Australian Women Preach
By Australian Women Preach
An initiative of WATAC (Women and the Australian Church) and the Grail in Australia.
This podcast is produced by Louise Maher. The music on this podcast has been created by theologian, musician, songwriter, and teacher Danielle Anne Lynch. You can listen to more of Danielle’s music on Spotify, iTunes or YouTube.
Australian Women PreachNov 14, 2021
144. An Australian Rabbi preaches - 10 December 2023
The Second Sunday of Advent - Mark 1:1-8; Isaiah 40:1-5, 9-11 This podcast varies from our usual preaching pattern because it is written and presented by an Australian woman who is a Jewish Rabbi. She prefers to be unnamed because of the need for personal security at this very difficult time. She speaks about the readings for the Second Sunday of Advent and mostly concentrates on the reading from the Prophet Isaiah. Our Rabbi is also a teacher, mother and activist for justice.
143. Janeka Reys, Nadine Grant, Binda Yow-yeh - 3 December 2023
First Sunday of Advent - Mark 13:33-37
Janeka Reys is a proud Gimuy descendant working to nurture and support young First Nations students at St Stephen’s College, Mareeba. Nadine Grant is an educator and formation consultant in Catholic education, Cairns, and is passionate about using dialogue as a way of promoting respect, inclusivity, and friendship between people of different religious views and cultures. These women collaborated with First Nations year 11 student Binda Yow-yeh to produce thoughts and learnings on this week’s readings.
142. Jenny Close 26 November 2023
Christ the King Matthew 25:31-46
My first degree was in Fine Arts (painting) and then I trained as a teacher. For many years my working life was shared between secondary school teaching for Brisbane Catholic Education and freelance liturgical art making. Later I was employed by BCE to work in multimedia: video, animation and book illustration. At the same time, I studied theology and in 2005 was awarded a PhD from Griffith University. The title of my thesis was 'A Feminist Understanding of Liturgical Art'. Since 2005, I have worked as a sessional lecturer in theology at Australian Catholic University and Broken Bay Institute. At the same time, I have maintained my art practice, which has become more digital over the years. I live in Brisbane and have recently moved parishes. My new parish is vibrantly Franciscan and I have been welcomed into liturgical ministry, the RCIA process and adult education.
141. Tessie James - 19 November 2023
33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time - Matthew 25: 14-30 - From Synod to Service: Living out the Parables of Talents Tessie Ida James is a devoted and engaged member of the St. Luke's Catholic Faith Community in Marsden Park. In her role as an educator and Inquiry Leader for Religious Education (RE), she caters to the needs of students in Stages 3 and 4 at St. Luke's Catholic College. Tessie's passion lies in creating meaningful activities that enrich the Faith formation within her community.
Furthermore, Tessie serves as an integral part of the Leadership Committee at St. Luke's Catholic Faith Community and is actively involved with the Diocesan Pastoral Committee. Her dedication to her faith was evident in her significant participation in the recent Parramatta Synod, where she contributed as a member of both the Synod and the Synod Preparatory Commission. Her daily life reflects her commitment to embodying the values of Christ in 'little ways', drawing inspiration from her Patron Saint, St. Therese of the Child Jesus.
In her capacity as an RE Educator, Tessie instils in her students a deep motivation to become vessels of Christ's teachings in their respective circles of influence. This mission extends to her own family, where her husband and two sons create a nurturing environment that allows her to lead a purposeful life dedicated to faith and community.
140. Selina Hasham - 12 November 2023
32nd Sunday in ordinary Time - Matthew 25: 1-13
Selina is the CEO of Harvest Journeys Australia, a pilgrimage specialist agency dedicated to sacred journeys of faith. Selina has worked in communications for the Church for 15 years in the Archdiocese of Sydney and the Diocese of Broken Bay. She has returned to Harvest where she began her career building up the World Youth Day pilgrimages for young Australians. She is a member of a lay Catholic community, involved in works of evangelisation and dedicated to offering Catholics creative opportunities for encounters with God.
139. Ann Edwards - 5 November 2023
31st Sunday in Ordinary Time - Matthew 23: 1-12
The Rev’d Dr Ann Edwards is the Priest-in-Charge of the Parish of The Gap in Meanjin (Brisbane) Queensland. Ann serves as the Vice President of the Movement for the Ordination of Women and is a Certified Practising Speech Pathologist.
Prior to ordination, Ann was a Lecturer in Speech Pathology at Australian Catholic University (ACU), following a career in clinical practice and then management in Queensland Health.
Ann’s parish ministry is complemented by her interest in empowering families of children with disability, developmental concerns, or neurodivergence as they participate in health services, education, and in church. She serves as a member of the Equitable Access Working Group in the Anglican Church of Southern Queensland and is an ACU researcher in the ENVISAGE consortium.
Ann is married to Garth; they have two children, a new rescue dog, and a newly disgruntled tuxedo cat. When one of Ann's sons was 6, she asked him if he knew what she did for a job. He answered, "Yes Mummy, you're a speech theologist". To date, no better description for Ann's vocation has been coined.
138. Nicki Bowles - 29 October 2023
30th Sunday in ordinary Time - Matthew 22: 34-40 Nicki Bowles is the Prayer Pastor at Riverview Church, a large, contemporary community of Jesus-followers in Perth Western Australia. She is committed to helping people connect with God in deeper ways and walk their spiritual journeys in freedom. She holds a Graduate Diploma of Divinity from Vose Seminary (now Moreling College) in Perth and has been pastoring for eight years after a midlife career change from her previous career as a paramedic with St John Ambulance WA. She is married to Tim, who is a drama teacher, and has two young adult children and a Staffy dog called Storm. Nicki is passionate about Jesus and his Church, and about finding ways to communicate and live out the gospel of the Kingdom in an inspiring way to all.
137. Pina Ford - 22 October 2023
29 Sunday in Ordinary Time - Matthew 22:15-21
For over 20 years Pina has been a senior leader in Catholic Education WA where she coordinates religious education in parishes. She contributes to organisational initiatives which include the formation of system leaders; and relishes the privilege of offering adult faith formation, retreats and personal accompaniment both within the system and externally.
