What is a Chaplain?

The contemporary Chaplain is essentially an individual of faith such as Priest, Rabbi, Imam, or Minister who is accredited and authorised by his or her faith body and assigned to serve primarily with the Defence Forces, hospitals, police, schools, universities and other institutions. The organisations to which chaplains are assigned determine the chaplaincy model, whether it be ecumenical, Multi-Faith or of a specific faith.

Chaplains come from all walks of life but become chaplains primarily because they care about people.

Our Multi-Faith Chaplains

A team of people from different faith communities is available to share with you some of your life experiences at the University of Queensland.

  • Anglican

    We currently do not have a dedicated chaplain on staff but would be happy to connect you to a pastor, priest, imam or rabbi. Please call the Multi faith Chaplaincy on (07) 3365 7059 or email chaplaincy@uq.edu.au
  • Baha'i

    Azita Golbarani

    Born in Iran, I left to Pakistan due to persecution of the Baha'is after the 1979 relevation. Not long after I moved to Australia and completed a diploma in Applied Science in Nursing at Sydney College of Advanced Education. I have been actively involved in conducting Bahai Education in State Schools known as BESS. I have had the bounty of teaching in a number of state schools including , Ferny Grove, Eaton hills , Northlakes  , Strathpine West , and Samford.  Since March 2015 I have been holding and offering Baha'i devotions for humanity at the Chappell of multi faith in Wednesday from 12 noon to 1 pm followed by Bahai studies circles to students who have an attitude of learning.  
     
  • Baptist

    Rev Thong Ng

    Rev Thong was born in China, but grew up in Malaysia. Thong is passionate about partnership and networking between East and West. He is excited about the changing face of Australia and enjoys his Chaplaincy work at UQ where he connects International Students to local Aussies. He is a true “international” - loving all kinds of food and people.
     
    He did his university studies in Engineering, Business and Administration in New Zealand. He has also done further theological training in NZ, Australia and America. Thong is married to Anthea, a Kiwi and they have three children. If you’re new at UQ, why not pop in and have a chat with him? He is generally available on Thursdays.
     
  • Buddhist (Pureland)

    Venerable Wu Chin

    Amituofo! I’m Venerable Wu Chin. My past training is in Mechanical Engineering and I also took a postgraduate diploma in education. Currently, I’m residing at the Pure Land Learning College Assoc. Inc. in Toowoomba doing mainly teaching, translation, and interfaith work.

    I visit the campus mostly on Tuesdays from 11 am to 2 pm. There are good principles in Buddhism that we can rely on to lead a fulfilling life, whether in work, studies, or human relationships. You are welcome to find out more at our Tuesday Buddhism sharing-discussion sessions at Bldg 38 from 1 to 2 pm. The sessions are available during school terms.

    Please email me at wuchin2004@yahoo.com if you need to see me.

    www.amtb.net.cn
    www.chinkung.org
    www.amtbcollege.org
    www.purelandcollege.org.au
    www.hwadzan.org.tw

     
  • Buddhist (Theravada)

    Venerable Sudhamma

    Ven. Nadimale Sudhamma (Neranjala Weerakoon pre-ordination) was born to a devout Buddhist family in Sri Lanka and migrated to Australia in 1991. She completed her Master of Education from QUT in 1995 after obtaining a Bachelor of Teaching and Graduate Certificate in Applied Linguistics, from the Griffith University. Before ordination Ven. Sudhamma was an Educationalist who resided in Botswana and United Arab Emirates.   Whilst living in Australia, Ven. Sudhamma taught at numerous primary schools in Brisbane.  She left her career as a teacher to become a Theravada Buddhist Nun in 2010.  In 2008, prior to her ordination, the Venerable was the founding principal of the Yasodhara Sinhala Language School at the SLBM, Brisbane.  
     
    Ven. Sudhamma is the Chief Nun and Vice President of the Sri Subodha Meditation (Retreat) Centre in Sri Lanka.   She is the founder of a Sri Lankan school for disadvantaged Buddhist nuns who may otherwise not receive an education.   She is a senior teacher and Deputy Principal of both Dhamma and Sinhala schools at the Sri Lankan Buddhist Monastery.  Ven. Sudhamma is also an active Committee Member of the Australian Sanga Association. Ven. Sudhamma is passionate about working and helping students in a multi-faith environment. She is a keen educator and supporter of students.  Ven. Sudhamma enjoys discussing all facets of Buddhist philosophy, no matter how simple or complex. She believes that a calm and peaceful state of mind is conducive to both mental and physical wellbeing, in order to be healthier, happier and live more fulfilling lives.
     
