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The Revd Cathy Turnbull appointed on secondment to assist with Diocesan Bushfire response

January 31st, 2020

We are pleased to announce that The Revd Cathy Turnbull has been appointed to aid with the Bushfire Recovery in the Diocese of Gippsland.

Cathy has been released part-time on secondment for this ministry by the Parish of Christ Church Essendon, where she serves as Assistant Curate. We are deeply indebted to the Vicar, Fr John Mathes, and his people for this expression of support.

Cathy participated in a meeting of Diocesan Staff in Sale last week, and spent Thursday of last week with Bishop Richard visiting Lakes Entrance and Orbost (pictured above, Cathy - middle) where she interacted with clergy, volunteers, community leaders, and others in fire-affected communities.

Cathy grew up in East Gippsland at Tambo Upper near Bruthen, attending St Matthew’s during her formative years, and has family in the region. Her niece is the captain of the Mossi-Tambo Fire Brigade which has been heavily impacted by the fire in their brigade area. Cathy is also a trained Victorian Council of Churches Emergency Ministries Chaplain, having been a volunteer for more than ten years.

A permanent or distinctive Deacon, Cathy felt called to the diaconate following her work with communities and individuals affected by the 2009 bushfires. She spent four years helping with immediate fire recovery and with building up both individual and community resilience mostly in the Mitchell Shire area, working out of Christ Church Kilmore in the Wangaratta Diocese.

Cathy is passionate about her calling to help parishes deepen links into the community and is looking forward to working with the Diocese of Gippsland, supporting our clergy and people in the short- and longer- term. She will be engaged for three days a week for up to six months, working with Bishop Richard and the Archdeacons and Regional Deans, and with fire affected parishes and communities in the eastern region.
Her role will include an administrative component with the Registrar around the sourcing and deployment of resources, communications, and liaising with the wider Province, Anglican Communion, and other partner organisations.

Cathy is mindful, as we all are, that the impact of the bushfires extends beyond those who have experienced their devastating effects first-hand. She is therefore keen to be available pastorally and in other capacities to anyone in the Diocese (as referred by our clergy and lay leaders) who has been traumatised or re-traumatised by recent events, and who may be confronting the challenges of economic stress and other corollaries of the crisis. She can be contacted through Bishop Richard and members of Diocesan Staff, the Registry Office, or directly at:

Please make Cathy welcome as she moves around the Diocese over the coming months.
We are grateful for her readiness to respond to this call, and to the Province and her Parish in Melbourne for making it possible for her to do so at very short notice.