Conferences and Office Bearers

A feature of the TCMA calendar has always been the annual conference which has provided opportunity for networking and inservice education and time to conduct the Annual General Meeting and elections of office bearers. The format has varied over the years, as TCMA has developed from a Christian to a multi-faith association.

1988 – The Bicentennial Year

Sr Marg Hill, a Loreto Sister working in the High Rise Flats in Carlton, and at the University of Melbourne, along with Tony Callahan, Catholic Priest Chaplain at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, came up with the imaginative idea of meeting in the Centre of this country. We moved to The Gap Caravan Park in Alice Springs, some people actually camped in tents, while others stayed in a Budget Motel that was part of the complex. We used a communal recreation facility for our meetings.

Br Al Sherry, a Marist Brother working at the University of Melbourne, conducted a memorable Bread Liturgy, in the dry bed of the Todd River, just near the old telegraph station. Another wonderful time was a meeting with some Aboriginal Elders from the land we were camped on.

(Fr Michael Elligate)

1991

Conference in Adelaide (Anglican Retreat Centre, Adelaide Hills) – President of TCMA: Trish Madigan OP

1992

Conference held in Sydney (Kensington Monastery) – Coordinator: Robyn Johnson RSM

1993

Conference held in Brisbane (Duchesne College at UQ ?) – Coordinator: Cyril Muller

1994

Conference held in Melbourne (St Mary’s College, University of Melbourne). The theme of the conference was “Grasping the Nettles – prickly issues in campus ministry”. Planning team included Rev Dr John Bodycomb, Fr Michael Elligate, Bro Al Sherry, Fr Liam Mackle, Rev Judy Redman and Rev David Rathgen(?). Kenote speakers were Philip Hughes (Christian Research Association), Suzy Nixon (University Counselling), Mary Emerson, Charles Bailey (Clinical Pastoral Education coordinator), Professor Frank Moloney sdb, Rev Ross Fishburn, Hedley Beare (School of Education, University of Melbourne) and Louis Waller (Professor of Law, Monash). Loane Skene (Professor of Law, University of Melbourne) was the after dinner speaker. For the conference dinner, the chaplains were guests of Richard Pratt at his historic home “Raheen”, formerly the residence of the Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne. Richard and his wife were away, but the chaplain were given a guided tour of the amazing house by his personal assistant. The opening gathering was held at the beautifully rennovated St Cathage’s Catholic presbytery, where we were guests of Fr Michael Elligate.

1995

Conference in Adelaide (Aquinas College, University of Adelaide) Organisers included Mike Pietsch, Justin King and???. The theme of the conference was “Making Connections: exploring the theme of relationality”

1996

Conference in Canberra (a former migrant hostel turned hotel-conference centre) – Coordinator: Ivor Vivian. The theme appears to have been “That They May Be One”. Keynote speakers were Rev Dr Thorwald Lorenzen, Mrs Janet Wood, and Bishop Richard Randerson. The conference dinner was at Regatta Point, overlooking Lake Burleigh Griffin, with Senator John Woodleigh as the after dinner speaker. Liz-Anne Smith had attended the first international tertiary chaplains’ conference in Durham, England and she and Johan Kijne presented us with the possibility of being involved in the next one – Vancouver 2000. Unfortunately, we had chosen to visit Canberra at the same time that it hosted the InterVarsity games, so we shared our somewhat spartan accommodation with many exuberant student athletes.

1997

Perth (Currie Hall at UWA) – President of TCMA: John Bosman MSC; Coordinator: Erich von Dietze (Erich was elected President of TCMA in 1997 and served until he left chaplaincy in 2006). Keynote speakers included Veronica Brady and David Malcolm (chief justice of WA). The excursion took us to Freemantle, where we did a tour of the Notre Dame University ‘campus’ – a series of old factories and warehouses that had been renovated, and were encouraged to find a restaurant of our choice for tea. This was the first conference where chaplains who practise religions other than Christianity attended and also the first conference where chaplains were invited to present workshops about their own practice.