A passion for literature, philosophy, theology and spirituality has led to completing several degrees (BA Hons, MPhil and PhD), and also studies in Spiritual Direction.
Pina’s large family of young adults and small grandchildren bring everyday realism and joy to her life. She indulges her love for nature, family and friends through gardening, as well as hospitality, food and feasting!
136. Padmi Pathinather - 15 October 2023
28th Sunday in Ordinary Time - Matthew 22:1-14
With over 25 years of leadership experience, Padmi is an accomplished HR executive and has steered organisations across healthcare, community services, and professional consulting. Holding a Bachelor's in Economics and Prosci certification in change management, her expertise includes nurturing inclusive cultures, enhancing employee experiences, and driving organisational change. Notably, Padmi was nominated and appointed as the Inaugural Chairperson for the Diocesan Pastoral Council in the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta. Rooted in a unique spiritual journey, her commitment to community welfare and social progress shines through Padmi’s endeavors. Padmi has officiated at the Diocesan Forum and facilitated Q&A interviews with Cardinal John Dew -Catholic Archbishop of Wellington, and Professor Austin Ivereigh - journalist, biographer of Pope Francis and Vatican Correspondent. Padmi has been acknowledged by review of the published work by Anne Benjamin, Leadership in a Synodal Church and was instrumental in the Diocesan responses to the Plenary Council for the Australian Church. Padmi is married and has two adult daughters and attends Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish in Greystanes, and has been a strong advocate for women in leadership in the Catholic Church.
135. Carey Anne Moylan - 8 October 2023
27th Sunday in Ordinary Time - Matthew 21: 33-43 Carey Anne Moylan grew up in Sydney and was educated by the Mercy Sisters at Spiritus Sanctus, North Ryde and Monte Sant Angelo in North Sydney. She studied at Sydney University obtaining a Bachelor of Arts, and a Diploma and later, a Master of Education. She taught for the NSW state education department in English, HSIE and Special Education for many years enjoying the challenge of helping students who were facing challenges of their own. Later, after studying for a Master of Religious Education, she moved to the Catholic schools system where she taught Studies of Religion, Catholic Studies, was the Liturgist and worked with teachers and students to improve their practice and relationship with God. Having eight children, twelve grandchildren and married to Eugene for 48 Years, has been a journey of joy and challenge but also a big dose of reality. Carey Anne has been actively involved in parish life and formation in Australia and Ireland, helps other develop their gifts ,is a Laudato Si Animator, and a Third Order Carmelite. She is active in Indigenous reconciliation, social justice initiatives, bible study, Laudato Si Circle, Care groups, Parish ministries, Parish worship groups and The Synod of Parramatta.
134. Jo Curran - 1 October 2023
Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Matthew 21: 28-32
Jo Curran writes:
I am a Primary School teacher with a passion for nurturing young minds. With a career spanning over three decades, I embarked on my teaching journey in 1989 in Brisbane Catholic Education schools, particularly in lower primary. A guiding principle of mine is to bring a relatable, tangible, every day God to the lives of the children I teach while continuing to nurture my own faith.
Beyond the classroom, I find fulfillment in our 34-year-long marriage, which I hope is an outward sign of our strong commitment and love for each other. We are blessed to be parents to beautiful teenage two sons, being a mother is certainly something I always dreamed of being.
Beyond the classroom I am a volunteer at St. Vinnies and value time with my family, friends and communities I belong. The beach is certainly a place I relax and feel instant awe and gratitude for all my blessings.
133. Eleanor Flynn - 24 September 2023
Twenty-fifth Sunday of Ordinary Time - Matthew 20: 1-16a Honorary Associate Professor Eleanor Flynn is a medical graduate who retired in 2019 from the University of Melbourne Medical School where she was involved in student selection and developing and implementing curricula for palliative care, clinical communications and professional behaviour. Until 2017 she also worked as a Palliative Care specialist in both hospital and community settings.
She is a founding member of Women’s Wisdom in the Church (WWITCH) and currently Co-Chair of the Australasian Catholic Coalition for Church Reform (ACCCR). She is a member of All Saints Fitzroy Parish Advisory group and Safeguarding Committee. She is also involved in Spirit Unbounded’s activities to parallel the Synod on Synodality in Rome this October.
She is the deputy Chair of the Spiritual Health Association and the secretary of the Abbeyfield North Melbourne house committee. Her theological studies include a B Theol and an M Theol considering the images in the office of the dead in late Medieval books of hours. She has published on clinical and philosophical aspects of care of the dying, selection of medical students, professionalism in medical schools, communications skills teaching, supporting staff who support students, the medieval view of death, the education of chaplains in COVID-19, and faith based funerals in Covid. She currently co-teaches a course on earth and bereavement through art and spirituality at the University of Divinity. She is involved in a research project about families providing spiritual care to people with dementia.
132. Alice Carwardine - 17 September 2023
24th Sunday in Ordinary Time - Matthew 18:21-35
Alice is the coordinator of Caritas Catholic Earthcare, an organisation committed to addressing environmental issues through Catholic social teaching. She holds a Master's degree in theology with a focus in eco-theology, reflecting her passion for the intersection between faith and care for the planet. In 2018, after successfully transitioning to a zero-waste lifestyle, Alice began sharing her knowledge and experience by running professional development workshops for schools. She is also a trained teacher in Physics and Study of Religion, and brings a wealth of experience to her work. Currently, Alice is a member of the Laudato Si' action platform working group, collaborating with the Dicastery for Promoting Human Integral Development to implement Pope Francis's environmental encyclical.
