Join the Being a Multicultural Circle and Assembly Resourcing Unit for our fifth webinar looking at the Church and COVID-19.
The topic of this webinar is Domestic Violence. Our speakers will examine the increasing risk of Domestic and Family Violence in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and how different cultures engage differently in difficult issues.
The webinar will take place on Thursday 29 October from 7-8.30pm AEDT.
Our speakers will include:
Pr Ofa (Milise) Foiakau
Pr Levon Kardashian
Theological Listener: Dr Deidre Palmer
Moderator: Rev. Dr Matagi Vilitama
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
Learn more about our panel below
Alison Overeem, Leprena Centre Manager, Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress (UAICC Tasmania)
Alison Overeem is a proud palawa woman from South-East Tasmania who is driven by culture, family, empowerment and creating safe spaces to build hope and dignity. Alison is passionate about raising awareness of Aboriginal culture and history and the rights of women in society. As a result, Alison has been a member of the Tasmanian Women’s Council since 2015. In 2013, Alison was appointed as the Leprena Centre Manager, Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress (UAICC Tasmania). Alison has made numerous contributions to publications and resources to promote National Aboriginal and Islander Children’s Day and culturally inclusive practice models of service delivery for Aboriginal communities. Alison’s membership of the National Aboriginal and Islander and Childcare Executive enabled her to provide representations on issues impacting children and families in Tasmania. She is a panel member of the Assembly Walking Together as First and Second Peoples Circle
Pr Ofa (Milise) Foiakau, PULSE Field Officer, NSW/ACT Synod
Milise Ofatuimoe’amanaki Foiakau, known by most as Ofa, is a young Fijian Australian and a member of the Parramatta Leigh Fijian Congregation. She is a member of the PULSE team in the NSW/ACT Synod, seeking to help grow Christian communities where Emerging Gens thrive. Ofa is the contact person for Sydney Presbytery, Parramatta-Nepean Presbytery, Macquarie Darling Presbytery and Congress within the team. She is a big advocate of having young voices heard in our church and in the wider community. In October 2020 she was inducted into the Ministry of Pastor.
Pr Levon Kardashian, Multicultural Project Officer, Presbytery of South Moreton, QLD Synod
Levon was born in Beirut, Lebanon and is of Armenian origins. He studied engineering, marketing and management and IT. Before becoming a candidate and getting his M.Div. he worked in graphic design and publishing. His first placement was in a country parish on the border of Syria and Turkey. After moving to Australia Levon did further theological studies and got involved in cross-cultural ministry. Levon has worked with victims of domestic violence, especially children affected by DFV for over 25 years. In Australia, he has worked with refugees providing pastoral care, and was the domestic violence awareness project officer of the Social Justice Forum with Uniting NSW. Currently, he is the multicultural project officer for the South Moreton Presbytery in the Synod of Queensland and an active member of the Queensland Churches Together commission on DFV, the Joint Churches Domestic Violence Prevention Project (JCDVPP), where he assists in updating and presenting of the workshops.
Dr Deidre Palmer, President, Uniting Church in Australia Assembly
Dr Deidre Palmer has had a long and distinguished career as an academic and Christian educator in Australia and the United States. Deidre is a senior lecturer in Christian Education at Flinders University School of Theology and the Adelaide College of Divinity. She completed her Masters in Religious Education at Duke University in North Carolina, and her Ph.D. at Boston College, going on to hold several academic posts including serving on the faculty of Perkins School of Theology in Dallas teaching Christian Education. Deidre remains an adjunct faculty member for Uniting College of Leadership and Theology, teaching Christian education and ministry with families and children. Deidre is also a social worker who completed a Masters of Social Work at Flinders University before working part-time for four-and-a-half years as a counsellor with Uniting Communities in their Childhood Sexual Abuse Counselling team. She served as Moderator of the UCA Synod of South Australia from 2013 to 2016 and is a member of Rosefield Uniting Church in Adelaide. The theme Deidre has chosen for her three years as President is “Abundant Grace, Liberating Hope”.
Rev Dr Matagi Vilitama, Mission & Leadership Presbytery Minister, Georges River Presbytery, NSW/ACT Synod
Matagi hailed from Niue Island in the liquid continent. He was a member of the PCC executive committee for many years representing small churches in the Pacific. A Minister of the Georges River Presbytery, NSW, he has served in CALD congregations for the past 11 years. He is a former Chairperson of the Niue National Conference, and Advocate of th Assembly’s Being a Multicultural Circle of Interest. Matagi is passionate about cross cultural ministry and loves all things aesthetic. Art and design was his background before entering ministry and he continues to dabble in the creative space.