Defence Force Board


The Defence Force Board of the Anglican Church of Australia is an important interface between the Anglican Church and the Australian Defence Force (ADF). The Defence Force Board (DFB) was established by a Canon of General Synod of the Anglican Church of Australia.

The Defence Force Board is responsible for

– developing policy and procedures that will assist, regulate, and extend the conduct of Anglican ADF Chaplaincy
– maintaining the office of the Bishop to the Defence Force.

The profile of the Defence Force Board has risen within the Anglican Church of Australia and the ADF, with both Anglican clergy and laity recognising the importance of the Board in providing ecclesiastical oversight and sharing with the Bishop and the Archdeacons a responsibility for formulating overall policy for Anglican ADF Chaplaincy. The Board has sought to formalise and regularise many aspects of ADF chaplaincy and to promote a closer relationship between itself and Anglican National Church agencies and the 23 dioceses of the Australian Church. The Defence Force Board’s members have played an important role in supporting Anglican ADF Chaplains.

Future Challenges

In the period 2001-2006, the emphasis for the Board was necessarily on recruiting and retaining chaplains, and building a closer and more cooperative relationship with the National Church. During that period there was a 25 per cent increase in the number of full-time chaplains, a reduction in the average age of serving chaplains, and the filling of all vacant Anglican positions. Because recruiting and retention involve sustained effort, they continue to be priorities. Anglican ADF Chaplaincy has also achieved a much higher profile within the Anglican community and become more directly connected to the life of the National Anglican Church through a range of formal and informal contacts and associations. General Synod has increased its recurrent annual funding to the Board and granted the Board greater financial and administrative autonomy.

The Board faces five clear challenges:

– finding fresh opportunities to enhance and deepen the vocational well-being of Chaplains and ordinands, and the laity’s participation in the Church’s outreach to military personnel.
– developing strategies for the formation and nurture of worshipping and ministering communities within ADF establishments and among uniformed men and women, and their families.
– identifying and recruiting suitable clergy for full- and part-time service.
– securing adequate long-term funding for the work of the Defence Force Board and the ministry of the Bishop to the Defence Force.
– better providing for the ministry of the Anglican Defence Force Chaplaincy Registrar, the Director of Ordinands, the Director of Professional Standards and the Bishop’s staff officer.

These challenges will also guide the work of the Defence Force Anglican Chaplaincy Incorporated (DFACI) and the AMOS Foundation.

Defence Force Board Membership at July 2015

The member’s affiliation or diocese appears in brackets.

– The Right Reverend Ian Lambert, (Chairman)
– Chaplain the Venerable Eric Burton, CSC RANR (Navy)
– Chaplain the Venerable Geoffrey Webb (Army)
– Chaplain the Venerable Kevin Russell (Air Force)
– The Reverend Robert Newton (Christ Church Brunswick )
– The Reverend Andrew Nixon (Anglican Youthworks, Sydney)
– The Reverend Tim Booker (Rector, Guildford and Villawood, Chaplain Army Reserve)
– Mr Alan Gallimore (Brisbane)
– Mr Hamish Milne (Perth)
– Mr Allan Sauer (Brisbane)

The Board usually meets three times a year with one of the meetings to coincide with the conduct of a Vocational Panel for prospective ordination candidates