131. Janet Galos - 10 September 2023
23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time - Matthew 18:15-20
After a long career in secondary and disability education in QLD and NSW, Janet now lives in retirement in Brisbane. She has post graduate degrees in Education and Theology, has been a long-time member of WATAC and meditator with the WCCM since 2008. Aquinas Academy in Sydney was another valued alma mater for many years. One major turning point in her life was having a child with a disability: recognising both the gift and the challenge. Another was the happy accident of doing a “wrong” subject and having to complete the next to come up: “Christian Spirituality and Ecology”. And seeing the world differently all over again.
Her passion now lies in bringing together various elements of the Christian tradition which will shape a vibrant 21st century spirituality: one that is both in tune with modern cultural and scientific understandings and inspired and energized by the contemplative way.
Janet completed the Laudato Si Facilitators training in 2022, and is currently involved in several eco-focussed groups in the local parish and archdiocese. As well as campaigning for “ecological conversion” and eco-justice locally, she has given presentations on feminist and eco-spirituality themes to local, national and international groups.
Currently, she is enjoying getting to know her new grandchild, getting out into the natural world with local bushwalkers, and attending theatre and concerts with her daughter (who also loves classical music). Life is gift!
130. Sally Neaves - 3 September 2023
22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time - Matthew 16:21-27
Sally is the Integral Ecology Animator and Mission/Ministry Resource Coordinator for the Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of Australia and Papua New Guinea. As part of her role she oversees the Institute’s commitment to the Laudato Si’ Goals, especially eco-spirituality and hands-on climate and biodiversity projects in rural communities.
Her current work involves uniting farmers and others in the catchment of Mandagery Creek, Eugowra NSW, to see what can be done to restore the creek’s ability to naturally sink, slow and spread water after the flooding disaster of November 2022. She is also convenor of the Mercy Integral Ecology Emerging Leaders Fellowship which has trained 20 emerging leaders from around Australia over the past two years.
Sally lives in Bathurst where she is honing her urban permaculture skills and facilitates courses with Belubula Permaculture.
129. Toni Janke - 27 August 2023
21st Sunday of Ordinary Time - Matthew 16:13-20 - An Unshakeable Faith in Christ – Son of the Living God
Toni Janke is a Wuthathi, Yadighana and Meriam woman whose family originally come from Cape York and the Torres Strait in north Queensland.
Toni currently lives in Meanjin (Brisbane) Queensland where she runs her own consultancy and coaching business. She works with government, corporate community organisations and schools as an advocate for First Nations issues.
Toni also previously worked for Catholic education and Centacare in the Archdiocese of Brisbane. She was a member of the Plenary Council and worked for Centacare Family and Relationship Services.
She has held several positions on Boards and Committees at the national, state and local level with strong networks in the First Nations community during a professional career spanning more than three decades.
Toni is passionate about her work and educating others about the importance of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture. She is also an award-winning singer/songwriter who has been writing her own songs and performing as an artist for most of her life.
For more information – www.tonijanke.com
128. Moira Byrne Garton - 20 August 2023
The Twentieth Sunday of Ordinary Time - Matthew 15:21-28
Dr Moira Byrne Garton grew up in rural South Australia. She moved to Adelaide after high school and joined a Catholic youth group where she met Matthew, who she later married. In 2001, they moved to Canberra with their two very small children. Two more were welcomed in Canberra so they now have four young adult children.
In 2012 she completed a PhD in political science at ANU, which examined religious organisations as interest groups in refugee policy. As part of the Young Catholic Women’s Interfaith Fellowship, she completed a Postgraduate Diploma of Theology in 2016.
Inspired by the charism of the Sisters of St Joseph, and the spiritualities of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart and the Good Samaritan sisters, Moira is thankful for the individuals and groups who have shaped her experience of God and faith.
Moira is an accomplished writer with many publications in a variety of places, as well as a few prizes. She has qualifications in policy, education and economics, and has also studied a bit of law and Italian language and literature. She is also a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and an Accredited Editor. Moira works as a federal public servant but occasionally dabbles in academia.
127. Sherry Balcombe - 13 August 2023
19th Sunday in Ordinary Time -Matthew 14:22-33
This week we have the privilege of listening deeply to First Nations woman Sherry Balcombe who, using the Gospel as a springboard, shares her hopes for this country we now call Australia, her wisdom around the upcoming referendum, and her work towards creating the first Aboriginal Rite of the Catholic Church written by First Nations people. Sherry is currently the Executive Leader of the Aboriginal Catholic Ministry, the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander’s Victorian Councillor, the recipient of the NATSICC Service to the Community award in 2022, and a member of the Plenary Council. Sherry recorded this conversation with the AWP team on Wurundjeri Country in the Kulin Nation.
126. Angela McCarthy - 6 August 2023
The Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord - Matthew 17:1-9 Dr Angela McCarthy is an adjunct senior lecturer in theology at The University of Notre Dame Australia, Fremantle campus. Her first degree from Sydney University included work in Biblical Studies and Fine Arts. After time spent rearing a family, Angela resumed secondary teaching and further studies in theology and education in 1993 at Notre Dame and was awarded her PhD in 2007. Since then, she has completed a further Research Masters in Theology in the field of Scripture, art and theology. Angela has published in the areas of liturgy, icons, art and theology, liturgical music, educational practice and theological aesthetics. She is the former editor of the Australian Journal of Liturgy, a member of the Australian Academy of Liturgy, Chairperson of the Mandorla Art Award, a member of the Chamber of Arts and Culture WA and the Fellowship of Biblical Studies, and the editor of Pastoral Liturgy. For many decades she has been working in her parish in liturgy and music. She has been married to John for 49 years, has 4 children and 14 grandchildren.
125. Catherine Mead - 30 July 2023
Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Matthew 13: 44-52
Catherine Mead rsj (EdD, M.Ed., B.Ed.) is an educator with forty years of ministry in Catholic education across South Australia and the Northern Territory in a variety of roles including that of Teacher, Principal. Board member /Director. Through these roles Catherine has given counsel, mentored, and contributed to nurturing leadership, faith and learning in staff, students and the parent community.
