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Presbytery Ministry Team

CHAIRPERSON – chair.ucagipps@gmail.com
Ron Gowland – 0419 306 601

PASTORAL Resource Minister [RM]  pastoral.ucagipps@gmail.com
Rev Jennie Gordon – 0416 152 051
& Rev Arnie Wierenga – 0419 553 434

MISSION Resource Minister/ Presbytery equipping Leadership for Mission [RM PeM] – mission.ucagipps@gmail.com
Rev Deacon Peter Batten – 0419 255 585

MISSIONAL SUPPORT Resource Minister [RM] & Presbytery Secretary – sec.ucagipps@gmail.com
Debbie Bye – 0408 499 046

CAMPING Resource Worker – Cathie Halliwell  camping.ucagipps@gmail.com  0428 223 094


PLEASE NOTE the Presbytery office phone number is 0408 499 046. This number can also receive texts.  PO BOX 88, STRATFORD  Vic 3862


Ron GowlandRon Gowland

0419 306 601

Ron Gowland is retired after spending over 40 years as a senior financial executive in industry. He has been on Synod Standing Committee for three years and Synod Finance Committee for two and a half years. Ron was a parish council chair for 10 year as well as being Presbytery of Gippsland treasurer for 13 years. He has been Lake Tyers Camp Park board chair for 19 years and on the Latrobe Community Health Audit Committee for four years. He is the former chair of the Gippsland Water and Latrobe City Audit Committees. He holds FCPA and CPA Public Practice Certificates. Ron aims to finalise the governance improvements and financial sustainability commenced three years ago.

MISSIONAL SUPPORT Resource Minister [RM] & Presbytery Secretary

Debbie Bye

Debbie Byesec.ucagipps@gmail.com  0408 499 046

Deb started out her working career as a telephonist and after several other jobs including, motel receptionist, administration jobs with Datsun and Toyota and three years as a motorcycle postie, she found her calling in Christian Radio.

After nearly a year in Hobart with 7HFC (the only licenced Christian station in Australia at the time), Deb came back home to Mackay to assist with the local aspirant Christian station and set up a church office for the Church of Christ in Mackay. She was also a driving instructor before starting with ABC Radio in Mackay.

Deb‘s radio career includes 17 years with ABC Radio, nine of those as Manager, ABC Gippsland, Victoria from 1994 to 2003 and prior to that with ABC in Mackay, Queensland. She was re-engaged by the ABC in 2016 on a casual ad-hoc basis as Content Maker.

After founding Gippsland Christian Broadcasters Inc. in 1999, and setting up Gippsland’s first and only Christian Radio Station, Deb was appointed as Life FM Gippsland’s first Station Manager/CEO on 23 June 2003. She resigned from Life FM in September 2015.

Deb does freelance media training, conference and meeting facilitation and consultancy through her company, Manna Media. She also records family and community histories and has received awards for her work in this area.

As a sideline, she also does book keeping using Reckon and Payroll Premier.

Deb holds a Diploma in Management with RMIT, a Social Media & Internet Marketing Certificate, has tutored Journalism (technical) at the University of Central Qld and conducted accredited media training for Victoria University.

Deb is an inaugural Fellow of the Gippsland Community Leadership Program Alumni and serves on the Board of the Gippsland Centre Against Sexual Assault (GCASA) – for ten years as President and currently as Minute Secretary, and is Secretary and a founding member of the Gippsland Women’s Network.

In November 2017, Deb accepted the position of part time Presbytery Secretary for the Uniting Church in Gippsland and has also subsequently (in January 2018) accepted the role of Presbytery Minister, Administration. In January 2019 she started in the new Resourcing Ministry role. Although she has moved away from broadcasting (for a time) – Deb is enjoying the challenges of the new role and is looking forward to the new adventures God has in store for her.

PASTORAL & STRATEGIC Resource Minister[RM]
Rev Arnie Wierenga

0419 553 434

Arnie WierengaArnie grew up in a Dutch migrant family and through a desire to find place in Australia he found a home within the Uniting Church. That journey has formed his engagement with Indigenous people, including adoption into a Yolngu family in Arnhemland. Arnie has a technical background but found a heart for people drew him deeper into the ministry of the church. Ordained in 2001, he has enjoyed congregational placements in Balkara (Oakleigh and Hughesdale) and Mooroolbark (St. Margaret’s).

