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Australian leadership

Commissioners Robert and Janine Donaldson

Commissioners Robert and Janine Donaldson

On 1 December 2018, The Salvation Army became a unified movement in Australia, after having operated as two independent territories for 97 years. The objectives to bring the two former territories together were to have an aligned vision, united voice, greater impact, increased innovation, stronger partnerships and better stewardship for the communities that we serve across Australia.

The Australia Territory Board

The Board is responsible for:

  • Providing governance oversight to the Territory in accordance with Australian law, governance principles and all requirements under International Headquarters Order and Regulations
  • Strategically positioning the Territory so that it has a sustainable, major influence on Australian society
  • Providing advice and assistance to the Trustees

The Board consists of 11 members - six Salvation Army officers, including Commissioner Robert Donaldson as Chair, and five independent members, who all share a personal faith in Jesus Christ. The members are:

Commissioner Robert Donaldson (Chair)  

Robert is the Chair of the Board and shares, with Janine Donaldson, the spiritual leadership of The Salvation Army Australia.

Since 1987, Robert has served as an officer in New Zealand, Zambia, South Africa and the United Kingdom, and has held board appointments, including Trustee for The Salvation Army International Trustee Company, Chair of the Board for The Salvation Army New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga, Chair of The Salvation Army International Moral and Social Issues Council, member of the Board for The Salvation Army Southern Africa, member of the Board for Theological Education by Extension College, South Africa, and member of the Board for the Heart Foundation of New Zealand.

Robert also led an international project encompassing the development and implementation of governance for The Salvation Army worldwide. Additionally, he is a member of the New Zealand Institute of Directors and holds qualifications in science, theology and management.

Colonel Geanette Seymour (Alternate Chair)

Geanette, appointed to the role of Alternate Chair of the Board, holds the responsibility of chairing the Board in the absence of the Territorial Commander.

Geanette is also Chair of the Quality and Safety Committee and a member of the Audit and Risk Committee. During her 40 years of service as a Salvation Army officer, Geanette has held numerous appointments, including Director of The Salvation Army’s International Social Justice Commission and Chair of The Salvation Army’s International Moral and Social Issues Council.

Geanette served as Chief Secretary of the former Australia Eastern Territory and holds qualifications in social work and law.

Mr Richard Grellman, AM (Independent Lead)

Richard holds the role of Lead Independent on the Board, and carries the authority to communicate with International Headquarters directly in exceptional circumstances.

Currently also Chair of the Professional Standards Committee, Richard was a partner at the international accounting firm, KPMG and rose to become a member of KPMG’s National Executive.

In 2007, he was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for service to the community, particularly through leadership roles within Mission Australia. Until recently, Richard was Chair of the Bible Society of Australia. In September 2014 Richard was appointed as the Tribunal of The Statutory and Other Officers Remuneration Tribunal (SOORT) by the Governor of New South Wales. 

In 2019, the Council of the University of New South Wales bestowed on Richard the degree of Doctor of the University, honoris causa, in recognition of his eminent service to the University and the broader community.

Commissioner Janine Donaldson

Janine Donaldson is the Territorial President of Women’s Ministries (TPWM) and shares, with Robert Donaldson, the spiritual leadership of The Salvation Army Australia.

Janine was commissioned as a Salvation Army Officer in 1987 and has served in various appointments in New Zealand, Zambia, South Africa and at International Headquarters in London.

Her appointments at International Headquarters were Zonal Secretary for Women's Ministries South Pacific and East Asia and editor of Revive, an international magazine for women.

Janine’s other responsibilities have included board membership in New Zealand, Fiji, Tonga and South Africa, as well as appointments in women’s ministries, personnel, recruitment, overseas development, officer training and corps. Prior to officership, Janine worked as a qualified nurse.

Colonel Winsome Merrett

Winsome is the Chief Secretary of Salvation Army Australia and therefore responsible for the operational management of the Australia Territory.

Winsome was commissioned as a Salvation Army Officer in 1987 and has served in various corps and divisional and territorial appointments within Australia, as well as being a delegate of the International College of Officers in London in 2011.

Prior to taking up her appointment as Chief Secretary on 1 February 2020, Winsome held the position of Assistant Chief Secretary for the Australia Territory. Additionally, she also held the position of Director on the Micah Board in 2019.

Winsome holds a Bachelor of Speech Therapy, a Master of Arts in Theological Studies as well as an Associate of Music Association (Piano).

Captain Lydia Hong

Lydia is the corps officer at Hurstville Corps in Sydney.

Prior to becoming a Salvation Army officer, Lydia held various roles in marketing with Unilever China and Unilever Australasia including brand development, consumer insight and trade marketing. She also worked for Energizer Australia as a market researcher.

Lydia holds a Bachelor of Arts (majoring in advertising) and a Bachelor of Theology. She is fluent in English and Chinese.

Lieutenant Colin Reynolds

Colin currently leads the Sunshine Corps, situated in the multi-culturally rich community of faith of Sunshine, alongside his wife, Lieutenant Phuong Reynolds.