Catherine is committed to enriching the Catholic education experience for leaders, teachers, students, and their families in ways that are innovative, transformative and transcendental. Catherine’s doctoral studies in education focused on the implementation of a Josephite charism, and its approach to leadership and education where inclusive learning and faith communities are marked by excellence, creativity, and compassion. Catherine is currently Leader of Catholic Identity and Mission in Catholic Education Northern Territory, offering creative and strategic leadership to nurture leaders and staff in fostering Catholic school identity and mission through faith formation, professional learning, curriculum, and practice.
124. Greer Hudson - 23 July 2023
Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Matthew 13: 24-30
Content Warning: This episode contains discussion of gendered violence and its impacts on women. This material may be distressing for some people. 1800RESPECT is available for free, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to support people impacted by domestic, family or sexual violence. Call 1800 737 732 or reach out via https://www.1800respect.org.au/ Reverend Greer Hudson (she/her) lives and works on Bundjalung Land in the Far North Coast of NSW. Having grown up in Sydney as a Pastor’s kid in the Baptist Church, she studied her Bachelor of Theology with Churches of Christ, and found her home within the Uniting Church of Australia where she completed her Masters of Theology and was ordained as a Minister of the Word in 2018. Her current ministry placement is as the Period of Discernment Co-ordinator for the Synod of NSW and ACT. In this role she supports a program that is designed to help people discover their gifts and how they might be called to use them to serve in mission and ministry. Greer has previously served in congregational and schools ministries. She is an InterPlay leader, a labyrinth facilitator, a dancer and a mother. Greer is passionate about embodied spirituality – about how we might experience God through more than just words and thoughts.
123. Alice Dunlop - 16 July 2023
Fifteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time - Matthew 13:1-23 - Seeds of Transformation- Cultivating Hearts for Our Common Home
Alice is a passionate educator, leader and innovator. She has a passion for ecological education, having worked and studied in this field for over 15 years. Alice has held various system and school leadership positions within Catholic Education and has worked at the university level with pre-service teachers.Alice has a love of learning, holding a Bachelor of Education, Bachelor of Science with a Master in Earth Science, Master of Theology and Doctorate in Philosophy. Alice currently works as Laudato Si Consultant for Little Earthies and Catholic Identity and Mission Advisor for Catholic Education South Australia. She frequently contributes to the Southern Cross newspaper, all with a focus on caring for our common home.
122. Wendy Goonan - 9 July 2023
Fourteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time - Matthew 11: 25-30 Wendy Goonan is a wife, a mother and a grandmother, and has been an engineer, a bushland manager, and research analyst. Before receiving the call to be a Member of the Fifth Plenary Council in Australia, Wendy also embarked on postgraduate studies in theology alongside seminarians in Sydney, taking great interest in Biblical, liturgical and ecclesiological studies. Despite all that practice in discernment, Wendy is still pondering her own call, and preparing to be ready when needed
121. Frances Maguire - 2 July 2023
Thirteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time - Matthew Matt. 10: 37-42 - One with Christ
Frances Maguire RSJ, has been a Sister of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart for 60 years. She was born in Kalgoorlie and has lived much of her life in country places in WA, including the East Kimberley where she managed a Spirituality Centre for the Broome Diocese. She has worked in Parishes, formation within her Congregation as well as being involved in leadership and care of the senior Sisters in WA.
She has been a secondary school teacher and adult educator and is currently involved in spiritual accompaniment, leading retreats and conducting a course on forgiveness and reconciliation in parishes. She is passionate about care of Earth and all her creatures, a member of ACRATH (Australian Religious Against Trafficking of Humans). She cooperates with Catholic Colleges and Catholic Missions in promoting awareness of the Josephite Sister Irene McCormack’s Life for Love in Peru and sells Peruvian products in Parishes and other places. She is also invited to schools to speak on Mary MacKillop. She loves music, gardening, reading, swimming and occasional bird watching. Frances believes in enabling people to believe in themselves, to trust the Spirit within them.
120. Michelle Eastwood - 25 June 2023
Twelfth Sunday of Ordinary Time - Matthew 10: 26-33 - What you hear in the dark….
Content Warning: This episode contains discussion of gendered violence and its impacts on women. This material may be distressing for some people. 1800RESPECT is available for free, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to support people impacted by domestic, family or sexual violence. Call 1800 737 732 or reach out via https://www.1800respect.org.au/ Dr Michelle Eastwood is a Director of Research at Australian Lutheran College and Executive Officer for ANZATS and the Council of Deans of Theology. She graduated from the University of Divinity in 2022 with her thesis titled The Shame of the Old Woman: A Feminist Reading of Psalm 71. Michelle has degrees in Psychology, History, Education and Theology. She is a Hebrew Bible scholar and is interested particularly in the areas of gender and sexuality, worship and liturgy, and literary readings of the Bible. Michelle lives and works on Wathaurong country and will be voting yes in the upcoming referendum.
119. Bec Lindsay - 18 June 2023
Eleventh Sunday of Ordinary Time - Matthew 9:36 – 10:8 Bec Lindsay lives on Gadigal and Bidjigal land in Sydney's South East with her husband and two children. She is a Minister of the Word in the Uniting Church in Australia and worships at Hope Uniting Church in Maroubra. Bec is currently completing a PhD through Flinders University. Her research explores decolonial biblical interpretation in conversation with the Australian colonial context and the book of Ruth. She loves teaching and is an occasional sessional lecturer at United Theological College (CSU). Bec is particularly interested in the intersection between communities of worship, engagement with Scripture, and the often mundane experience of family life.
118. Alexandra Banks - 11 June 2023
Corpus Christi - John 6: 51-58
Dr Alexandra Banks PhD works as an artist, theologian, writer and researcher who engages theologically with the arts and trauma theory to uncover the complex landscape of embodied memory. Alexandra’s key area of interest is the historical suppression and coercive appropriation of biblical women’s bodies and voices, and the doctrinal and practical implications of this interpretive legacy. Within her studio practice, Alexandra is fascinated with how everyday objects such as payphones and letterboxes have the capacity to point to and draw out silenced biblical characters like Hagar and Ishmael, and Mary, mother of God. Through her engagement with everyday objects, her current research is focused on how church buildings, stained glass, and their ornamentation provides a visual representation of interpretive traditions, institutional memory, and an example of a pedagogical architecture of power and surveillance.
