Bruce Duncan is a priest of the Redemptorist order, who has long advocated setting up an ecumenical network formally independent of the churches but drawing from their rich social traditions to raise an informed Christian voice in policy debates. He studied economics and politics at the University of Sydney. He has lectured in history and social ethics at Yarra Theological Union at Box Hill in Melbourne since 1986.
Peter Whiting (President). After nearly 30 years in corporate life, filling a diverse range of general management roles, Peter now works part-time as a consultant in business management, leaving time for involvement with a number of community endeavours. Apart from Social Policy Connections, Peter’s main community involvement is on the Board of the Stride Foundation (youth wellbeing).
Tony French introduces himself as “an economic refugee from New Zealand, lured here by the bright lights and the promise of spectacular consumerism. Upon examination, the bright lights disappointingly turned out to be the Chadstone Shopping Centre, and my consumerism less than spectacular. A brighter light, however, beckoned – one that led me to theological studies at UFT, and a commitment to social justice issues. And now, an invitation to join the Board of SPC. Here, I hope my skills as a lawyer will be of use, albeit, I confess, those of a specialist in the very material world of complex wills and estates, and property development. In mitigation, I mention that I have been a volunteer lawyer to real refugees, and have worked with a St Vincent de Paul group. Currently, my penance is juggling commitments to work and family with post-graduate study at YTU”.
Danusia Kaska worked as a forensic scientist for 14 years and during holidays in the last ten years volunteered in Thailand and Africa in orphanages. She has been an energetic member of St Vincent de Paul Society since a teenager, and helped set up Vinnies in the West. She has had many roles in the Society, and has represented it at overseas conferences. After 20 years as a volunteer, she began work for the National Council of St VdeP on overseas development, and more recently as State membership manager in Tasmania for two years. She is now soup vans operation manager for Victoria.
Chris Mulherin is an Anglican minister and directs ISCAST—Christians in Science and Technology, which promotes a healthy conversation about science and faith. He also teaches philosophy at the University of Divinity. Chris is an ex-engineer, ex-missionary, and is married to Lindy. They have various sons and grandsons. The family lived for 13 years in Argentina where Chris worked with university students and ran an Anglican church.
Major Jenny Begent has been a Salvation Army officer for 28 years, serving in leadership positions in Western Australia, Tasmania, and Victoria. Her main areas of expertise are in homelessness, housing, and family violence. Her interest in family violence is primarily focused on its effects on the family as a unit, and the subsequent challenge for the wider community. Her interests are in social policy, and ensuring that policy reflects the changes required by those experiencing poverty and harm. She currently provides oversight to Community & Social Services within the greater Melbourne area.