Prior to becoming an officer, Colin worked in Homelessness Services for The Salvation Army (former Southern Territory), was the pastor of a Vietnamese Church in Melbourne and also employed at the Camberwell Corps.

He is passionate about diversity and partnering with God through The Salvation Army, to make an impact on the community.

Colin currently serves on the Gender Equity Advisory Group (The Salvation Army Australia Territory), the South Pacific Theological Forum and an Interfaith Committee in his local area. He is also an adjunct lecturer at The Salvation Army Eva Burrows College in the field of mission studies.

He holds a Bachelor of Theology, a Graduate Diploma in Biblical Studies and a Master of Theological Studies.

Mr Greg Couttas

Greg brings to the Board significant finance and risk management expertise, having served as a senior audit partner at Deloitte for 28 years, until his retirement in November 2016.

He held several senior management roles at Deloitte, including Managing Partner for New South Wales from 2005 to 2008. Greg also served as a member of the Deloitte Australia Board from 2005 to 2016 and was Chairman of the firm’s Audit and Risk Committee for 11 years.

He is currently Chairman of Hireup Holdings and Director of Sydney Water Corporation, Virtus Health, Victoria Power Networks and SA Power Networks.

He holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting and Finance), is a Fellow of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand and a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Mr Adrian Appo, OAM

Adrian is the CEO of First Australians Capital, an Australian Advisory Board on Impact Investing, Children’s Ground and Social Ventures Australia.

A Gooreng Gooreng man, Adrian served in the Royal Australian Air Force and is a graduate of the University of Sydney, Melbourne Business School and Harvard University.

He has been awarded the Defence Service Medal, Centenary Medal and Order of Australia Medal.

Ms Desley Hargreaves, PSM

Desley holds extensive experience in public service – as a social work practitioner and senior executive in both social work and administrative leadership positions in Centrelink and Department of Human Services.

She was a member of the Social Program Board of The Salvation Army Eastern Territory (prior to the formation of the Australian Territory). She has been a non-executive director of the National Governance Board since 2018. Currently, she works as a consultant social work practitioner with a focus on social work practice, leadership and disaster response and recovery.

Desley holds a Bachelor of Social Work and is a member of the Australian Association of Social Workers.

Ms Felicity Natoli

Felicity is a group senior manager in the Financial Services Group at the Australian Securities and Investment Commission.

Throughout her legal career, Felicity has worked in senior roles in the private, corporate and government sectors. She assisted in establishing and managing a prison post release support program for The Salvation Army in Tasmania and is actively involved in the Hobart Corps of The Salvation Army.

Felicity holds a Bachelor of Laws and was admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Tasmania in 1991, the High Court of Australia in 1993 and the Supreme Court of Victoria in 1999. She also holds a Diploma of Education and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

The Board is supported by five Committees, Cabinet and the Executive Mission Council:

Committees

Audit and Risk Committee

The purpose of this committee is to ensure the integrity of the financial statements, risk management framework and the system of internal controls, so that they align with The Salvation Army’s values and meet its legislative and regulatory obligations.

Nominations Committee

The purpose of this committee is to fairly and objectively identify and nominate suitably qualified candidates for appointment to the Board.

Pastoral Committee

The purpose of this committee is to improve the depth and breadth of the spiritual life of The Salvation Army in Australia, and guide the movement so that it operates in accordance with its God-given mission – “Share the love of Jesus by caring for people, creating faith pathways, building healthy communities and working for justice.”

Professional Standards Committee

The purpose of this committee is to define and promote, within The Salvation Army, the world’s best practice response to allegations of abuse and ensure that The Salvation Army is actively enhancing child safety within the Australian community.

Quality and Safety Committee

The purpose of this committee is to define and promote a culture of continuous quality improvement and consumer safety that aligns with The Salvation Army’s values and meets its legislative and regulatory obligations.

 

Executive Mission Council

The Executive Mission Council is responsible for managing the implementation and delivery of Board-approved strategies, compliance with Board-approved policies and providing advice and assistance to the Trustees to enable The Salvation Army to achieve its mission.

The Executive Mission Council is comprised:

Position Name
Chief Secretary (Chair) Colonel Winsome Merrett
Assistant Chief Secretary Colonel Kelvin Merrett
Secretary for Mission Lt-Colonel Lyn Edge
Secretary for Business Administration Lt-Colonel Stuart Evans
Secretary for Personnel Lt-Colonel Chris Reid
Secretary for Communications Lt-Colonel Neil Venables
Assistant to the Chief Secretary - Governance Portfolio Major Darren Elkington
Chief Financial Officer Maria DiGregorio
Chief Human Resources Officer Penny Lovett 
Group Executive Mission Enterprises Jeff Davey
Divisional Commanders Lt-Colonel Bruce Stevens (VIC)
Lt-Colonel Miriam Gluyas (NSW/ACT)
Lt-Colonel David Godkin (QLD)
Major Bradley Potter (WA)
Captain Lance Jeffrey (SA/NT)
Captain Kim Haworth (TAS)

 

The Salvation Army acknowledges the Traditional Owners of country throughout Australia and recognises their continuing connection to land, waters and community. We pay our respects to them and their cultures; and to elders both past and present.

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