117. Teresa Brown - 4 June 2023
The Most Holy Trinity - John 3:16-18 Dr Teresa Brown is a Melbourne-based theologian, who teaches in the Faculty of Theology and Philosophy at Australian Catholic University. She has a PhD in Theology, a Master of Religious Education and a Master of Theological Studies. In her PhD, she explored the relationship between trinitarian faith and Christian life through the lens of a theology of interruption. She is particularly interested in the way in which we approach theology today, how this might inform and be informed by the experience of Christians within diverse contexts, and how this might, in turn, be reflected in the education of young people in Catholic schools. Teresa works with Catholic Education partners around Australia and with research partners at Katholieke Universiteit Leuven to support schools in the formation, articulation and practice of their Catholic identity.
116. Elissa Roper - 28 May 2023
I'm a theologian specialising in synodality in the Catholic Church. I am interested in building a mature, responsible and loving Church.
I live in Australia and my writing has a focus on developing foundations for Catholic ecclesiology in a new era of synodality. I explore how such foundations may support the praxis and good governance of synodality.
I am honoured to manage a Program of Theology for women in Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands; a partnership in tertiary theological education between the Sisters of Mercy and the Divine Word University. I am an approved lecturer in systematic theology in this Program.
I have been a sessional academic with the Australian Catholic University.
I provided a theological reflection on "Becoming a more synodal Church" for the Assembly of the Federation of Catholic Bishops Conferences in Oceania, February 2023. I had a role assisting the Drafting Committee of the Fifth Plenary Council of the Catholic Church in Australia in 2022. I gave the keynote speech to the Sandhurst Diocesan Assembly in February 2023.
I am a member of the Australian Catholic Theological Association (ACTA) and the Institute of Sisters of Mercy of Australia and Papua New Guinea (ISMAPNG) Theological Association.
I was a member of the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne’s Ecumenical & Interfaith Commission for four years before its decommissioning in March 2021. This role included hosting the Pontifical Commission for Interreligious Dialogue (PCID) in September 2018. I was a member of the Victorian Council of Church’s Faith and Order Commission for six years, and the VCC Liaison Officer on the Board of the Jewish Christian Muslim Association of Australia.
Since 2015 I have presented papers at conferences including ANZATS, ACTA, the Australian Lonergan Workshop, the Fourth International Receptive Ecumenism Conference, Women as Church Conference, ISMAPNG Theological Association, Postgraduate Student Experience Symposium, ACU Postgraduate Conference, and the UD Research Days.
My husband and I have four children.
115. Danni Clark - 21 May 2023
The Ascension of the Lord - Matthew 28:16-20 The Reverend Danni Clark is a priest in the Anglican Church, currently posted to the East Redland Parish in South East Queensland. She is married to David and together they parent four feisty daughters, and are servants to a menagerie of two, three and four legged creatures.
After a long time of trying to run away from her calling, a ‘Samuel moment’ turned Danni’s head, heart, and ears to listen and her theological training began in Lincoln, England, before moving over to Brisbane with her family and a horse in 2014. After completing her studies at St Francis Theological College, she was ordained deacon and then priest at St John’s Cathedral, Brisbane.
Danni is passionate about her ministry, serving the pastoral as well as feeding the spiritual needs of the parish. She has been heard to declare that if she was a stick of seaside rock, she would have ‘Parish Priest’ running all the way through her!
She is blessed to be part of a lively and incredibly diverse parish that incorporates 3 mainland and 4 island churches and thrives on embracing the different personalities and cultures each centre nurtures. Danni’s cheese and wine bible studies are the stuff of legend and she wholeheartedly supports the great Anglican tradition of hospitality. The only thing she takes as seriously as her ministry is her coffee.
114. Sue Martin - 14 May 2023
Sixth Sunday of Easter - John 14:15-21
Sue Martin grew up playing in nature, living beside Devlin’s Creek in Northern Sydney, with parents deeply committed to family and faith, especially a faith that does justice. Sue was educated by the Good Samaritan Sisters at Pennant Hills where she started to imagine herself as an eco-warrior. Sue studied agricultural science at Sydney University, becoming an agronomist, wanting to make our farming landscapes treed again. She married David and had four boys quickly and now has six amazing grandchildren. Her parish life is at St Madeleine’s Kenthurst, and she is active in the synodal journey for Parramatta Diocese assisting with the Laudato Si’ team there. Sue’s working life has included working in school, university, catchment management and local government settings. When she commenced employment as the sustainability officer at St Ignatius’ College, Riverview in 2009, she also found her home in the spirituality of the Jesuits. In 2019, the Jesuits called Sue to the position of national Project Officer for, what they then called, Reconciliation with Creation. Sue also juggled the part-time Caritas National Earthcare Coordinator from 2019 to 2022. Since 2022 Sue has worked full-time assisting with Jesuit ministries better respond to Laudato si’ both in Australia and Asia Pacific. These responsibilities include assisting the coordination of RAOEN (the Rivers Above ecclesial network) caring for oceans, Indigenous people and our Church across Asia Pacific. Globally Sue is also part of the Ecojesuit team.
113. Tania Watson - 7 May 2023
Fifth Sunday of Easter - John 14:1-12
Dr Tania Watson considers herself to be very blessed to have many opportunities to exercise pastoral ministry and leadership. Tania is a keen observer of intersections between leadership, Australian culture and the Gospel mission of Jesus. The deep longing of her heart is to see the Australian Church, know and express fullness and freedom that is ours in the perfect peace of Christ. Tania is married to Neil: together they enjoy their adult children, their schnoodle and apartment life overlooking a beautiful park in the City of Perth.
