At our September AGM the 2023 Board was welcomed in. We’d love you to meet them. As you read you will see we are committed to AFCNA’s vision and mission. 

Chairperson & Public Officer: Anne van Loon

Dr. Antonia van Loon RN, CertIV(TrngAssmnt),CertIV(ChapPastCare), DipAppSc(CtyHlthNsg), BN, MN(Research), PhD

I retired from Baptist Care (SA) in early 2023 after a decade as the Senior Project Manager/ Consultant in Health and Wellbeing services. My role involved the development of strong and vibrant health and pastoral care ministries with the most vulnerable members in our community working with Baptist Churches in South Australia.

My professional background: I am a Registered Nurse with almost 50 years of work experience. I started in 1974 working in tertiary hospitals (Royal Adelaide Hospital and Flinders Medical Centre). I specialised in Accident & Emergency nursing (about 11 years), then worked in the tertiary education sector at University of South Australia and Flinders University (about 10 years) lecturing undergraduate and postgraduate nursing and health sciences students. I undertook a research based Masters at Flinders University with a focus on “Spirituality and Healthcare”, followed by a research-based Doctorate developing a model of Faith Community Nursing for Australian Christian churches. I consolidated my research career at RDNS (SA) a community nursing provider, as their Senior Researcher. Here I undertook a decade of research and program evaluation. The research worked with vulnerable clients (women survivors of child sexual abuse, the homeless, people living with addiction, mental illness, chronic conditions, disability and those requiring community palliative care). This background has led me to the realisation that Jesus’ church has so much to offer a hurting world by way of holistic health promotion, disease/injury/abuse prevention, and compassionate care giving that supports, empowers and enables people to transition back into fullness of life with Christ and his people. This is the catalyst and motivation for my continued involvement in AFCNA.

I am passionate about the opportunities faith community care ministries offers churches to engage with their community via outreach activities that promote health and wellbeing, and bring healing and transformation. I am actively involved in my local Christian church and continue to use my nursing skills in a range of volunteer and pro-bono roles.

Treasurer: Gretha van Eck

I am a retired Customer Service Officer with experience in the superannuation and wealth management sector as well as in the public service.  My husband and I have operated our own building/construction business for 30 years where I deal with the financial management, project management, payroll, taxation, legal obligations and necessary government reporting in the ever-changing business environment.

I am an active volunteer, working as a church treasurer for 10 years and now volunteering in an ongoing capacity as the treasurer of the Australian Faith Community Nurses Association since 2019.  I have a heart to help people and I am involved in pastoral care within my local church community.

National Mentor & Administrative Secretary: Millie Davey

Millie Davey RGN, RMHN, GradDipThFCN

I originally trained as a Registered General Nurse and then specialised as a Registered Mental Health Nurse. I have around 15 years of clinical experience working within the inpatient mental health unit at the Royal Adelaide Hospital followed by 10 years working with the Adelaide Hills Community Mental Health Services. I currently work in Murray Bridge, South Australia in regional community mental health care. I completed the Graduate Diploma in Theology (Faith Community Nursing) at Australian Lutheran College in 2003 and I am passionate about what this role offers individuals and communities.

My professional experience has led me to a deeper understanding of the current health care gaps that are particularly prevalent in rural areas. This is often due to limited resources which contribute to health care gaps. The solutions require innovative, cost effective, sustainable ways of working that involve the community. I believe we have exciting opportunities to support recovery and create flourishing individuals and communities by working with the people in our local communities

I am the current administrative secretary of AFCNA and I am well supported by Leah Heggie who is our amazing minute secretary for AFCNA Board meetings.

Board Members

Peter Heggie

My name is Peter and I am a Carer and a Peer Worker in the Casual Pool in the Mental Health Drug and Alcohol Team with Macquarie Hospital. I can be called anywhere in the Northern Sydney Local Health District (NSLHD) as needs arise.