Arnie’s keen interest in lay and ordained ministry has seen him serve the Synod Selection Committee and convene Ministry Committees in two presbyteries. Recent experience in a Presbytery Minister role has tapped a yearning to support ministers and congregations in a deeper way. Arnie is also delighted to be able to work closely with his wife, Jennie in the Resourcing Pastoral Care and Strategy role with the Gippsland Presbytery.

PASTORAL & STRATEGIC Resource Minister[RM]

Rev ​Jennie Gordon


Jennie GordonJennie came into ministry from midwifery and sees many parallels in both vocations; being beside people, deep listening, trusting in the greater incarnate love that connects us all, knowing when and how to step into the struggle and practicing the art of nurturing new life amongst us.

She’s a mother of two adult children and has a ministry heritage that spans generations and many areas across the synod including Gippsland. Since ordination in 2002, her ministry placements have been in Preston, St. Margaret’s Mooroolbark and as chaplain at Billanook College and most recently in the Yarra Ranges Parish that includes Yarra Glen, Healesville and Wandin-Seville.

She’s a poet and liturgist and cares deeply about respectful relationships with the First Peoples of this land, serving the wider church on the Advisory Committee for UAICC (Congress) Victoria and now also as a Panel Member for the Assembly’s ‘Walking Together as First and Second Peoples’ Circle of Interest.

Jennie’s delighted to be working alongside her husband Arnie in this role as Resourcing Presbytery Minister with the Gippsland Presbytery and is looking forward to listening, learning and living this new adventure of faith.

MISSION Resource Minister / Presbytery equipping Leadership for Mission [RM PeM]
Peter Batten

0419 255 585

Peter has been involved in the Uniting Church since its beginnings. His ministry has included outreach and street youth work (outer east of Melbourne), university and TAFE chaplain (Albury/Wodonga), mental health (Uniting (Care) South Melbourne/Port Melbourne, exploring different models of church (Northcote Uniting Church Chalice), mission and education facilitation (Port Phillip West Presbytery) and Intentional Interim Ministry with 3 congregations. These ministries have spanned 5 years as a lay minister and 23 years as an ordained deacon.

He is passionate about the arts and spirituality. And for many years has enabled individuals and groups to explore their life and Christian faith journey through visual and movement-based art experiences. Peter enjoys exploring the connections between contemplative practices, spirituality, art and creativity and their integration into daily life.

Peter`s post graduate study focused on the therapeutic benefits of the arts, which he has incorporated in a therapeutic practice, pastoral care, pastoral supervision, community education and mission planning.   He has completed an M.A. in Creative Arts Therapy (MIECAT) Peter is currently undertaking further studies in pastoral and clinical supervision practice.

He has served on many committees within the church at presbytery, synod and assembly and as part of his work as mission resource minister he is involved in the equipping Leaders for Mission (eLM) unit of synod.

Peter is married to Jenny (retired performing arts/music teacher and now creative arts therapist, spiritual director, musician, and choir director) They have 3 adult daughters and 5 grandkids. Peter and Jenny enjoy cycle touring, camping, photography, movies and hanging out with family and friends.

You may have already meet Peter`s alter ego….. His sacred clown/mime/storyteller, Mr. Pee Bee. He has been seen at many churches, community and institutional settings over many years….and Mr. Pee Bee may be seen in Gippsland.


CAMPING Resource Worker – Cathie Halliwell

camping.ucagipps@gmail.com  0428 223 094

Cathie’s faith was greatly influenced by camping during her own teenage years and this passion continues.

Over the years Cathie has remained involved in various types of camping ministries:

  • completed Levels 1 & 2 of of the Vic Tas Synod Leadership Training Program (Youth Ministry Network)
  • a camp leader at September Camp, KAPOW, Forest Edge and CYC Cowes.
  • A camp director at September Camp 2018 and 2019
  • a Study Leader at September Camp 2018 & 2019 and at NCYC Launceston 1997, the Lake Tyers Camp & Caravan Park Summer Missions Co-ordinator for over 20 years incl. Kid’s Club,
  • Coffee Reflections and Family Movie Nights
  • Lego School Holiday Program Coordinator


Cathie is an active Lay Preacher in the Presbytery and has been in the position of Presbytery Resource Worker for Missions since 2017. In recent times, Cathie has developed a Leadership Development Program for young people of the Presbytery and started a Young Women’s ministry group in the Latrobe Valley.

Cathie strongly believes that camping provides a unique opportunity for people to be a part of a community of faith where everyone can have a meaningful connection with God, in their own way. Camps are a way of demonstrating what it is to be an authentic follower of Jesus and provide space for people to explore their own personal faith.