At the NCCA
- Structure (pdf 2.2Mb) (jpg 362Kb)
- Australian Churches Covenanting Together
- Memorandum of Understanding
(between the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Ecumenical Commission
and the National Council of Churches in Australia)
State and National Co-operation
The National Council of Churches in Australia is a national organisation that works in partnership with state ecumenical councils around Australia.
Forum and Executive
While the National Forum of the Council meets every three years, ongoing oversight of the Council is provided by the Executive, which is made up of the heads of national churches, their appointed members, and some elected directly by the Forum.
The central administrative body of the NCCA is the General Secretariat, headed by the General Secretary. Internally there is a Finance and Administration department, which handles the needs of the whole organisation. There is also a Finance Committee that oversees the finances of the entire organisation.
The NCCA works through a number of Commissions, Networks, and Programs. These constitute the 'departments' of the NCCA and order its workplan.
The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Ecumenical Commission works ecumenically among Australian churches and wider society to advance indigenous rights and help the churches understand the implications of their history and their current policies and actions. It has a staff of two, headed by the Executive Secretary. With the NATSIEC’s guidance, the churches are working together for a fair deal for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, and for the healing of our nation.
Act for Peace (Christian World Service)
The largest Commission of the NCCA is Christian World Service, headed by the Executive Director. Christian World Service trades as Act for Peace. It operates as an NGO in the overseas aid sector on behalf of member Churches. Units within CWS are International Programmes, Refugees and Displaced People and Education & Communication. The main source of funds for the work of Act for Peace is the Christmas Bowl, which has been operating in Australia since 1948 in Victoria.
The NCCA's Faith and Unity Commission is based in Melbourne, and operates on a small budget with a small allocation of paid staff time. Much of the work is done by theologians from the churches who act in a voluntary capacity.
The Gender Commission was formed in 2002 out of the former network on women's issues. The Commission operates with the support of the Churches on an entirely voluntary basis.
As a network, the SJN operates to bring Churches together on common social justice issues, and draft material for the Council as a whole. The Network operates with support of the Churches on an entirely voluntary basis.
In 2006 the NCCA established a working group to explore a new project that was eventually called 'Growing Churches in the Australian Context'. The goal is to bring Australian Churches together for a special consultation on mission. Mission work has a long history in the Churches. Read about the history of mission work in the NCCA.
The Safe Church Project is challenged to confront the reality of sexual abuse by clergy and church workers. This is a painful and difficult journey. In 2004, 2005,2007 and 2009 national consultations were held attended by Church workers in the area of sexual abuse and harrassment. The Safe Church Training Agreement program was initiated following the 2005 consultation. It is a way in which the Churches are able to provide a high standard of trained staff, recognised across the Churches, to confront the problem.
The NCCA is a founding partner in the Australian National Dialogue of Christians, Muslims and Jews (ANDCMJ). The Dialogue was officially 'launched' in March 2003 after 12 months of formal preparation, which was preceded by informal contact and discussions between the NCCA, AFIC (Australian Federation of Islamic Councils) and ECAJ (Executive Council of Australian Jewry).
The NCCA is committed to the involvement of youth ecumenically in all of our programs and activities. It is important for the Christian community that the work of the whole Council is 'youth friendly'. Since late 2007 there has not been a specific Youth Network. The member Churches of the Council made a commitment at that time to ensure that Youth are always a part of the work that we do, including young members on the wide range of committees, commissions, networks and working groups that continue to do the work of the Council.
Churches' Tax Group
The Churches' Tax Group emerged out of the need for Australian Churches to work together on issues relating to Australian Taxation Law. Although predominantly composed of representatives of the larger churches, its work is ecumenical in character and benefits all Australian churches. In November 2003, by a decision of the NCCA Executive, in consultation with the group, it became a network of the NCCA.
The NCCA oversees two funds that are available for ecumenical work, the Ronald Wilson Ecumenical Leadership Fund and the Glenburnie Fund.