Our Team

Our vision is to create a world where people with disability are safe and known, connected and growing, celebrated and loved.

Louise Gosbell

Dr Louise Gosbell

Dr Louise Gosbell has over 15 years experience in helping churches and Christian organisations become places of inclusion and belonging for people with disability. She’s also spent many years researching and writing in the areas of disability ministry and disability theology, including a PhD on disability in the gospels and a set of disability inclusive guidelines for churches. Louise has a lived experience of disability and is passionate about seeing people with disability use their God-given gifts as active and contributing members of the Body of Christ.

Rev Dr Kirk Patston

Kirk is the Director of the Centre for Preaching and Pastoral Ministry and Lecturer in Old Testament and Practical Theology at Sydney Missionary & Bible College. His research degrees include the interaction of disability studies with the theme of otherness in Job. He has lived experience of disability as a father and professional experience as a former speech pathologist.


Lisa Patston

Lisa brings a passion for inclusive churches, discipleship for all and person-centred approaches to disability to her role with Our Place. She has qualifications in education and ministry and lived experience as a parent. Professionally, she supports students with learning and previously worked in pastoral ministry. She has also been a community visitor with the ombudsman’s office, giving her firsthand experience of life for people with disability in institutions and group homes.

Jerrah Patston

Jerrah is a musician and songwriter, an Ambassador for Our Place Christian Communities, and the life of the party at every workshop. With his supportive community, he loves contributing to music, welcoming and hospitality at church. He lives with intellectual impairment and autism—and all the unique challenges, abilities and opportunities that has given him.


Simon Shead
Simon is a social worker who has had a lifetime of experience supporting those who are marginalised. He has worked as an outdoor educator, music tutor and therapeutic care worker supporting homeless young people. He spent his childhood surrounded by friends who had a disability of some kind, and saw the gifts people with disability have to offer others. He wants all people with disability to have the opportunity to hear the gospel of Christ and be part of a community where they are loved and cherished.

Jenny Bawden
Jenny trained and worked as an occupational therapist, in health promotion, and years ago was involved in the Blue Mountains Disability Access Committee. She sees her primary role in Our Place as creating and holding together a trellis (involving meetings, policies, and organisation structures) to enable the wider team to flourish in ministry. She also serves as an elder at Blackheath Baptist, and with mission agency Langham Partnership Australia.


Sam Wan

Sam Wan serves as chair of an Australian Youth Conference on Apologetics and Cultural Engagement, and a committee member of various ministries for Christians with disability. He has degrees in theology and education and researches and writes on practical theology, disability theology, sexuality, and cultural engagement. He has a passion for church to be a place where everyone belongs, regardless of their ability, sexuality, race or marital status.


Paul Dickens

Paul has degrees in physics and chemistry and currently works in technology development in healthcare. He believes the Christian church is truest to its calling when creating and caring for culture. For Paul, Our Place is about nurturing a culture where everyone is recognised and loved – theology embodied in a community engaged in the often messy work of caring for one another.


Renee Dickens

Renee’s background and training is in primary education. As an Our Place board member, she seeks to be part of a change that transforms the way people with disability experience community.