Our vision is to create a world where people with disability are safe and known, connected and growing, celebrated and loved.
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 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 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 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 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.
Ian McGilvray B.Arch, M.Art
Ian was a director at Cox Architecture for many years, and is a now a visual artist. He lives with his wife Jill in Wentworth Falls and is active in encouraging Christian engagement in the arts. Ian has grown to love the way that God draws his people from a wide background of diversity and gifts. Ian first worked closely with people with disabilities in 2010 when assisting in an art class program. Ian cherishes these relationships which enrich the life of the whole church. He longs for more people with disabilities to know the love and grace of God. Ian is very partial to Coco Pops and reading books about Napoleon Bonaparte.
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’s background and training is in primary education. As an Our Place committee member, she seeks to be part of a change that transforms the way people with disability experience community.