In my carer role I bring my lived experience of caring for a loved one whose life is impacted by mental illness. As a carer I work with my loved one and I seek to model recovery using a strength-based approach as she experiences her own unique and personal recovery journey.

I bring a lived experience voice to the AFCNA Board and to several other organisations which is a powerful tool for creating change and continuous improvement.  I am keen to highlight two key phrases “Be curious, ask us because we have answers that work!” and “Do what works!”

I represent Carers Australia on the National Mental Health Consumer Carer Forum (NHMCCF).  I am also a peer educator with Western Sydney Recovery College and work as a consultant with Monash Partners and Project Air. I am passionate about seeing hope translated into action in people’s lives where they can find ways to contribute and live meaningful lives with the presence of continuing mental illness.  I am motivated by seeing people recover and this gives me joy and inspiration.

I am keen to see research and practice that delivers effective, life-changing outcomes for people wherever they are and whatever circumstances. I am a creative and curious person who is eager to ask questions like “How can we do that in a different way?” and “What else might we do?”

Joanne Rich

I am a Registered Nurse and I also have Bachelor of Midwifery. In my early career I worked as an Anaesthetic Nurse in a large metropolitan hospital in Adelaide. In the past 15 years I have worked on several state-wide ‘special’ health-related projects in South Australia, often liaising with clinical, builder and project staff.  This included working on the Commissioning team for the Technical Suites of the new Royal Adelaide Hospital, one of Australia's largest building projects. In my current role at Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network (RMCLHN) I am the Regional Activation Clinical Lead for the Electronic Medical Record (EMR) roll out. My focus is to always consider the patient/person at the centre of all I do, whether it is training and equipping staff or ensuring project impacts are the least disruptive to the patients.

I hope I can bring some of my broad nursing and project skills to the AFCNA board and especially the Digital upgrade we are currently working on this year. What a gifted and dedicated group we have on the board! I am blessed to be part of it! I'm hopeful that we can expand into the community throughout this year and continue to grow as an association to be used for God's purposes. I look forward to what He is doing in and through AFCNA.

Vicky Legge RN, Cert IV TAE, Cert IV CPC, Cert IV Youth Work, DipAppSci(P&O), GradCert(NgComHlth&Dev),  GradCert(ChronicCondMgmt)

I am an RN with 30 years of experience. The past 20 years have been focused on chronic condition management. I worked for a decade with Baptist Care SA in the role of training and development of various health and community care topics. I recently completed the project coordination of a funded pilot project that saw the implementation of a Pastoral Care Nurse role and Health Navigator volunteers, who are focused on supporting people experiencing homelessness with management of their health.

I also work as a Chronic Condition Management Consultant, drawing on my experience as a person living with chronic illness and my additional health professional qualifications.  I am accredited in the Flinders Chronic Condition Management ProgramTM. I am passionate about seeing systemic change in this area, so I am studying a Master in Public Health (Chronic Condition Management) at Flinders University in South Australia.

My passion for AFCNA is to see churches develop their Faith Community Care ministries and for nurses to embrace the Faith Community Nursing role, because it has such potential to really help people with chronic conditions to self-manage and live abundant lives! (It will also save our health system a lot of money!) I’m currently responsible for AFCNA Digital Strategy.

New Zealand Representative

Helen Vaughan

God called me to Faith Community Nursing ministry in 2007. I have practiced as a Faith Community Nurse (FCN) in two previous churches and I am currently beginning a new FCN ministry, as I recently moved churches.  I have been involved in New Zealand, where I now live, and in Australia where I lived between 2010 and 2013.

I have participated in the leadership of both the Australian and the New Zealand Faith Community Nurses Associations. Unfortunately, the NZ Association has recently dissolved but we expect that in God’s time, it will be reawakened. I have always been interested in the international aspects of Faith Community Nursing and have had the privilege of attending the World Forum of FCNs representing New Zealand, and I went in person to the Westberg Symposium in Memphis USA in 2018.

I am currently representing New Zealand on the Board of AFCNA to bring a ‘Kiwi’ perspective into deliberations and activities.