Program Update – Monday 5 November

In this Update

    • Historic week for Salvos Stores
    • Still Others is only 4 weeks away!
    • Officers’ insights into the national transition
    • HoD profiles: Lt Col Laurie Robertson and Major Brad Halse

 And more!

Historic week for Salvos Stores

Last week Salvos Stores launched a national website and online store. Coming together as a national  organisation is opening up new opportunities for The Salvation Army in Australia to consolidate resources and strengthen our national presence.

To visit the new website, please go to

To browse the online store, please head to

The launch of the national website and online store coincided with the announcement of the national structure for Salvos Stores, a significant milestone on The Salvation Army’s journey to becoming The Australia Territory.

Officers’ insights into the national transition       

Pictured L-R: Lieutenant Kate Cathcart, Captain Carolyn O’Brien, Lieutenant Ronald Stobie, Captain Naomi Shelton, Major Sharon Sandercock-Brown, Captain Ashley Barkmeyer

During October a further six officers were seconded to the Transition Support Team, offering their expertise and experience on the journey to the Australia Territory. They are among 32 officers who spent four weeks working as part of the Transition Support Team this year and they have generously shared their experiences of working on the program.

CAPTAIN NAOMI SHELTON, Manager Homelessness Services, SalvoConnect Barwon, VIC.

Why did you apply for the OTST? I immediately caught the vision for the unified Australia Territory and wanted to participate in the process of such a large transformation. I saw it as an opportunity to gain new insights into the big picture and to have a voice from a social program context.

What has encouraged you? I have really enjoyed working alongside project managers and engaging in conversation about The Salvation Army in my local context. They are invested in helping to set The Salvation Army up for its best future. I don’t think we could complete this transformation without their expertise.

LIEUTENANT KATE CATHCART, Corps Officer, Atherton Tablelands Corps, QLD.

What have you learnt? I’ve learnt some really cool tricks with Excel (laughs). But I’ve also learnt a lot about project management. We did project management classes and were shown a range of tools that we’ll be able to use back in our own appointments. It’s been so helpful to be able to watch those tools and frameworks applied in real life during our time here.

What have you enjoyed most? I’ve loved the opportunity to work with and get to know a range of people across the Salvos space in Melbourne and hear about how the Salvos looks in their setting. I’ve particularly enjoyed the time with the other officers on secondment – they have been my family this month.

All together, from the relationship building to learning, it’s been a pretty awesome experience.

CAPTAIN CAROLYN O’BRIEN, Corps Officer, Sydney Congress Hall, NSW.

Why did you apply for the OTST? I wanted to know more about what was happening with the Australia One transition process and meet some of the Southern Territory officers. In a way it was a fact finding mission, to help me get a better idea of what was happening, so that I could relate an accurate picture back to the Corps.

What have you learnt? I’ve learnt quite a bit about project management and have been given a few tools to take back with me. I think I’ve grown in appreciation for the complexity of the organisation. There’s so much more to everything than what you see at the front line.

LIEUTENANT RONALD STOBIE, Corps Officer, Baldivis, WA.

What has encouraged you? I have been encouraged by the amount of thought that is going into the transition. We are working with professionals and they are committed to making The Salvation Army the best that it can be.

What have you learnt? Even though there are many decisions being made, the transition support teams work hard to give the best possible information for leadership to make the decisions. I can see that these people have a heart for The Salvation Army.


Why did you apply for the OTST? I wanted to know what was happening with Australia One first hand.

What has encouraged you? That the Salvation Army has employed experts to ensure the process of joining the territories together and the new structure is efficient and effective.

CAPTAIN ASHLEY BARKMEYER, Corps Officer, Life Community Church and Logan Mission Centre, QLD.

Why did you apply for the OTST? I wanted to gain a better understanding of the transition project. From a local level we were seeing decisions impact people and could see that there was pain and confusion. I wanted to get a bigger picture of the project so that I could make informed decisions and communicate and advocate from a first-hand perspective.

What have you learnt? I have learnt that this transition is a long and evolving journey. What has to be accomplished to have two territories become one is massive and complex to say the least. It is also a change of culture that has existed for 100 years in Australia of ’how we do things‘. While some operational aspects may be changing, the essence of our mission is not. Like a lot of people I have days when I wonder why certain decisions have been made by The Salvation Army, but I choose to trust in God and keep him in my focus.

The Transition Support Team would like to thank the officers for their valuable contributions.

100 Days of Prayer & Devotion – bringing renewal   

100 Days of Prayer & Devotion continues, with Salvos around the country engaging in daily reflection and prayer.

Retired officer, Major Margaret Dobbie has been reading the materials since Day 1. Margaret says, “It has been a journey of rich growth, increased hope and strengthened faith. I love reading other people’s points of views as they share personally about their faith journey.”

Major Heather Unicomb, Corps Officer, Port Macquarie Corps distributed the materials to her congregation via facebook, email and printed booklets and says she has received positive responses from across the generations.

One corps member said, “The prayers are so different to how I usually pray. I was in a bit of a rut, now I’m praying differently.”

Another said, “I wasn’t consistent in my prayer, but reading these each morning is helping me, I haven’t missed one yet.”

It’s not too late to get involved. To download the resources, please head to:

The materials can also be accessed via Facebook. If you have a Facebook account, simply ‘like’ to see the daily posts.

