UCA Redress Ltd, as part of The Uniting Church in Australia, commits to responding to and supporting children and vulnerable people who have suffered abuse at the hands of the Church. We are committed to redress as a justice issue, as embedded in our DNA, permeating our practice, and lived out in our actions.
We recognise redress not only as a means to addressing past wrongs, but as taking us forward as a community to a place of reconciliation with those who have suffered, where relationships are rebuilt and trust is restored in our institutions, in our leaders and in our Church.
We will hear and keep the stories.
We will apologise.
We will make change.
We look to redress to take the Church, survivors and communities to a place where all can thrive, where we have learned from – and never forget – the past.
Our Governance – Board and National Director
Anne Cross AM, Chair
Anne is an independent company director having concluded her executive career as Chief Executive of UnitingCare Queensland. In addition to her role as Chair of UCA Redress Ltd, Anne currently serves on the boards of St Vincent’s Health Australia and Opera Queensland, and is a member of the University of Queensland Senate.
She is a fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, President of the Institute’s Queensland Council and a member of the AICD National Board. Anne was appointed as an Adjunct Professor in the University of Queensland Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences in 2008. She received recognition in the Queen’s Birthday 2018 Honours List for significant service to the community.
Colleen Geyer, Assembly Director
Colleen is General Secretary (CEO) of the Uniting Church in Australia Assembly. She worked in executive leadership positions across the community services work of the Uniting Church for over ten years; and in leadership roles with the Uniting Church, at both state and national levels for twenty years, including serving on the Councils of the Uniting Church and numerous governance groups. Colleen has extensive experience in organisational strategy, leadership development, innovation, ethics and environmental sustainability; and building programs for culture change and engagement. She has served on local and national boards.
Peter Roach, Property Trust member director
Peter is a Non-Executive Director of several Trustee companies, Not-for-Profit Foundations and various private family groups. He was previously Chief Executive Officer of the Fairfax Family Office, Cambooya Pty Limited. Peter is a Chartered Accountant and holds a Bachelor of Commerce (UNSW), Master of Business Administration (SCU) and a Master of Letters (CQU). He is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Peter served as a Board Member of the Knox Grammar School Council and was Chair from 2013 to 2018. He is also currently a Board Member of Ravenswood School for Girls.
Robert Watson, Property Trust member director
Robert Watson has held leadership roles in the Uniting Church and its agencies and other community services agencies since the 1980s. With a background in social work and business, he is strongly committed to child protection, social justice, robust governance and the community work of the Church. As former Moderator of the Synod of Western Australia and a lay preacher, he has a deep connection to the Uniting Church and to his local community. Robert was a member of the Uniting Church’s National Task Group to respond to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and participated in decisions about the Church’s participation in the National Redress Scheme and the establishment of UCA Redress Ltd.
Melia Benn, Board appointed director
Melia is a descendent of the Mamu and Gunggandji peoples. Melia was called to the Bar in 2018 and has a dual practice in both Endeavour Chambers, Cairns and Griffith Chambers, Brisbane. Prior to joining the private Bar Melia worked as a Prosecutor for the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and as the in-house Counsel Assisting the Northern Coroner. Melia has a broad practice in criminal defence, anti-discrimination and class actions representing First Nation parties and other minority groups.
Sarah Lim, National Director
Following a career in social policy and legislation review and development in the Queensland Government, Sarah began work in UnitingCare Queensland in 2013. A large part of her role was monitoring and understanding the lessons coming out of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and how they impacted on UCQ across the breadth of its services. During this time, Sarah worked with many survivors of abuse who were seeking to engage with UCQ. Sarah is a member of the Forde Foundation Board of Advice, a foundation established by the Queensland Government to provide micro-grants to Forgotten Australians and care leavers to assist them in their needs. Sarah is deeply committed to the needs of survivors of institutional abuse and restoration of relationships for survivors, the Church and the broader community.
President Dr Deidre Palmer has affirmed the Uniting Church’s commitment to the National Redress Scheme and acknowledged the pain caused for survivors.
“For anyone who was abused in the care of the Uniting Church, in our churches, schools or agencies, I’d again like to apologise sincerely. I am truly sorry that we didn’t protect and care for you in accordance with our Christian values,” said Dr Palmer.
“Please be assured that we are working to make amends and to ensure that our Church has a strong and robust culture of child safety that empowers children and adults in our care.”
UCA Redress Ltd was established in 2018 when the Uniting Church committed to joining the National Redress Scheme. Establishing UCA Redress Ltd as a separate entity ensures a continuing focus on responding to survivors of abuse.