Defence Anglican Leadership

Bishop to the ADF – Bishop Ian Lambert


Ian is a disciple of Jesus Christ. Ian can point to the place and date, where and when he became Jesus’ disciple – Gilbulla on 10 May 1984.

Bishop Ian spent his childhood in Canberra, as a member of St Andrews Presbyterian Church, Forest. His High School days were spent at Telopea Park High School, where he was School Captain.  After High School, Ian entered the military as a cadet in the Royal Military College Duntroon, graduating from Duntroon with a BA (Mil) UNSW, as a Lieutenant in the Royal Australian Corps of Transport.  He was discipled by his local Padre, Chaplain Royce Thompson which led to Ian acknowledging Jesus as his Lord and Saviour on at a Character Leadership Course in Gillbulla.

In 1989 Ian was awarded the Student of Merit, and the Australian Naval Institute Silver Medal, at the Royal Navy Staff College, HMAS Penguin.

Ian commenced his theological studies, while still in the military, studying part-time at St Mark’s National Theological Centre. Ian discharged from the military with the rank of major to complete his theological studies. Ian was made deacon at the Goulburn Cathedral with Bishop George Browning ordaining Ian as priest on St Andrew’s Day 1995.

Ian served his curacy in the Parish of Cooma 1995-1996.  Ian was appointed Rector of the Parish of Batemans Bay in December 1996.  While serving in Batemans Bay he was appointed as Area Dean 2005. From 2009-2012 Ian served as Archdeacon for the South Coast and Monaro.

Ian demonstrated a passion for shared ministry among the denominations of the region championing Anglican/Roman Catholic dialogue, as well as numerous Combined Church ministries in the High School, Primary Schools, homeless men initiatives, combined worship services including weekly prayer meetings with all town clergy.

While on long-service- leave in the Solomon Islands, Ian acted as emissary for the Bishop of Canberra and Goulburn, to establish a Diocesan Partnership between Diocese of Ysabel (Anglican Church of Melanesia), and the Diocese of Canberra and Goulburn in 2007.   Ian is the Diocesan Episcopal Representative to the Church of Melanesia, and also has a vital parish-to-parish partnership with All Saints Honiara.

Ian was consecrated Bishop, on 30 March 2012 by the Bishop of Newcastle, Brian Farran.  Ian assists Bishop Stuart Robinson, for the region of the South Coast, Monaro and Snowy Regions.

Ian is married to Jill, and have four adult children.

Bishop Ian says, “I am thrilled to receive the invitation to serve both the Church and the Military in the capacity of the Anglican Bishop to the Defence Force.   I am confident in Christ, that this is God’s call, and I pray that the grace of God will enable us all to work and minister together for His glory.”

Staff Officer to the Bishop – LTCOL Dale Cooper


Lieutenant Colonel Dale Cooper served in the Regular Army for 28 years and transferred to the Army Reserve in 2005. He was then a Public Servant in the Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO), finishing his time there in 2014 as the Science Officer in the Counter Improvised Explosive Device Task Force (CIED TF). Dale is now retired from the APS and works part time as the Staff Officer to Bishop Ian.

Contact the Staff Officer

Archdeacon to the Navy and Director of Ordinands – Principal Chaplain Collin Acton RAN


Collin was born in Sydney and grew up in Riverstone near Blacktown NSW, Hervey Bay and Brackenridge in QLD.  He joined the Navy as an  Apprentice Marine Technical Propulsion sailor in January 1979.  Collin served 9 years before leaving the Navy to train and enter the Anglican Ministry, with a view to returning to the Navy as a Chaplain. After completing Theological College and two assistant minister positions, one in Port Kembla and the other in Blacktown, Collin re-entered the RAN in March 1997.  He was awarded the Eric Elton Mayo Prize at the QEOC 23.  He has served as Chaplain in HMAS Kuttabul, HMAS Cairns, ADFA and Navy Training Command and well as onboard HMAS Success and HMAS Stuart.  Collin also served as Senior Chaplain Afloat in HMAS Kanimbla, Senior Chaplain - Establishments at HMAS Watson, Command Chaplain MEAO in Al Minhad, Fleet Command Chaplain and Joint Health Command Chaplain. 