112. Radhika Sukumar-White - 30 April 2023
Fourth Sunday of Easter - John 10:1-10 - Abundant Life Now
Rev. Radhika Sukumar-White (she/her) has been a Minister of the Word in the Uniting Church in Australia since 2016. She is a 2nd-Generation Sri Lankan Tamil Australian, and grew up in Canberra before moving to Sydney to study Physiotherapy, Music and then Theology. Radhika is passionate about leading dynamic and sacred worship, preaching and teaching, and walking alongside individuals in their life and faith journeys. Radhika is currently serving as Ministry Team Leader at Leichhardt Uniting Church, a young, vibrant, justice-oriented community of faith in the Inner West of Sydney, on Gadigal and Wangal land. She serves alongside her husband, who also serves as Chaplain at the University of Sydney. Radhika is also passionate about brunch.
111. Debra Phillips - 23 April 2023
Third Sunday of Easter - Luke 24: 13-35
CONTENT WARNING: This episode contains references to suicide ideation which may distress some listeners. If this raises any issues for you please contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.
Dr Debra J Phillips is an Education lecturer at Australian Catholic University. Her doctorate awarded in 2020, an interdisciplinary, autoethnographic analysis of suicidality, provided background for her ongoing work into teachers’ mental health. Dr Phillips’ current research and writing explores the spiritual and sociocultural factors that can lead to teacher burnout as well as those factors that protect and strengthen their mental health. Debra’s research is underpinned by theology, sociology, psychology and the theorising and practice of visual-arts. Because of the sensitive and taboo nature of researching suicidality she promotes the ethical parameters that guide research in mental ill-health and seeks to develop collaborative practices in teaching, research and writing. Dr Phillips comes from a background of school-based teaching practice (disability education, Geography, Religion), education and teachign experiences across education sectors, and a background of post-graduate study in education, gender studies, narrative and theology. Dr Phillips is a practicing artist.
110. Gail Gill and Tanya Wittwer - 16 April 2023
Second Sunday of Easter - John 20: 19-31
Australian Women Preach has always celebrated diversity. Our women preachers come from different generations, backgrounds, cultures, geographical locations, and Christian denominations. They also come to preaching with different mindsets and priorities, theological emphases and preaching styles. To spotlight this kind of diversity, we are offering two sermons on this Sunday’s gospel text. You might like to consider where these reflections converge and where they show us an individual perspective, and how, taken together, they challenge and enrich our own understandings.
Tanya Wittwer lives on the lands of the Peramangk people with her songwriter husband, Leigh Newton, two alpacas and four chickens. Their elastic-sided family live within semi-regular Sunday-night-family-meal distance. Sixty-three years ago Tanya perceived herself as being called to pastoral leadership in her church. When she was twelve she discovered ordination was not possible in the Lutheran Church of Australia and New Zealand. Her subsequent dream of being a ballerina was probably delusional, and God has continued to keep her early calling alive. So she has the broad and shallow working life of one who cannot enter her vocation, having had coordination and management roles in community service, domestic violence prevention, nature conservation, chaplaincy and public health, and academic roles in counselling, community health and theology. Most recently she was holding administrative roles and teaching preaching, pastoral care, and research topics at the Adelaide College of Divinity. After degrees in arts, education and religious education, Tanya completed a Master of Divinity at Wartburg Theological Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa, and a PhD in homiletics through Flinders Uni. She has been working with many others towards the ordination of women in the LCANZ church for the past forty or so years, and this effort has intensified in recent years. In late 2022 she edited “unless they are sent”, a collection of writings from the past forty-five years, affirming the ordination of women.
Gail Gill writes: I was for a while as a graphic artist in advertising agencies and increasingly began to find it lacked meaning. As a mature age student, I began study to be a teacher in Catholic schools. I worked in the Sydney Archdiocese mainly as a teacher, REC and principal. I also worked as a religious education advisor and then led the development of Sydney’s first religious education curriculum for primary schools. I have worked in Broken Bay as a schools consultant and as a facilitator for school advisory boards with the Catholic Schools Office. I was seconded for three years to the Broken Bay Institute in the first three years of its development. In 2009 I resigned from the Catholic Schools Office in Broken Bay to become a consecrated member of a ministry the then Bishop, David Walker, had established for women in the diocese. I have worked in a number of parishes in various capacities, including one where I was a Coordinator of Parish Life according to canon 517.2. I have also been a member of the Broken Bay formation team for the permanent diaconate. I have an adult daughter and son and two beautiful granddaughters. Currently, I am transitioning towards retirement that will include some writing and engagement with groups such as Australian Catholics Exploring Diaconate (ACED).
109. Elizabeth Young RSM - 9 April 2023
Easter Sunday - Matt. 28: 1-10
Elizabeth was brought up on a farm in the south of South Australia. Her father was a lay preacher in the Uniting Church, and their ministers were both men and women. However, she attended St Mary MacKillop’s very first school in Penola, and was received into the Catholic Church along with family members. Elizabeth valued the sacramental worldview that she encountered and was inspired by all the religious leaders in her community. From a young age, she felt called to a vocation in religious and liturgical leadership, to share the Good News of Jesus Christ. However, her life took a turn through a few years of questioning her faith and completing a degree in Circus Arts. From there she discerned God’s call to become a Sister of Mercy, professing her first vows in Adelaide in 2010. She has since studied a Bachelor of Theology, Graduate Diploma of Teaching and Learning, and Master of Theology (Coursework). Her ministries have been with youth, immigration detention centres, prisons, parish, school and ecumenical/interfaith relations. She is a Parish Life Coordinator in the remote town of Wilcannia, NSW, where she is instituted as a Catechist to lead the community in the absence of a priest in liturgy including baptisms and funerals. Elizabeth finds life in exploring the scriptures and the Church’s liturgical/sacramental tradition together with those in marginal situations.
