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Donaldsons spend 'brilliant' week in Australia

Donaldsons spend 'brilliant' week in Australia

Donaldsons spend 'brilliant' week in Australia

7 June 2019

Editor-in-Chief Lieut-Colonel Laurie Robertson interviews incoming territorial leaders Commissioners Robert and Janine Donaldson.

By Scott Simpson

In what is considered to be a first for The Salvation Army anywhere in the world, the incoming leaders of the Australia Territory have been able to spend a week working alongside the incumbent leadership in a ‘handover’ of responsibilities.

During their brief stay in Australia, Commissioners Robert and Janine Donaldson have been able to visit the three campuses of Territorial Headquarters (THQ), at Blackburn and Glen Waverley (both Melbourne), and Redfern (Sydney).

They said the experience has allowed them to develop a deeper understanding of the journey of The Salvation Army in Australia over the past few years.

In addition to spending time with Commissioners Floyd and Tracey Tidd (Territorial Commander and Territorial President of Women’s Ministries, respectively), who return to Canada later this month, the visit also provided the Donaldsons with the opportunity to meet with senior THQ staff.

“This has never been done before, not at this level anyway, and it’s been brilliant,” said the Donaldsons.  

“We’ve been able to have meetings with the portfolio heads and the heads of departments and there’s been a lot of sharing of information. I [Robert] was also able to sit in a governance board meeting, which I found very helpful.

“We’ve had many conversations with Commissioners Floyd and Tracey and Colonels Mark and Julie Campbell (Chief Secretary and Gender Equity Advocate, respectively), and they’ve been able to interpret what we’ve heard and given it context for us.

“It’s been superb, fantastic to be able to spend time here ahead of starting as territorial leaders and to be able to have this ‘handover’ period.”

The Donaldsons have now flown back to the United Kingdom, to conclude their current appointments at the Army’s International Headquarters in London. They commence their new roles in Australia on 1 July.

“We go back to the UK now and have some time to process what we’ve heard, before returning in a few weeks to start as territorial leaders,” said the Donaldsons. “It’s great to know that when we return we’re not having to start from scratch.”

While in Australia, the Donaldson took part in a video interview with Editor-in-Chief, Lieut-Colonel Laurie Robertson. An edited version of the interview will appear in the July issue of Others, while the full interview will be available to view online at Others later this month.



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