He attended the Defence Strategic Studies Course in 2016 prior to appointment as the Director General Chaplaincy - Navy in December 2016. 

Collin has been married to Heather since August 1986 and they have three adult sons.  They live in Florey, ACT where they both love gardening, walking the dog and spending time with each other. Collin loves to read, do puzzles and build or fix stuff.

Contact Archdeacon Collin Acton

Archdeacon to the Army – Chaplain Catie Inches-Ogden


Catie was born in Melbourne, and schooled in Melbourne and Singapore. She studied in Melbourne to be a teacher. She has taught in Melbourne and in Milingimbi Aboriginal Community in the NT.

She completed theological studies at the Melbourne College of Divinity, University of Melbourne and the Churches of Christ Theological College in 1984 and was ordained as a minister in the Churches of Christ in 1985. In 2005 Catie become a Priest in the Anglican Church of Australia. She has had considerable parish and community pastoral experience in both traditions.

Catie and her family moved to Adelaide, South Australia in 1996 to take up parish commitments. During her time in SA Catie also worked for the Uniting Church of Australia as a consultant in Social Justice and Social Responsibility and on the boards of two community service organisations. This enabled her to travel within in Australia and overseas to meet with and discuss issues of significance with many communities and individuals.

In 1992 Catie was appointed as a chaplain to a private girls' school during which time she joined the Army as an ARES chaplain. Catie has travelled extensively in SE Asia and Europe and worked in several aid/community development programs.

Catie has been an Army Chaplain for 19 years, serving for several years in the Army Reserve in SA before transferring to the Regular Army in 2004. She has had postings in a variety of units including 9 CER, AUR, HQ 9 BDE, 9 CSSB, 16 AD Regt, 1 RTB, 2 HSB, the SI ADFCC, SCHAP AHQ and COMDCHAP FORCOMD. She was deployed to the MEAO during 2007/2008, and she was involved during Jan, Feb and July 2010 in the reburial of the soldiers killed in the battles at Fromelles, and Messines. Catie is now posted to Army Headquarters, as the Principal Chaplain, Anglican.

She has recently transferred to the Ares and now lives in Albury-Wodonga. She is a member of Rotary and is part of the Anglican Diocese of Wangaratta. She has an adult son, Sam who lives and works in Sydney. She enjoys gardening, raising chooks, travel, reading and good wine.

Contact Archdeacon Catie Inches-Ogden 

Archdeacon to the Air Force – Chaplain Kevin Russell


Kevin Russell was born in Nottingham, England in 1957 and migrated with his parents to Sydney in 1964. He was educated in French’s Forest, Sydney. During his High School years, Kevin was introduced to Jesus Christ and the Christian faith.

In 1982 he commenced studies towards becoming a minister in the Anglican Church. His first Church appointment was as assistant minister at Richmond, NSW, in 1986. During this time Kevin both met his wife, Debra and became interested in ministry within the military context.

Kevin joined the RAAF towards the end of 1987 and has served as Anglican Chaplain at RAAF Edinburgh, Pearce, Richmond, East Sale and Williamtown. While at Williamtown, he spent some time in East Timor. While he was at RAAF Pearce, Hannah and Daniel were born.

Between 2003 and 2007, Kevin served as Director Chaplaincy-Training Command and later Air Force Training Group. During this time, Kevin completed his Master of Ministry and published a book entitled Pastoral Support for Military Chaplains. While he was in this position, considerable change occurred within the career structure of military chaplains, and for the first time, specific ministry training was introduce on an ADF basis for military chaplains. Kevin was in the position to influence the development of this training from an Air Force perspective.

Throughout their many postings, Kevin and Debra have maintained close ties with the life of the local church.

Kevin moved from Air Force Training Group to Air Command in 2008 and has taken on the additional role of Anglican Head of Denomination. He was collated Archdeacon on 6 April 2008. As Archdeacon, Kevin leads and represents the Anglican component of Air Force Chaplaincy. His vision is that Anglican RAAF chaplaincy be known for its close working ties with other denominations, its professionalism, particularly in service to RAAF members and their dependants, and its strong Christian identity.

Contact Archdeacon Kevin Russell