    She encourages and invites students to attend the following sessions held at the Multi-faith Centre in room 105 (near the prayer space):
    • Tuesdays 2-3pm: Guided walking and sitting meditation classes 
    • Tuesdays 3-4pm: Talks on Buddhism  
    Residence: Dhamma Peace Monastery in Richlands
  • Hindu

    Umesh Chandra

    Umesh Chandra has been a founder member, past president and life member of Hindu Society of QLD, Inc. He is the convenor of the weekly prayer meetings at our centre situated at 178 Lyndhurst Road, Boondall. The continuity of the weekly prayer meetings, which was first convened 17 years ago, is a credit to Umesh as it is through his initiative and efforts that it is still being conducted regularly. He has attended many multi-faith forums and is well-versed with the Hindu religion and culture. He is competent as a spiritual leader and advisor who has the ability to relate the Hindu faith to the special needs of the university students. Umesh has participated in various Multi-Faith events locally and internationally.

     
  • Hope Church

    Lai Ling Lim

    Lai Ling LIM was a former Malaysian, arrived in Melbourne, Australia in 1985 to pursue her Economics/Accounting degree at Monash University. She is married to Dr Wilson Lim (a former research scientist at CSIRO) who is the Senior Pastor of Hope Church Brisbane.  They are blessed with three wonderful children. She leads, trains and equips members of the Hope Church Brisbane and Hope International Ministries with aspects of pastoral care, prayer, intercession, counselling ministries. 
    She enjoys interacting with people of various ages; in particular the university students as she was once an international student herself. Her heart is to see young people thrive in their lives, fulfil their potential in life, career, family etc.
     
    Educational Background
    Bachelor of Economics (Accounting) from Monash University
    Diploma in Biblical Theology and Ministries from Rhema Bible College at Townsville, Diploma in Community Services (Christian Counselling) from Missions Australia
    Hobbies
    Reading, prayer, spending time with family, connecting with people, community work, baking and travelling
     
  • Jehovah's Witness

    Jonathan Ward

    I have been married to my wife Amy since 2011, we have one child and we live nearby in the Taringa area. I am employed as a lawyer for a non-profit community legal centre. My qualifications include Bachelor of Laws, Bachelor of Business, Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice and Advanced Diploma in Community Sector Management. In my employment, I am committed to promoting access to justice for disadvantaged and vulnerable community members. I also volunteer for non-profit community organisations that are dedicated to assisting young people in our community. 
     
    As a UQ chaplain, I enjoy connecting with people and taking the time to get to know people from a diverse range of backgrounds. I regularly study and meditate on scripture, and use it to examine my motives, habits, strengths and weaknesses and to help me make good decisions. The Bible contains the best advice on life's most difficult questions. I teach about the bible through delivering both public discourses and free private study sessions. If you would like to learn more about the bible, please contact me. 
     
    Phone: 0423901084 
    Website: www.jw.org
  • Jewish

    We currently do not have a dedicated chaplain on staff but would be happy to connect you to a pastor, priest, imam or rabbi. Please call the Multi faith Chaplaincy on (07) 3365 7059 or email chaplaincy@uq.edu.au

  • Muslim

    To be connected to our Imam, please call the Multi faith Chaplaincy on (07) 3365 7059 or email chaplaincy@uq.edu.au

  • Presbyterian

    Andrew Brown

    I studied Civil Engineering here at the University of Queensland and worked for a number of years in the field of roads and transport planning and design. After completing my theological training at Sydney Missionary & Bible College, my wife and I returned home to Brisbane to work among university students. I am an ordained elder in the Presbyterian Church and serve on the team at Kenmore Presbyterian ChurchFor many students, university life affords them the time and opportunity to ask the big questions of life – issues that shape not just their beliefs now, but their values and aspirations for the future. So I love to chat with anyone who’s interested in investigating Christianity and considering the answers the Bible gives about life.

    I’m generally on campus Tuesdays to Fridays, and I regularly attend the weekly uni bible talks hosted by the student club Evangelical Students. a.brown@uq.edu.au.

     

     
  • Roman Catholic

    Fr Domenico Muscari

    I was born in Tropea in Southern Italy. I am the youngest of three children and I grew up in a small village of Calabria, Stefanaconi. I went to Rome to the Seminary for six years and I was ordained a priest in April 2002. In my diocese in Italy, I was a youth chaplain for four years. Some highlights of my ministry have been attending four World Youth Days around the globe (including Sydney 2008). I felt the desire to increase my priestly experience outside my country so I asked my Bishop for a new adventure and I chose Australia. Now, I have been in Australia nearly two years and I have really enjoyed this new experience and the challenge of learning a new language and living in a diverse culture.

    I like most sports but my favourite is soccer, which I am not allowed to call football. I also like to travel. As an Italian, I enjoy a good coffee. It has to be short, strong and hot. I have discovered in my life that faith is more than something to learn: it is a journey to live. Many men and women, friends of mine, have helped me to recognise in this special journey, despite the trials and tough times, God’s love and care. I am looking forward to meeting you and sharing this special individual journey. We can help one another to feel the goodness of God. Ciao!!!

