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 – The Venerable Andrew Lewis RAN


Andrew was born in Newcastle, NSW and joined the Royal Australian Navy in 1985 as a Midshipman and undertook his initial Degree studies at the Naval College before completing his studies at the Australian Defence Force Academy.  Andrew spent the next twenty years as a Maritime Logistics Officer, serving in a range of shore and sea postings, including Supply Officer HMAS Sydney.  His final posting as a Logistics Officer was as Commander Logistics in Fleet Command, where he was the lead Navy logistics planner for the response to the 2004 Asian Tsunami.

In 2005, through the In-service Chaplaincy Training Scheme, Andrew commenced theological studies and formation through the Diocese of Sydney, studying at Moore Theological College.  Andrew was ordained Deacon at St Andrew’s Cathedral in Jan 2008, and Presbyter at St Matthew’s West Pennant Hills in December 2008.

After completing his curacy at St Matthew’s, Andrew was appointed Chaplain in the RAN in 2010.  Andrew’s postings as a Chaplain have included the establishments HMAS Watson, Waterhen and Kuttabul, and the Australian Defence Force Academy; and HMA Ships Success, Toowoomba, Parramatta and Canberra.  Andrew is currently the Senior Staff Officer Chaplain Capability Navy, and will take up the appointment of Director Chaplaincy Joint Training in January 2019.

Andrew is married to Joanne. They have two adult daughters, Caitlin who lives is London with her husband, and Gabrielle who lives in Sydney.  Andrew and Joanne are active members of Erskineville Anglican Church.

Contact Archdeacon Andrew Lewis

Archdeacon to the Army – The Venerable Robert Sutherland, CSC


Originally from the Adelaide Hills, Rob finished school in Sydney and joined the Australian Regular Army in January 1974.  He graduated from the Officer Cadet School, Portsea as an Infantry Officer in 1976.  His infantry service included 6 RAR, 8/9 RAR, Battle Wing LWC and finally as a company commander in 6 RAR.

Called to ministry, Rob studied theology for seven years while still serving full-time in the Army. His final Army job was Director of Army Community Services for which he was awarded a Chief of the General Staff Commendation.

In 1997 he was ordained as an Anglican Deacon in the ANZAC Memorial Chapel of St Paul Duntroon and Priest in St Saviour’s Cathedral, Goulburn.  In 1998 Rob transferred to the Army Reserve as a chaplain.

As a chaplain Rob served in the ARA at the Royal Military College, Duntroon, 4 RAR (Commando) and the Directorate of Mental Health.  In the ARES, as a chaplain, he has had many postings including the past seven years within 6th Brigade.  As an Anglican minister, Rob has been parish priest at Gordon, prison chaplain at Goulburn and he now runs programs to help veterans and their families.

Rob has deployed overseas on operations seven times including Bougainville, Afghanistan, Timor Leste and the South Pacific.  Since 2009 Rob has been researching and developing programs to help soldiers suffering from Moral Injuries or Spiritual Wounds and developing resilience programs.  For this he was awarded a Conspicuous Service Cross in 2014.

Rob is married to Penny and they have three children and five grandchildren.

Contact Archdeacon Rob Sutherland 

Archdeacon to the Air Force and Ministry Development Officer – 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