1998

Sydney (Sancta Sophia Sydney University) – Coordinator: Roy Hazlewood

1999

Brisbane (Women’s College UQ) – The conference theme was “Faces of Faith”. Coordinator: Geoff Hoyte

National Executive

  • President: Rev Dr Erich von Dietze – University Chaplain, Curtin University of Technology
  • Secretary: Sr Pat Healion – Catholic Chaplain, University of Newcastle
  • Treasurer: Rev Jan McLeod – Chaplain, Southern Cross University, Coffs Harbour Campus
  • Directory Co-ordinator: Rev Fr Ivor Vivian – Liberal Catholic Chaplain, University of Canberra, University of Melbourne PARKVILLE VIC 3052

2000

Vancouver, Canada (University of British Columbia). The first multifaith international university chaplains’ conference (Durham 1996 was international but Christian only). The theme was “Phoenix Rising – Wisdom, Spirituality and Community in the University” and Australia had one of the largest groups of participants from outside North America. Keynote speakers were Senator Douglas Roche (Canadian government), Prof Judith Plaskow (Jewish), Prof Sulayman Nyang (Muslim) and Rev Dr Richard Burridge (Christian). There were many opportunities to experience a wide range of cultures and faiths, including a European Midsummer feast, a Shabbat dinner and a Salmon BBQ.

National Executive

  • Convenor: Rev. Dr. Erich von Dietze – University Chaplain, Curtin University of Technology
  • Treasurer: Rev. Roy Hazlewood – Chaplain, Ourimbah Campus, University of Newcastle
  • Directory Co-ordinator: Rev. Fr. Ivor F. Vivian – Lberal Catholic Chaplain, University of Canberra
  • Secretary: Sr. Pat Healion, Catholic Chaplain, University of Newcastle
  • Conference Convenor: Rev. Geoff Hoyte – Anglican Chaplain, University of Queensland
  • Executive member: Rev. Dr. Morag Logan – Uniting Church Chaplain, University of Melbourne

2001

Monash University Gippsland Campus (Churchill Vic) (Uni residence) – Coordinator: Maria Bradford, with a team including Morag Logan, Judy Bowman and Virginia Calpotura. The conference theme was “At the Coalface”. Keynote speakers were Prof David Tacey (La Trobe University), Prof Simon Marginson (Monash University) and Ms Kath Engebretson (Catholic Education Office). The Conference excursion involved a trip down an open-cut coal mine and the conference dinner took place at PowerWorks – the State Electricity Commission’s visitors centre. At the AGM, the TCMA formally agreed to host the next international conference in 2004 in Australia and elected a conference planning committee. This was the first conference with a live-in participant from a faith other than Christianity and we became very aware that modelling our opening and closing rituals around worship alienated some chaplains.

National Executive

  • Convenor: Rev. Dr. Erich von Dietze – University Chaplain, Curtin University of Technology
  • Treasurer: Rev. Roy Hazlewood – Chaplain, Ourimbah Campus, University of Newcastle
  • Secretary and Directory Co-ordinator: Mrs Felicia Heberle – Lutheran Chaplain, Flinders University
  • Coopted Member (convenor 2004 conference): Rev. Dr. Morag Logan – Uniting Church Chaplain, University of Melbourne
  • Executive members: Rev. Judy Redman – Uniting Church Chaplain, University of New England
  • Ms Jacinta Sinclair – Catholic Chaplain, University of Sydney

2002

Armidale NSW (Duval College UNE) – The conference theme was “Australia – You’re Ministering In It!” Coordinator: Judy Redman, with Dom Carrigan, Matthew Wilson, Julia Perry, Mary Guy, Bev Paterson and Roy Hazlewood. Keynote speakers were Dr Hugh Mackay (social historian), Rabbi Aviva Kipen and Dr Pat Miller (Director, Student Administration and Support Services at the Australian National University) and there was also a multifaith panel that presented Baha’i, Buddhist, Jewish, Muslim and Pagan approaches to death. The conference dinner at historic Booloominbah (the original university building) featured an impromptu hora line (because we couldn’t form a ring amongst the tables) and lots of singing. We were joined by the members of the international conference planning committee – from Denmark, Finland, India, Hong Kong, Canada, the USA, Germany and Zimbabwe.

National Executive

  • Convenor: Rev. Dr. Erich von Dietze – University Chaplain, Curtin University of Technology
  • Treasurer: Rev. Roy Hazlewood – Chaplain, Ourimbah Campus, University of Newcastle
  • Secretary and Directory Co-ordinator: Mrs Felicia Heberle – Lutheran Chaplain, Flinders University
  • Coopted Member (convenor 2004 conference): Rev. Dr. Morag Logan – Uniting Church Chaplain, University of Melbourne
  • Executive members: Rev. Judy Redman – Uniting Church Chaplain, University of New England
  • Ms Jacinta Sinclair – Catholic Chaplain, University of Sydney

