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Spring 2006 Friends of ACS Newsletter

Friday 1st of September 2006

Dear Friends,

On the 16th September at the Tamworth Community Centre, the Anglican Counselling Service celebrated 20 years with staff, former staff, volunteers, friends and invited guests from the New England, North West, Sydney and Melbourne. It was a great night as we reminisced, looked at what was happening today and looked to the future.


Included in the evening was a PowerPoint presentation of ACS activities over the last 20 years associated with a historic photographic display and musical entertainment by Chris Langston.


During the last 20 years ACS has provided: counselling to over 15,000 people; had over 3,000 people attend their Life-Skills courses and over 500 people completed their counselling training.


On behalf of the staff and Board of the Anglican Counselling Service, thank you for your support over the twenty years.

As we look to the future, we look forward to your continuing support in interest, promotion of the Service, prayer, perhaps as a volunteer and financial.


There are many changes being forced upon the sector and ACS through government, changes in demographics, expectations of clients and other stakeholders such as organizations and professionals who refer to ACS.


I am reminded that throughout the history of God’s people, change was and is a constant factor. Although God’s character and God’s message of salvation remains unchangeable, the methods he used to get his people’s attention, to move them forward, to communicate to them his love and purposes were always changing in the changing context.


In the midst of all that change we are reminded in Hebrews 13:8 that “Jesus is the same yesterday, and today and forever”.





Mental Health

Ruth Blakely will accept on behalf of ACS a Mental Health Matters Award from the NSW Mental Health Association for our work with the Mental Health First Aid courses to the region on 10th October.


Family Relationship Centre for Tamworth

Based on the latest round of tendering for Family Relationship Centres the FRC tender for Tamworth will probably be released in August/September, 2007.



We have been approached by the University of New England for ACS to collaborate in a research project funding application to analyse family and relationship counselling services in the NENW and to evaluate the Mental Health First Aid Courses with a view to identifying gaps of service, identifying alternative methods of service delivery and informing government policy.



Bruce, Jenny and Kate are working with the local Indigenous Co-ordination Centre (FaCSIA) to submit a funding proposal for the 6 months Jan-June 2007. Further, FaCSIA sent someone to conduct an audit and evaluation of the Coledale Project on the 10th October.


They would value your prayers in all this.



Financial Counselling – a 3% increase in the percentage of people seen for credit card over-commitment (55% in 2005 to 58% in 2006). A 2% increase in the percentage of people seen for bankruptcy (9% in 2005 to 11% in 2006). There was a 12% increase in people receiving government benefits seeking help. The 26-45 years age group continues to be biggest age group seeking help – 79%.


Due to increases in costs, ACS was forced to reduce Faith’s time by 0.5 days per week even though the need continues to grow for her help.



Rev Brian Kirk will be on Long Service Leave for 5 weeks from the 3rd October returning on 6th November.


Mr Bruce O’Hara was appointed Business/Project Manager starting on 17th July. His job description includes supervising the new Manilla Families Project, activities under Drought Funding and OH&S. During Brian’s long service leave, Bruce is acting Executive Director.


Mrs Haidee Lea has been appointed as Family Support Worker in Manilla for 3 years courtesy of Local Answers funding from the Federal Government to work with young families helping connect them to local services.


Mrs Lynn McClenahan has resigned as counsellor in Armidale and Gambling Programme Manager to expand her work as a School Counsellor in Armidale and the surrounding areas.


Mrs Bettina Reader BCounStud (LRCCS) has been appointed as a sessional counsellor for Armidale.


Mrs Wendy Long, a Counsellor in Moree, has been appointed as Gambling Programme Manager as of 3rd October. From January 2007, Wendy will also visit Narrabri one day per week.



  • Give thanks for the Dinner
  • Pray for rain
  • Pray for the Coledale team
  • Pray for Ros Lowe as she supports her husband Col who is undergoing treatment for cancer
  • Pray for Wendy as she begins her new role as Gambling Programme Manager
  • Pray for Bettina as she settles into her role at Armidale
  • Pray for Bruce as acting Executive Director
  • Pray for Robyn and Jenny re accreditation of LRCCS



Anglican Counselling Service, Executive Director: Rev Brian Kirk

Lois Reid College of Counselling Studies, Principal: Jenny Regan

Financial Counsellor: Faith Boehm

Relationship Counsellors: Ruth, Donna, Libby, Catherine, Judy, Cheryl L, Caroly, Wendy, Ros, Jenny M, Ran, Bettina, Jenny R, Shirley, Betty

Other Staff: Cheryl C, Lois, Fran, Meryl, Carol, Elaine, James, Sharon, Joy, Kate, Bruce, Haidee

Volunteers: Barb, Colleen, Eleanor, Phyllis, Jane, Suzanne

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