At our October AGM the 2020 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 and you may find out some fun facts you didn’t know about us!
Chairperson: Anne van Loon
I’m Anne van Loon, a Registered Nurse with experience in emergency and community nursing. I’ve been a university lecturer and health researcher. I currently work for Baptist Care SA where I support churches in their care of vulnerable people with education and training and resource development. I worked as a voluntary FCN in my church for 18 years until recently, but I hope to continue in the FCN role in due course.
I founded AFCNA in 1996 and have served on the Board since then. I am the Chairperson this year and I compile WholeHealth our AFCNA newsletter three times a year.
’m excited about 2020 because we have new opportunities to share this biblical ministry of health and healing undertaken by nurses with professional knowledge and skills, and a heart and attitude that reflect Jesus Christ, to a world that is craving what we offer – compassionate, informed and quality care, with time and presence, to bring holistic support of body, mind and spirit to our community.
Fun fact: I love being in my garden and out in God’s creation anywhere.
Secretary: Judy King
I’m Judy King, retired Registered Nurse with nursing experience in medical, rehabilitation and palliative care. I’ve been on the AFCNA Board for many years where I have served as Treasurer and more recently Secretary and I’m happy to be re-appointed to that role in 2020.
The availability of new digital media platforms is opening new avenues for participation with AFCNA to a broader audience. I think 2020 will be exciting as fresh education opportunities allow Christian health workers to make a meaningful difference in their community.
Fun fact: I like growing orchids, doing craft, playing croquet, and I have a cat called ‘Mr. Hissy’ because he hisses! My favourite time of the week involves taking a friend’s labradoodle ‘Blossom’, to visit people in the local residential care facility. Blossom is a much loved and very popular visitor. See Blossom below
Treasurer: Gretha van Eck
I’m Gretha van Eck and I’ve been searching for an avenue to meet my desire to make a difference in the community since I retired 10 years ago. Sure, travel has filled gaps and continues to give me great pleasure, but I wanted something more. When I was offered the chance to join AFCNA, I was delighted so I will be utilising my abilities in the Treasurer role knowing that this is where the Lord wants me to serve at this time of my life. I’ve been a volunteer treasurer in small group situations and a church treasurer for a number of years.
My prior work was in administration with Transport SA and BT Financial Group. In between positions my husband and I ran our own bricklaying business for 25 years.
AFCNA is an amazing organisation with many dedicated Christian women at the helm. With God’s leading it will continue to reflect His love for this world in 2020.
Fun fact: I have travelled to Antarctica and it is amazing!
I’m Millie Davey, a Registered General and Mental Health Nurse, and founder of SHARE-doing life together, a volunteer interdenominational church partnership initiative to support socially isolated people living with chronic mental illness in their community. Millie worked as a Registered General Nurse at Royal Adelaide Hospital before studying Mental Health Nursing. I was one of the first graduates in Faith Community Nursing (GradDipThFCN) from Australian Lutheran College. In my final semester of studies my late husband Peter, acquired severe quadriplegia. This presented a unique opportunity to apply Faith Community Nursing principles in a relevant and personal way that enabled Peter’s return home with remarkable support from many volunteers.
My desire and passion to make available individualised support that empowers people in a sustainable ways via caring Christian faith communities culminated in ‘SHARE-doing life together’ where people with a passion to care are buddied with people in the community living with mental illness and meet socially so everyone can flourish in a supportive community.
I am taking up the role AFCNA’s National Mentor in 2020 and look forward to supporting and encouraging FCN’s in their ministry so FCNs across this country can further improve health outcomes for Australians.
Fun fact: I am a keen koala spotter!
My role on AFNCA Board is to support the vision and mission in as many ways as is feasible from interstate. My prayer is that AFCNA grows in God’s timing and that its powerful mission and vision lifts soon to a fuller setting. I believe God hears this and will answer it.
My hope for AFCNA is to see new opportunities that God puts in place over the year 2020. I hope to see what God is doing rather than what I may be looking for, and I want us to partner with Him in His plans.
Fun fact: I played an RN in the 90s Australian Series “All Saints”.
Also read about how Gabi put her faith into action in 'God-given nursing opportunities in the midst of disaster'
I’m Jacqui Bowden a Registered Nurse and Registered Midwife and currently Manager Aged Care at Assured Home Care.