108. Brigid Drummond, Shirley Quaresemin, Francesca Ishiguchi and Pepita Pregelj in conversation with Diana Jans - 2 April 2023
Palm Sunday - Matthew 26:14-27:66
For this Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord, we were privileged to record on country in the Kimberley. Brigid Drummond is a Proud Nyul Nyul woman from Beagle Bay, a mother, wife and educator in Catholic Education for over 40 years.
Shirley Quaresemin, is a proud Nyikina woman from Derby, a wife, mother, over 40 years in Catholic Education and the current chairperson of NATSICC. Francesca Ishiguchi is a mother and Proud Nyul Nyul, Nyikina and Yawaru woman from Broome. She is devoted to Mary and the Rosary. Pepita Pregelj, writes, “My Mum born Beagle Bay, my maternal grandmother was taken (stolen gen) with her sister off the streets of Derby when they were about 6 years old and taken to Beagle Bay. My maternal grandfather also stolen generation. Knowing that our mothers and grandmothers and aunties have such strong faith is an inspiration. We can only continue practising and sharing our faith despite different challenges we all face.”
These First Nations Women are in conversation with Diana Jans, the CEWA Broome Regional Office Religious Education Consultant and over 25 years as an educator in Catholic Education.
107. Rachel Kronberger - 26 March 2023
Fifth Sunday of Lent - John 11: 1-45
Rev Rachel Kronberger lives on the lands of the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nations in inner suburban Melbourne. She was ordained as a Minister of the Word in the Uniting Church in Australia in 2002 and since then has served in congregational ministry. She is currently the Minister in Placement at Wesley Church Melbourne, where she preaches twice most Sundays, rejoicing in the steadfastness of God. Rachel also enjoys encouraging deeper connections in Christian community, supporting the curiosity of visitors and newcomers, and exploring the place and role of an inner-city church in a post-Christendom context.
106. Danielle Anne Lynch - 19 March 2023
Fourth Sunday of Lent - John 9: 1-41
Danielle Anne Lynch is a theologian, musician, and teacher, working in Brisbane. Her work in systematic theology encompasses Theology, Music, and Songwriting, with particular interest in feminist and queer approaches. She also works in Mission, Liturgy, Religious Identity and Culture, and Religious Education. Danielle's book on music and theology God in Sound and Silence: Music as Theology was published in 2018. Her album Into Silence, a collection of original songs exploring life in all its dimensions, including spiritual and faith aspects, was released in 2020, and her Mass For All Of Us was released in 2022. Danielle's music is available on online platforms.
105. Mary Coloe PBVM - 12 March 2023
Third Sunday of Lent - John 4: 5-42
Dr. Mary Coloe PBVM is a Presentation sister and has recently retired as professor of New Testament at Yarra Theological Union, which is a college within the University of Divinity, Melbourne. She will continue to research and write on the Gospel of John. In 20221 her two-volume commentary on John in the Wisdom Commentary Series was published and has been well received. This series is a feminist commentary on the biblical books. This year, 2023) she is invited to be the key presenter at the American Catholic Biblical Association conference. She also has three small books of reflections on each Sunday Gospel of the year – These are called, Sundays under the Southern Cross – available through Garratt Publishing.
Mary has taught at Australian Catholic University and a number of places overseas such as Berkeley, California; Boston College, and Jerusalem. In recent years she has worked on an international dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Church/Disciples of Christ. Mary calls this her “Vatican” hat, as this appointment was for the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity.
104. Trish McCarthy - 5 March 2023
Second Sunday of Lent - Matthew 17: 1-9 - “The Transfiguration: for a purpose and a promise”
Trish McCarthy grew up on the coast of NSW which has inspired her love for the gift of Creation, learning and adventure. She has completed studies in Exercise Science, Education, Theology and Spiritual Direction.
103. Teash Taylor 26 February 2023
First Sunday of Lent - Matthew 4:1-11
Teash is co-pastor of St Kilda/Elsternwick Baptist Church. She is currently the only out Baptist pastor serving a church in Victoria, and likely Australia. She also runs Queers Be With You with her friend AJ, where they offer education and consultation to Churches and Christian Organisations regarding LGBTQIA+ inclusion and pastoral care. Teash has a particular passion for feminist and queer theologies and all liberative theologies.
When she's not working you can probably find Teash trying to encourage her elderly greyhound to walk just a tiny bit further down the street or watching something embarrassingly trashy while her partner knits and she embroiders or cross stitches.
102. Sally Longley - 19 February 2023
Seventh Sunday of Ordinary Time - Matthew 5: 38-48
Dr Sally Longley is a Spiritual Director, Supervisor and Retreat Leader based in Sydney; she has studied at the Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary in the USA and has a D Min. Sally leads silent and themed retreats and is a Giver of the Ignatian Exercises. She is a pastor of Avalon Peace church, and a team member on Listen into Life, which is a formation program for spiritual directors. Sally has authored 3 books, the latest being “Conversations with Silence: Rosetta Stone of the Soul” (2021) (www.longley.com.au).
101. Marilyn Hatton - 12 February 2023
Sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time - Matthew 5: 17-37
I am a Catholic lay woman whose faith is as central to my identity as my gender. I am a wife, mother, grandmother and great grandmother committed to working for an inclusive practice of Catholic faith that is respected and active in the public square, a faith that can sustain future generations as my faith has sustained me.
My professional work has involved developing and implementing machinery of government and public policy for the status of women across policy portfolios in both Federal and Territory governments including as the first Women’s Health Adviser in the ACT. My tertiary background includes graduating as a R.N. St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney; B.A. Applied Science, University of Canberra; M.Litt. History/Gender Studies ANU.
I have been involved in the renewal movement in the Catholic Church for over 20 years. Initially attending WATAC meetings as a young mother, subsequently as a member of renewal groups including the Ordination of Catholic Women Inc, representing Australia on the international Women’s Ordination Worldwide Network, International Catholic Reform Network, former Convener of the Australasian Catholic Coalition for Church Reform, member of Catholics Speak Out and Concerned Catholics Canberra Goulburn. My key focus has been for equality, dignity and respect for all.
