It is with great pleasure that I present the Annual Report of the Anglican Board of Mission – Australia Ltd, for the Financial Year 2015/16.
This past year has been marked by consolidation of our overseas programs and a further reshaping of our domestic programs and engagement with the Anglican Church here in Australia. Increasingly the missional perspective of the Church in Australia is shifting from one that sees mission as essentially happening in other places to one which recognises the local context for mission. ABM has sought to address this new reality through its four distinctive programs which give expression to the ‘Five Marks of Mission’ and in seeking to build creative partnerships with Dioceses of the Australian Church. It is, therefore, gratifying to be able to report that this past year has been once again marked by strong performance across all four of these programs.
Despite the decline in funding for overseas aid by the Australian Government, ABM’s Anglicans in Development’s (AID) programs have continued to deliver impressive and sustainable outcomes in poverty alleviating programs across a range of partners. In particular I note the increasing commitment to Adult Literacy in PNG, as well as to the Positive Parenting Program in the Solomon Islands and to the Child Health Nutrition Program in Gaza. It has also been extremely pleasing to see new or expanding initiatives around addressing gender based violence and preparing communities to respond to disasters.
2015-16 did not see any diminution in the need for emergency relief assistance and ABM has continued to seek support for communities in Vanuatu, Nepal, PNG and Myanmar which have been severely affected by natural disasters. Once again, it has been extremely pleasing to see that this has been well supported by the Australian Church. AID continues to work on improving the effectiveness of the work across all its programs and on improving the benefits of collaboration, particularly through its engagement with the Communion wide Anglican Alliance and the (Australian) Churches Agencies Network.
ABM’s Church to Church program has also enhanced its support for the work of partners in the Pacific, South East Asia and Africa. Included in the activities are a number which focus on the nurture and spiritual development of children and leadership training for both clergy and lay. These types of programs are often very difficult for ABM’s Partners to fund but vitally necessary for growing churches. The Good Friday Gift remains well supported and health related activities have been a significant focus of the recent grants from this annual collection.
The Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) to which ABM has committed itself continues to inform and guide much of the work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. This includes support for specific activities focused on the training of indigenous leaders and assisting the work of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Anglican Council. There is also encouragement and mentoring provided for dioceses and parishes as they seek to implement their own RAPs.
In fulfilling its mandate to educate the Church about mission ABM increasingly seeks opportunities to connect the global with the local, so that learning may be shared. Around Australia, Anglican Schools provide education for approximately 150,000 young people. ABM’s OneWorld WonTok conference has developed into a national, touring conference giving the opportunity for students to discover the importance of sustainable development and hear firsthand from some of ABM’s Partners. Another ABM initiative has been the establishment of the Transforming Service network to connect Australian schools involved in cross-cultural service learning. Mention should also be made of the innovative mission resources produced by the Education Program for Lent and National Reconciliation Week.
In the area of Fundraising & Communication 2015/16 has seen the continued enhancement of ABM’s website. This has dramatically improved the ability to interact with supporters, donors, the Australian Church and Anglican Church Partners overseas. While still maintaining its print communication, ABM has also managed successfully to increase its online footprint through social media, monthly e-newsletter, media presence (both in the Anglican and secular press) and fundraising appeals.
ABM is also very conscious that its current work is built upon the work and support of many who have gone before us. Accordingly, it is appropriate that, as part of the improved website, there is recognition of those who have made bequests to ABM, thereby helping to ensure that ABM’s role in making known the good news of Jesus Christ continues. I also note that a further recognition of ABM’s past missionaries, volunteers and supporters, in the form of the Coaldrake Award, was also announced during the year.
Finally, acknowledgement must be made of the efforts and commitment of the Board and Staff to ensure that ABM has the vision and adaptability to respond to new opportunities in a constantly changing environment. At the same time, I would like to thank our Auxiliary, our Committees and Diocesan Representatives, our other volunteers, and of course our Partners for all the hard work which delivers the results. Needless to say, none of this would be possible without the support of our dioceses, parishes and individual donors, to whom we also extend our grateful thanks.
We ask for your continuing prayers for God’s blessing of our work.
Yours in Christ
The Revd John Deane
ABM Annual Report 2014 – 15
ABM Annual Report 2013 – 14
ABM Annual Report 2012 – 13
ABM Annual Report 2011 – 12
ABM Annual Report 2010 – 11
ABM Annual Report 2009 – 10
ABM Annual Report 2008 – 09
ABM Annual Report 2007 – 08
ABM Annual Report 2006 – 07