Ready, set…donate! 

Just another reminder that episode 1 of Don’t Stop the Music will be screened on ABC TV this weekend on Sunday 11 November at 7.40pm. 

Featuring the Salvos’ Just Brass program, Don’t Stop the Music follows the lives of children at Challis Primary school in Armadale, Western Australia as they learn how to play music – share in their struggles, tears and joy.

Following the series, there will be a national campaign for donations of musical instruments to Salvos Stores. With the help of volunteers and partners, the instruments will be repaired and provided to Just Brass and Musica Viva for school programs throughout Australia. It’s a great opportunity to clear out the cupboards!

Employee Assistance Program 

The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is an independent third party counselling service available to officers, employees and members of their immediate family, free of charge.

Individuals can receive up to six counselling sessions each year from psychologists, counsellors, pastoral care counsellors, social workers and other professionals.

We recognise that the transition is a time of disruption and can be challenging, so would encourage anyone to get in touch to discuss any issues of concern. To make an appointment or learn more, please telephone 1300 687 327 or head to

HoD Profile: Lt Col Laurie Robertson  

Introducing Lt Colonel Laurie Robertson, National Head of Editorial, Publishing & Broadcasting (Editor-in-Chief).

You are the National Head of Editorial, Publishing & Broadcasting (Editor-in-Chief). What does this mean?
I have responsibility for a number of editorial and broadcasting streams, including The Salvation Army magazines (Others, Warcry and Kidzone), and their online expressions. I also have responsibility for book publishing, video production, Salvation Army museums and the radio program Light and Life, which is a once a week segment, broadcast by a few hundred radio stations.

What were you doing before you took on this role?
Before moving into this appointment I spent eight months as the National Secretary for Government Relations, and previous to that appointment I was the AUE Territorial Program Secretary.

How would you describe yourself in three words?
Questioning – Innovative – Joyful

Describe your ideal day off
Of course, it would involve spending time with my amazing wife. As an avid reader, I would probably do some reading. In each of the past two years I have read more than 70 books. Some of these are sci-fi books, while others are about leadership and Christian discipleship.

What do you like about working for The Salvation Army?
This is my calling. I enjoy the opportunities God gives me to make a positive impact on the individuals I come into contact with through my ministry. In my current role it’s great to be using my journalistic abilities – God called me to journalism and officership as a 15-year-old, 48 years ago.

What’s the most exciting thing you’re working on at the moment?
It is exciting to help the Editorial Publishing and Broadcasting team members expand their view. I’m encouraging them to look at innovative ways to share the stories that God wants to tell. It is our role to tell the stories, to communicate God’s inspiring work in the world. In a sense, we are also historians, documenting and capturing these stories in this time and place so people now and in the future will embrace our loving Saviour.

Is there anything that you would like to say to Salvos around the country at this time?
Over 30 years ago God spoke to me very clearly about the two Australian territories coming together. At the time I felt he was challenging me to play my part. For me, this journey we are now on is the fulfilment of a vision given so long ago. So while there is both pain and joy in this process, please try to keep your focus on God. I firmly believe this coming together is his plan.

HoD Profile: Major Brad Halse

Introducing Major Brad Halse, National Head of Government Relations.

You are the National Head of Government Relations. What does this mean?
This role involves engaging with various people in politics, who are mostly people outside of The Salvation Army. A key activity in this role involves building working relationships with politicians; especially those who hold relevant portfolios that engage with The Salvation Army’s expressions. I help to provide pathways between the people involved in government and our people on the ground. We work in areas as diverse as homelessness, domestic violence, aged care, Doorways… the list is long.

What were you doing before you took on this role?
I was the Territorial Government Relations Director in Australia for some years. I then moved to International Headquarters in London where I was Communications Secretary. For a short time following my return to Australia I assisted Lieutenant-Colonel Neil Venables as Assistant National Communications Secretary before being appointed in this role. I have been lucky to work in roles that involve connecting with a wide range of people who represent diverse political and business backgrounds.

Describe your ideal day off
Ideally it would include some reading and some reflection. Perhaps some origami, or yoga…I’m a big fan.

I enjoy time with family and good friends – maybe I’d watch a good film, or some football.

Gospel and blues music in a small venue would be an alright way to finish off the day.

What’s the most exciting thing you’re working on at the moment?
Not sure that I would say exciting, but I have recently had the opportunity to meet with various Federal Ministers regarding our social services and other related matters. The core of what I do is relationship building, ensuring that the people I interact with know who The Salvation Army serves, and what we try to do.

Is there anything that you would like to say to Salvos around the country at this time?
I’d encourage all Salvos to swim against the current. We should all strive to be people of integrity, particularly in a world that is becoming very superficial and self-centred. We need to be genuine in our interactions with the people we serve. Enough of the sermon, I’ll end the rant here!

Still Others is only 4 weeks away!

Still Others will run from 27 November to 3 December 2018 at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

We are looking for a whole army of volunteers to fill a host of needs. If you’re interested, please visit to register.

Still Others will host a range of events including Our Purpose Together, a night of worship and celebration on Wednesday 28 November, and To Walk Alongside, a panel discussion with people from across the Australian community. Check out for find out more.

Stay in touch 

You can keep up to date with the latest news and information about the national transition program by visiting our website (, or via Others magazine ( online or in printed copy).

You can also contact us directly through our mailbox:

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