South Australian moderator, Dr Deidre Palmer, will be the next president-elect of the Uniting Church in Australia following her election today.
Dr Palmer – the second woman appointed to the role following Dr Jill Tabart (1994-1997) – will begin her term at the 15th triennial Assembly in 2018.
Nominated by the Synod of Victoria and Tasmania, Dr Palmer has spent her career studying, teaching and working in Christian education and youth and children’s ministry.
She has also been a counsellor for Uniting Communities’ childhood sexual abuse counselling team.
Married to Lawrie with two adult daughters, Dr Palmer attends Rosefield Uniting Church in Adelaide, and has been involved in helping to co-ordinate a discussion group for youth and young adults.
Dr Palmer has previously served on several Assembly Committees including the Uniting Education Reference Group, the Board of Coolamon College and the Assembly Commission for Mission and National Mission and Evangelism and the Assembly Commission for Liturgy.
Currently she is a member of the Assembly Standing Committee Formation, Education and Discipleship Working Group, the National Task Group responding to the Royal Commission on Institutional Responses to Childhood Sexual Abuse, the Church Polity Reference Committee and the Assembly Business Committee.
Addressing the Assembly, Dr Palmer – who will conclude her current role next year – thanked members for entrusting her with the responsibility of leading the Church.
“It gives me great pleasure to be serving you as president elect,” she said.
“I promise to listen to the Holy Spirit and allow myself to be shaped and empowered by the Spirit.”
Dr Palmer also paid tribute to Dr Tabart.
“It is an honour for me to walk in her footsteps,” she said.