Vision, Guidance and Support

Defence Anglican Chaplaincy provides an effective Leadership and Governance structure to ensure both the Defence Force leadership and serving Chaplains are provided the associated vision, guidance and support for effectiveness.


Our Leadership Team has extensive Defence Force Experience…

Our on-going commitment to Leadership is to provide experienced and capable leaders that the Defence Force can call on at the appropriate times.

Grant Dibden

Anglican Bishop to the Australian Defence Force

Image of Bishop, Grant Dibden - Defence Anglicans

Grant is a graduate of the Royal Military College, Duntroon and served 26 years as a logistic officer.

He was involved with the Navigators throughout his military career and left the regular Army in January 2005 to work with them becoming their National Director in 2009.

As part of that transition he became a Chaplain in the Army Reserve where he served until his appointment as the Anglican Bishop to the Australian Defence in March 2020.

Grant has a Theological Diploma, Bachelor of Theology, Bachelor of Science, Masters of Management in Defence Studies, Graduate Diploma of Management, and has formal qualifications in Training Development, Project Management, Chaplaincy and as a Company Director.

Andrew Lewis (RAN)

Archdeacon - Navy

Image of Arch Deacon Andrew Lewis

Andrew is a graduate of the Australian Defence Force Academy.

He spent the next twenty years as a Maritime Logistics Officer.

He was appointed a Chaplain in the RAN in 2010, became the Archdeacon Navy in December 2018 and Director General Chaplaincy – Navy in 2021.

Robert Sutherland (CSC)

Archdeacon - Army

Image of Australian Army Chaplain Robert Sutherland – Defence Anglicans

Rob is a graduate of the Officer Cadet School, Portsea and served as an Infantry Officer for 22 years.

Following this he served as both a full time and part time Chaplain in the Army as well as a parish priest and Prison Chaplain.

He became the Anglican Principal Chaplain and Archdeacon Army in December 2018

Kevin Russell (CSC)

Archdeacon - Airforce

Image of Air Force Chaplain Kevin Russell - Defence Anglicans

Kevin became and Anglican Minister in 1986 and an Air Force Chaplain in 1987.

He served many years as an Air Force Chaplain becoming the Archdeacon Air Force in ….. , the Director-General Chaplaincy Air Force between 2013 and 2017 and serving as the Anglican Principal Chaplain Air Force since 2008.


“There are two separate entities that come together to provide governance, oversight and funding of Defence Anglicans.

Whilst there is some overlap, Defence Force Anglican Chaplaincy Incorporated (DFACI) is an incorporated association which primarily interfaces with Defence Chaplains and the Defence Force Board (DFB) is a canonical body of General Synod which primarily interfaces with the Church.

Both are necessary and the Bishop Chairs both and the Archdeacons are members of the DFB and the DFACI Executive.

Defence Force Anglican Chaplaincy Incorporated (DFACI)

DFACI is the Professional Association of Anglican Defence Force Chaplains providing rules and regulations for the governance of Anglican ministry in the Defence Force in accordance with Anglican polity and ecclesiology.

The DFACI Committee consists of:

  • Chair – Bishop Grant Dibden
  • Archdeacon Navy – Principal Chaplain Andrew Lewis
  • Archdeacon Army – Principal Chaplain Rob Sutherland
  • Archdeacon Air Force – Principal Chaplain Kevin Russell
  • Secretary – Chaplain Sarah Gibson
  • Treasurer – Chaplain Colin Tett
  • Public Officer – Chaplain Andrew Thorburn
  • Service Representatives
    Navy – Chaplain Colin Tett
    Army – Chaplain Jess Grant
    Air Force – Chaplain Stuart Asquith
    Reserve Member – Chaplain Armen Nalbandian
    Housing Member – Chaplain Tracey Sutherland
  • Defence Force Board Lay Representative – Alan Gallimore
  • Registrar – Colonel Mark Francis

Defence Force Board (DFB)

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 Board seeks to promote a closer relationship between itself and Anglican National Church agencies and the 23 dioceses of the Australian Church.

The Defence Force Board (DFB) was established by a Canon of General Synod of the Anglican Church of Australia in order to:

  • be a resource available to the Primate, the bishops, the Synod and the Standing Committee of General Synod on all matters concerned with the ministrations of the Church among men and women of the Defence Force and the families of those men and women;
  • consult with and to give advice to the Bishop to the Defence Force, and
  • maintain the office of the Bishop to the Defence Force.

The Defence Force Board’s members have played an important role in supporting Anglican ADF Chaplains.

Defence Force Board Membership

The member’s affiliation or diocese appears in brackets.

  • The Right Reverend Grant Dibden (Chairman)
  • Chaplain the Venerable Andrew Lewis (Navy)
  • Chaplain the Venerable Rob Sutherland (Army)
  • Chaplain the Venerable Kevin Russell (Air Force)
  • Chaplain the Venerable Glenn Buijs (Melbourne, Chaplain Army Reserve)
  • The Reverend Andrew Nixon (Head of Pastoral Care and Volunteer Services at Hammond Care, Sydney)
  • The Reverend Tim Booker (Rector, Guildford and Villawood, Chaplain Army Reserve)
  • Associate Professor Dr Megan Best (Sydney)
  • Colonel Mark Francis (Canberra)
  • Mr Alan Gallimore (Brisbane)

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