I consider it a privilege to be a board member, supporting the work of AFCNA, promoting God’s love and compassion to local people, local communities through the skills and expertise of nurses. Nurses offer so much throughout life’s journey. Nurses are there at birth, there for people’s passing, and are present during the times of health challenges in between. Christian nurses demonstrate God’s heart of love and hands of support to people at their times of vulnerability.
I believe 2020 will be a year of amazing opportunities for nurses to develop their practice and engage with their local churches to assist the Church to meet the needs of vulnerable people. I believe that nurses’ passion for empowering care and support will be stirred, and that we will see God’s kingdom purpose displayed. What an encouragement that will be for us but also a display of God’s love in action to a needy world.
Fun fact: I was in the John Martin’s Christmas Pageant- dressed in a Victoriana Costume. A long day but happy day! And yes I sat with Santa while he had a cup of tea and that particular Santa didn’t like mince pies!
Hi I’m Angela Uhrhane, Pastoral Care Nurse (in Aged Care current since 2008). I have been involved in Parish Nursing in the Lutheran church since 2001. I bring to the board a Lutheran faith perspective and expertise in ageing and aged care. I have a special interest in spiritual care, well-being, grief and loss, dying and death.
I hope AFCNA can grow and develop by continuing to liaise with other organisations. I’d like more Christian nurses to be inspired to put faith and nursing together. I am encouraged by modern technology and the way it enables us connect in new ways across distances. Professional development and life-long learning are areas that I can see AFCNA can continue to develop.
Fun Fact: In January 2007 our family travelled from Perth to Victoria in our caravan. We had our pet budgie on board. The car’s air conditioning broke down and we struggled to keep cool. The budgie sat on his perch with his wings out-stretched and his beak open. We stopped in Ceduna to check into the caravan park and while the car was stopped the budgie fell of his perch… We thought it was the end. We pulled into our site and plugged in our caravan power cord and put the budgie in the air conditioned van. We sprinkled him with water and resuscitated our budgie! He made it back to Victoria and lived for many more years.
I’m Joanne Rich, a Registered Nurse working as the Manager of Clinical Practice with Assured Home Care in Adelaide.
I’m on AFCNA as an enthusiastic encourager and try to help where I can with planning, and documents preparation, checking emails etc.
My hopes for AFCNA in 2020 include continuing to progress and develop robust, modern and supportive systems to see FCNs well equipped to move into the next decade with relevance and renewed passion. I truly believe FCNs are offering what everyone in the community wants and the government needs what we offer! The church wants to utilise its people’s gifts in the most effective way it can, and nurses want to be used for God’s kingdom work within the church community and the broader community. Clients benefit more than anyone because they experience Christ’s love through a FCNs service. So my hope is that with God’s guiding hand, AFCNA can become firmly established as an integral part of Australia’s caring community.
Fun Fact: I saved up and went to USA on a student exchange after year 12. On return, and in my first few months of my nursing training, I spontaneously used my days off to fly back to the USA to attend ‘the Prom’. I arranged it during my lunch break and flew out after work the same day! My work understood my plans and gave verbal approval. Flight issues beyond my control meant my return trip was delayed. On return I was accused of being AWOL and fired. I appealed my dismissal and the hospital was instructed the dismissal was unfair, so I was re-employed. They were told, what people choose to do on their days off is not the hospital’s business. I had been honest and transparent; I hadn’t taken a sick day which would have meant I wasn’t in that situation. The hospital was told they were “encouraging staff to lie”! I returned to work and stayed in their employment for 30 years. Honesty and integrity won out.
I’ m Vicky Legge, a Registered Nurse with additional qualifications and experience in community health/development, chronic condition management and education.
I’ve been on the AFCNA board since 2013 where I’ve served as treasurer and digital communications which include working on AFCNA’s website, social media, education hub and email newsletters. I’ll continue the Digital Communications role in 2020 which is an exciting and growing portfolio of responsibility.
I am passionate to see more churches embrace Faith Community Nursing because it has such potential to help people with chronic conditions to self-manage and live more abundant lives and it will save our health system a lot of money!
Fun fact: I once purchased an expensive red canary at the Victoria markets. Some months later the bird moulted and I realised its feathers had been dyed red!