100. Liz Little - 5 February 2023
Fifth Sunday of Ordinary Time - Matthew 5: 13-16
Liz Little is a retired teacher and a member of the St Mary’s in Exile Community in Brisbane. She taught Religion in several Catholic secondary schools over her forty years of teaching and retains her interest in theology and the study of scripture. During her career she was Deputy Principal in several Catholic secondary schools and also lectured trainee teachers at university. She has qualifications in Geography, Theology, School Leadership, Education and Public Administration. Liz is a keen bushwalker. It is out there in the magnificence of the natural world that she feels she truly encounters the sacred. She has many other interests and involvements that allow her to fully embrace her retirement.
99. Tania Waring - 29 January 2023
Fourth Sunday of Ordinary Time - Matthew 5: 1-12a
Tania worked as a solicitor for over twenty years, primarily for medical defence organisations, assisting doctors and other health professionals with complaints and claims against them. Tania has three lovely children, one of whom has ADHD and Autism and has faced incredible challenges in his schooling and social life. To better support her family Tania gave up her legal profession and became a full time carer to her third child. Over the last four years Tania left has completed her Bachelor in Behavioural Science (Psychology) as well as earning First Class Honours in Behavioural Science Psychology (Honours). Tania works in research at QUT to improve inclusiveness in our schools. Tania is passionate about improving community understanding of ADHD and Autism and disability. It is through understanding and familiarity that we can achieve inclusion in schools. It is of course for all of us to open our minds and hearts to all children, and support them to access an education together with their peers. Tania says, "There have been periods of parenting where I have faltered and despaired. These periods have been marked by the challenges that my son has faced, and the impact of exclusion by schools and some of his peers. I felt God walk with me as I navigated my way forward through these particularly difficult nights and days. I am grateful for my faith and for God’s presence in my life. I have been an active catholic for much of my life, involved in various aspects of the church at different times."
98. Steff Fenton - 22 January 2023
Third Sunday of Ordinary Time - Matthew 4: 12-17
Australian Women Preach models the church we want to be, inclusive, diverse and welcoming. This week we are delighted to share our first non-binary preacher, Steff Fenton. Steff (they/them/theirs) is Co-Founder and Co-Pastor of New City Church, an independent church in Sydney’s inner city exploring faith in diverse and inclusive ways. Steff is a writer, speaker and educator, engaging the intersections of being genderqueer, trans and Christian. They recently graduated with a Master of Divinity through the University of Divinity, writing a thesis about masculinity, male entitlement, and gender-expansiveness in the Gospel of Matthew. Steff is passionate about cultivating a more equitable and expansive faith, as well as summer time, dinners with friends and scrolling Instagram for puppy photos.
97. Di Rayson - 15 January 2023
Second Sunday of Ordinary Time - John 1: 29-34
Dr Dianne Rayson is a public theologian and scholar of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Her main concerns are climate change and biodiversity loss, and how the church might ethically engage with these and other social problems, so her focus is on ecotheology. In her writing she has also addressed issues such as war, rape culture, and ecological degradation. She completed her PhD at The University of Newcastle (2017) and her book is Bonhoeffer and Climate Change: Theology and Ethics for the Anthropocene (Lexington, 2021). Di is a member of the Anglican Church of Australia where she preaches and she is regularly engaged in public contexts, including on ABC radio. She sees theology as a force for enriching both the life of the church and the community at large, and she loves to teach theology. Di is currently Senior Lecturer in Theology and Ethics at Pacific Theological College, Suva, Fiji, returning to the tropics after a long absence. She has lived and worked in Darwin, NT, and Papua New Guinea, working in public health and social policy. Her family home is on Biripi country in NSW where she gardens and grows food. She is a singer and cellist, and most at home in the ocean or the bush.
96. Veronica Lawson RSM - 8 January 2023
Epiphany of the Lord Solemnity - Matthew 2: 1-12
Veronica Lawson RSM is a Sister of Mercy and a biblical scholar based in Ballarat. She is probably best known for her weekly gospel reflections which have a global circulation and for her 2015 publication The Blessing of Mercy: Bible Perspectives and Ecological Challenges which proved to be a valuable resource for the Year of Mercy. She was the first woman to be elected President of the Australian Catholic Biblical Association.
Veronica volunteered to teach Biblical Studies when it was introduced into the secondary school curriculum in 1965, her first year of teaching. It was not possible at that time for a Catholic woman to study for a theology degree in Australia. While teaching at secondary level, she attended part-time theology and language classes (Greek and Hebrew) at the Redemptorist Seminary in Ballarat. Subsequent studies at the University of San Francisco, at the Ecole Biblique in Jerusalem and at Trinity College Dublin provided Veronica with the formal qualifications required for a life-time engagement with the Word of God in diverse contexts (with University students, seminarians, interfaith and ecumenical groups, teachers, priests, religious and parishioners). Her study tours of Bible Lands formed part of the graduate program in theology at Australian Catholic University for some twenty-five years. Invitations to conduct workshops in Pacific Island countries, in Kenya, France, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Timor Leste and Pakistan are among her most valued learning experiences. She plans to resume her regular ecological theology sessions in March
95. Di Langham - 1 January 2023
Mary, Mother of God Solemnity - Luke 2: 16-21
Reverend Di Langham writes:
I am Reverend Canon Auntie Di Langham. Director of Reconciliation for Anglican Diocese of Newcastle. I am also secretary of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander Anglican Council. I am 72 years of age.
I have been a priest in the Diocese of Newcastle for the past 21 years. I was the first Aboriginal woman in this Diocese to be ordained. I was a chaplain in Corrective Services NSW for 20 years and prior to that I was a chaplain in Juvenile Justice.
I am a Boandik woman and part of the Stolen Generations history of this country, now living and working in the lands of the Awabakal and Wanaruah. I am married with 4 children, 14 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren.
I like to weave into any of my talks Aboriginal spirituality and talk about my past experiences in any sermons I do. I was a teacher in my past life and taught in both schools and TAFE.