Community Engagement

Uniting Innovative Community Grants Fund – Invitation to Apply

If your congregation needs funding for a missional activity and/or outreach project that will encourage, support or enhance the lives of people experiencing social disadvantage in your community, you are invited to apply for an Innovative Community Grant.

Uniting, as the community services arm of the Uniting Church offers support for missional activities through the capacity grants stream of the Innovative Community Grants Fund.

The Capacity Grants program provides one-off funding for up to $15,000 for approved projects. This year’s Capacity Grants program is now open to receive applications. More information and application forms can be found on the Uniting website at

All congregations within the Canberra Region Presbytery should contact Briony Griffiths, Church and Community Engagement Consultant, in order to discuss ideas for grants. Support is available for scoping projects, ensuring alignment with Mission Plans, and for preparation of applications.

Briony Griffiths, Church and Community Engagement Consultant,


Congratulations to June Lawrence, core-founder of the Queanbeyan Safe Shelter, who was recognised with a special Australia Day Award for her outstanding service to the Queanbeyan Community in 2016. June and a committed team worked hard throughout 2015 and 2016 to open and run Queanbeyan Safe Shelter, a missional activity of the Queanbeyan Uniting Church. In 2016, the shelter was open one night each week to those who had nowhere else to stay. The Shelter offers a warm, safe church hall in which to sleep with swags, a cuppa and conversation. Volunteers who run the shelter come from the Church and local community.

As a missional service of the Queanbeyan Uniting Church, Safe Shelter received a Uniting Innovative Community Grant to cover establishment costs, such as upgrades to smoke detection and emergency evacuation systems. Uniting’s Church and Community Engagement Consultant gave support to the development application required for establishment, along with introductions and links to the ACT Safe Shelter,  and local homelessness networks.

Queanbeyan Safe Shelter works in partnership with St Benedict’s Community Centre, an ecumenical homelessness support hub in Queanbeyan. The Coordinator of St Benedict’s, Elaine Lollback, was awarded Queanbeyan’s Citizen of the Year at the Australia Day awards ceremony. Elaine’s tireless work with the homeless and the marginalised members of the community was recognised.

We extend a huge congratulation to both Elaine and June, and look forward to another year working together with them to support those in need in our community.

 The ABC invites you to:
The Heywire Summit Ideas Launch
11am Thursday 9 February, Parliament House Theatre

Young regional and rural Australians telling it like it is!

Be inspired as the ABC Heywire Regional Youth Summit participants share their stories and pitch ideas for positive change in regional and rural Australia.

The Heywire Summit (3-9 Feb 2017) aims to give young regional and rural Australians a voice in Canberra, on the ABC and in their communities.  During the Summit delegates tackle the issues that are important to them and develop ideas aimed at improving life for young people in regional Australia.   

The ideas presented at the Heywire Summit Ideas Launch will be adopted all over Australia, with the support of FRRR ABC Heywire Youth Innovation Grants from the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal.

Event details

Thursday 9 February 11am – 12:30pm
Parliament House Theatre
Parliament House, Canberra

Public Event. No RSVP required.
Feel free to bring colleagues and friends, or forward this email. The more the merrier.


ABC Heywire is grateful for the support of the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation; the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources; the Department of Health; the Department of Social Services and the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development, in making the Heywire Summit happen.

Find out more about Heywire and meet the Summit participants:

Contact: Heywire Project Officer, Alexandra Neill | | 0431 815 664


Uniting Councils

Uniting is currently recruiting for our eight voluntary Councils that span across NSW and the ACT.

Operating in a community engagement capacity with Uniting, the Uniting Councils have a broad reach. Each Council develops its own programs and activities, relating closely to their local needs, and they aim to involve, engage, develop and have an impact. The Councils are an important contributor to the ‘Uniting for the common good’ strategy of the Uniting Church NSW/ACT Synod.

In 2017, a new Canberra Region Uniting Council will be established. We are looking for people who:

  • Are Uniting Church members, passionate about strengthening the relationship among congregations, presbyteries, Uniting and the community
  • Have a strong interest in and connections with the local community
  • Hold a vision for service provision that is grounded in the compassion and justice of the Christian message
  • Have an appreciation and understanding of cultural differences within the community
  • Have a willingness to be involved in activities
  • Have a passion to make a difference

If this sounds like you, we’d love to hear from you.

Please call Briony Griffiths, Church and Community Engagement Consultant
Mb: 0427038180
or visit