2003

Adelaide (Aquinas College, North Adelaide) The theme was “Changing Visions in Changing Times”, organised by Geoff Boyce (Coordinator), Lorelei Siegloff, Kirsten Munchenberg, Mike Carthew, Lyn Rose and Fr. Joe O’Mara. The organising committee appointed their own Chaplain, Sr Maureen O’Connell who also became chaplain to the conference and conducted the morning conference reflections and closing ceremony. These open-ended reflections and the morning speaker program which immediately followed took place around round tables equipped with coffee plungers and teapots. Speakers were Bronwym Simondson (Registrar Flinders University) and Richard Miller (Chair of UnitingCare, Australia) on the Vision of the University/Chaplaincy: Conflict, Challenge and Realisation, respectively, Prof Maceij Henneberg (Head of Anatomical Sciences, University of Adelaide) and Rabbi Dr Patricia Kopstein (Beit Shalom Synagogue, Adelaide) on Re-structuring and Re-Imaging the University/Chaplaincy, respectively, Wayne Christaudo (Head of the Centre for European Studies and General Linguistics, Adelaide University) and Rev Dr Shane Hubner (Chaplain to the Anglican Primate of Australia and a former tertiary chaplain) on The Future University/Chaplaincy, respectively. Plenary sessions were held after morning tea. The conference was opened by the President of the Multifaith Association of SA, Jessiee Kaur Singh and a multifaith welcoming opening ritual was held in a nearby park. Other innovations included two evenings of “CafĂ© Conversations” in neighbouring coffee shops with local “interesting people” and “Lenny’s Bar”, a place for socialising at night. During the conference the Australian planning group for the international conference met with coordinator, Johan Kijne.

National Executive

  • President: Rev. Dr. Erich von Dietze – University Chaplain, Curtin University of Technology
  • Vice President: D. Lorelei Siegloff – Pagan Chaplain, Flinders University
  • Treasurer: Rev. Roy Hazlewood – Chaplain, Ourimbah Campus, University of Newcastle
  • Secretary: Rev Matthew Wilson – Uniting Church Chaplain, Charles Sturt Albury and La Trobe Wodonga
  • Executive members: Rev. Judy Redman – Uniting Church Chaplain, University of New England
  • Mr Geoff Boyce, Uniting Church Chaplain, Flinders University

This executive was elected for two years under the new Objects and Rules of incorporation

2004

Brisbane Global Conference (Nathan Campus, Griffith University) – “Dreaming Landscapes“. Coordinator: Patricia Blundell RSM

The conference has a mixture of international and Australian keynote speakers addressing three themes: Landscapes of Justice and Respect; Landscapes of Learning Communities and Landscapes of Faith and Religion. Participants were also offered the choice of 49 workshops, again addressing one of these themes. Excursions provided the opportunity for participants to see tropical landscapes, to experience Australian Aboriginal culture and wildlife or to see the sights of Brisbane. Evening offerings included the global market which is a tradition in European conferences, a multifaith prayer activity, the opportunity to view and discuss the film “Rabbit Proof Fence” and a conference dinner and concert. This conference provided Australian chaplains with a unique opportunity to meet colleagues from around the world and made connections with chaplains in Asia and the Pacific that we will try to maintain.

2005

Sydney (St Vincent’s College Potts Point) – “Growing Tertiary Chaplaincy: Vulnerable Partnerships“. Coordinator: Peter Maher

The organising team for this conference did a huge amount of work to provide us with a very different experience, only to have it fall in a heap because the main speaker/coordinator was forced to withdraw because of family illness. At about the same time, several key members of team were made redundant and forced to seek employment outside chaplaincy. In only a few months, they were able to restructure and reallocate tasks and find a range of speakers to produce a conference around a circus theme. Participants were given the opportunity to improve their physical coordination as well as to reflect on their chaplaincy practice. Excursions allowed participants to see the sights of central Sydney, visit the newly rebuild Parramatta Catholic cathedral or take a guided tour of the Holocaust Museum.