     

     
  • Seventh Day Adventist

    Darrin Parker

    Darrin Parker is both a law student and a university chaplain. He has more than 25 years experience in various chaplaincy roles including emergency services,  hospital, industrial and school chaplaincy. He grew up in Papua New Guinea, speaks Pidgin-English and some Motu. He currently pastors a multicultural church attended both by Australians and people from the balkans. He has a passion for justice and is employed in the Trust Services (legal) department of the Seventh-day Adventist church. In his spare time Darrin and his wife Leeta enjoy nature photography.

     

    Pr. Joseph Khabbaz

    Pr. Joseph Khabbaz was ordained a Seventh-day Adventist minister in 2013. He is the Seventh-day Adventist associate youth director for tertiary chaplaincy in the South QLD Conference. Joseph Khabbaz has served as a Pastor in the South QLD Conference since 2009. Prior to his call to pastoral ministry he worked as a chartered accountant in Sydney. His studies include a Bachelor of Business in Accounting, Graduate Diploma in Business at the Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia and a Master's of Divinity from Andrews University in the United States. Joseph is married to Christina and they enjoy mission trips, discipling young adults, playing basketball and eating mediterranean food.

     
  • Uni Church

    David Pitt

    Dave is married to Tanya and has three children. He grew up in Dalby on the Darling Downs and studied I.T at UQ. David spent 4 years at Emmanuel College during his undergraduate studies at UQ and married a Grace College girl. He loves to help people think through the big questions in life and sharing the hope that can be found in Jesus Christ. He works as a Pastor full-time at Unichurch that meets on campus. He is also involved with the Scripture Union Chaplaincy Committee at Ironside State School.

    He’s around on campus most days and is happy to buy anyone a coffee if they’d like a chat.

    His mobile is 0407 571 100 and email is dave@unichurch.com.au.

     

    John Lew

    John Lew

    I'm an Australian-Born Chinese from Sydney, where I studied Electrical Engineering and worked as a Software Engineer for many years. After marrying and living in Taiwan for a year, we moved here to Brisbane in 2003, where I continued to work in I.T. Following theological study at Moore Theological College back in Sydney, we've now returned to Brisbane with our two young children. I serve as International Pastor at St Lucia Bible Church (whose Unichurch congregation meets on campus at UQ).

    I'm frequently on campus to meet people. Feel free to contact me on john.lew@stluciabiblechurch.org. I'd love to meet with anyone who would like to consider how the Christian faith can apply to university life. Internationals (students, academics) are particularly welcome! Whether you're Christian or not, I'm happy to open up the Bible with you and, if you like, pray for you.

     
  • Uniting Church

    Simon Gomersall

    Hi, Simon Gomersall is my name. I’m the one of the Uniting Church chaplains at the University of Queensland and a Pastor at Toowong Uniting Church (www.toowongunitingchurch.org.au). I’ve previously worked as a teacher, youth worker, school chaplain and consultant and have post-graduate qualifications in education and theology. My wife and three kids are the great delight of my life, followed by reading, tennis, cricket and old Landrovers. My wife (a psychologist) and I have a small consultancy/training business called ‘Cahootz’ which allows us to remain involved in a number of areas we are passionate about, such as relationships, parenting, self-care and change. We are also involved in several projects to support families from extremely remote regions in Outback Queensland.

    My contact number is 0417703728 and email simon@toowongunitingchurch.org.au

    I’m normally around UQ on Wednesdays and Fridays. Feel free to be in touch if I can be of assistance in any way.

     

    Rev Peter Lockhart

    Hi my name is Peter Lockhart.

    As well as being a Uniting Church Chaplain at UQ I am the minister of St Lucia Uniting Church. We have a long history of supporting UQ students and staff. We are a small vibrant congregation who constantly welcome UQ students from all around the world into our midst. You are welcome to come and worship with us any Sunday from 9 am.

    I have a strong personal connection to UQ having already studied a B.A. and Dip. Ed. here. I am a student again studying a Doctorate.

    When I studied at UQ I lived in Cromwell College and I have maintained links to Cromwell and work with students and leadership at Cromwell as well as other residential colleges. All of this gives me a good sense of what students go through with study and what it is like to live on campus.

    My spiritual journey has been shaped by the motto of one of the schools I attended “To faith and knowledge”. This means as a follower of Jesus I have committed myself to studying the scriptures, as well as the culture and the history of the church. Using my post graduate qualifications I have had the opportunity to teach Reformation History at Trinity College Queensland which is affiliated with ACU.

    My wife is also an alumnus of UQ and works in the health sector and we have two children who are a source of joy and inspiration. I am an avid reader, especially in the fantasy and sci-fi genre, as well as this I enjoy board games and a range of sports.

    My contact email is revplockhart@bigpond.com and phone number is 0412 921 242. If you would like to meet with me please do not hesitate to get in touch. 

 

The Chapel is available for private and group worship, study, and discussions. It is equipped with Bibles, an organ, and some song books. An Overhead Projector and screen are also available upon request. Bookings can be made through St Lucia Campus.