National Executive

  • President: Rev. Dr. Erich von Dietze – University Chaplain, Curtin University of Technology
  • Vice President: Mr Geoff Boyce, Uniting Church Chaplain, Flinders University
  • Treasurer: Rev. Roy Hazlewood – Chaplain, Ourimbah Campus, University of Newcastle
  • Secretary: Rev Matthew Wilson – Uniting Church Chaplain, Charles Sturt Albury and La Trobe Wodonga
  • Executive members: Rev. Judy Redman – Uniting Church Chaplain, University of New England
  • Bro Pat Thompson – Catholic Chaplain, University of Western Sydney (Penrith Campus)

2006

Perth (Trinty Conference and Accommodation Centre) – “Spaces in Between“. Coordinator: Joanne Baynes

Another conference where the organsing committee experienced some difficulties associated with loss of key team members. Erich von Dietze left chaplaincy early in the year to become the Director of Murdoch University’s Research Ethics department. Although he was able to negotiate some changeover time, both the conference team and the TCMA executive felt his loss. The multifaith aspect of the TCMA was particularly highlighted by the joint presentation of one session by Buddhist Abbot Ajahn Brahm and Christian abbot Father Placid Spearritt. Excursions ranged from a visit to Fr Placid’s monastery to an energetic walk around the botanical gardens close to the conference centre.

2006 was not a good year for the TCMA in terms of loss of active members. Matthew Wilson also finished his time in chaplaincy and resigned from the executive in 2006 and Joanne Baynes resigned soon after the conference. The new executive found itself with a fairly difficult task ahead in ensuring as smooth as possible a transfer of presidency, the secretarial role and the task of editing the journal and the transfer of signficant amounts of archival material interstate, as well as finalising the financial details of the conference with both key organisers no longer in chaplaincy. New procedures needed to be put into place to facilitate future changes in key office-bearers.

National Executive

  • President: Rev. Dr. Erich von Dietze – University Chaplain, Curtin University of Technology
  • Vice President: Mr Geoff Boyce, Uniting Church Chaplain, Flinders University
  • Treasurer: Rev. Roy Hazlewood – Chaplain, Ourimbah Campus, University of Newcastle
  • Secretary: Rev Matthew Wilson – Uniting Church Chaplain, Charles Sturt Albury and La Trobe Wodonga
  • Executive members: Rev. Judy Redman – Uniting Church Chaplain, University of New England
  • Bro Pat Thompson – Catholic Chaplain, University of Western Sydney (Penrith Campus)

2007

Melbourne (Trinty College, University of Melbourne) – “Meetings, Meals and Mystery“. Coordinator: Judy Redman

A conference venue within easy walking and public transport distance to many restaurants and tourist attractions made DIY excursions and excursion day meals relatively simple. The first conference to produce its own recipe book of favourites contributed by conference attenders. A highlight for many was the multifaith student panel – students who identified as Buddhist, Christian Jewish and Muslim talked about being a person of faith on a university campus. An Ethiopian tea ceremony that turned out to be making coffee and only just avoided setting off the smoke alarms in the Burge building provided a multicultural focus and the last minute addition of an Antiochian Orthodox bishop from Russia to the Happy Hour conversations program created interest and some controversy. A difficult year for the Executive as they began to document procedures and develop a support mechanism for the journal editor. No journal was produced in 2007.

National Executive

  • President: Mr Geoff Boyce, Uniting Church Chaplain, Flinders University
  • Vice President: Sr Patricia Blundell, Chaplaincy Coordinator, Griffith University
  • Treasurer: Rev. Roy Hazlewood – Chaplain, Ourimbah Campus, University of Newcastle
  • Secretary: Sr Val Powidzki, Catholic Chaplain, University of Western Sydney, Parramatta Campus
  • Executive members: Rev. Judy Redman – Uniting Church Chaplain, University of New England
  • Bro Pat Thompson – Catholic Chaplain, University of Western Sydney (Penrith Campus)

The Email List

The email list came into being in November 1995 at the initiative of Rev Judy Redman who was then Ecumenical Chaplain to the Gippsland Campus of Monash University. Feeling somewhat isolated herself, she had suggested at the conference that it might be good to be able to communicate with other chaplains by email and a number of other chaplains agreed. On her return to campus, she approached the Information Technology department, who were happy to help as they were looking for a group of people to test the software they had been talking about installing. The list began with about 30 members and the feedback at the following conference was that it had made a huge difference to quite a number of chaplains who had been feeling isolated as the only chaplain on their campus. It was also appreciated by members of chaplaincy teams, so the Association agreed that it should continue.

It has been hosted by Monash Gippsland, the NSW Synod of the Uniting Church and DoveNetQ (the Uniting Church’s Queensland Synod commercial server) and currently resides at the University of New England in Armidale, NSW. The number of members has increased as more chaplains have gained access to email and it continues to provide the opportunity for chaplains to share resources and ask for support and information as well as being the major means of communication for TCMA business and conference information.