Lismore Business Chaplaincy



Two roles: Chaplaincy Team Member (Volunteer) and Coordinating Chaplain (Employed)

Expressions of Interest: Extended to Friday, 24 November 2023



These roles are for spiritually mature people with proven capacity in pastoral care and pastoral leadership. 


Following the identification of an acute need for pastoral care to the business community of Lismore and local areas affected by the flooding events of 2017 and 2022, it was determined that a local business chaplaincy service be established in cooperation with the following parties: The Lismore Ministers’ Fellowship, the Lismore City Council, Business Lismore, Business NSW and the Disaster Recovery Chaplaincy Network1 (DRCN). 

The Purpose of the Lismore Business Chaplaincy 

To provide well trained and consistent chaplaincy support to local business owners and their staff. 

The history of this arrangement 

Following the 2017 Northern Rivers flood event, the Lismore Ministers’ Fellowship received support from the NSW Disaster Recovery Chaplaincy Network (DRCN). A need to support local businesses which had been flood affected was identified and the Fellowship organised for the DRCN to conduct training for local church volunteers to be engaged in a local chaplaincy service and provide care to local businesspeople. This was supported by Council, and the teams coordinated by a local psychologist. This was highly effective. (See report 2). 

The even more devastating, floods of 2022 caused severe damage, disruption and trauma to business owners. Repeated loss on an even greater scale was even more traumatic than the first event. The suicide of a local businessperson and clear identification of ongoing stress of many others has greatly concerned local clergy, Council and business groups, and it became clear that a second iteration of the previous chaplaincy service could be very valuable. 

At the request of some local ministers, Stephen Robinson (Coordinator) and David Riethmuller (Operations and Connections Manager) of the Disaster Recovery Chaplaincy Network (DRCN) travelled to the area and met with the above parties to consider enabling a new iteration of the chaplaincy service using local DRCN volunteers. There was strong support for this. 

The Anticipated Scope and Practice of the Chaplaincy Team 

  • The chaplains engaged in this team would be experienced pastoral carers (either local ministry agents or people who have already conducted local chaplaincy roles – e.g. in local hospitals or education). 
  • The team would include a paid coordinator and between 6 and 10 volunteer chaplains. 
  • The team will operate as part of the ministry of the DRCN and under the DRCN Code of Ethics (See attached). As such, chaplains will be prohibited from any evangelism or proselytization (seeking to influence people to join their faith or follow a particular belief). Their key function will be as a ‘safe space’ and support for those needing it. 
  • Chaplains will NOT be offering psychological support or business advice but may be able, where requested by those visited, to refer people on to supports available through the Council, business groups or elsewhere. 
  • All parties could offer support to the chaplaincy service through publicity, connection and referrals. 
  • The team will be accountable through the Team Coordinator to the Steering Committee 

The role of each party to the steering committee

  • The Ministers’ Fellowship and the Catholic Diocese of Lismore will promote and enable the training, vet, endorse and supply suitable volunteer chaplains, and ensure the wellbeing of the chaplains engaged. Local churches will also provide further pastoral care and support of those members of the business community referred by chaplains. 
  • The DRCN will provide suitable training to the volunteers, recruit, appoint and fund the coordinator and oversee his or her work. All this will take place under the code of ethics and guiding principles of the DRCN. 
  • Lismore City Council will convene the Steering Committee and contribute links to and from businesses and support services for referrals. 
  • Business Lismore and Business NSW will assist in the orientation of chaplains (particularly in regard to the needs of local business owners and staff) and may make referrals to the network for pastoral care. 

The process of establishing the business chaplaincy team 

  1. All parties named in the Memorandum of Understanding have agreed to participate in the establishment and support of the business chaplaincy. 
  2. The steering committee has been established comprising representatives from each of the following: The Lismore Ministers’ Fellowship, the Catholic Diocese of Lismore, the Lismore City Council, the Business Lismore and Business NSW and the DRCN management. 
  3. A coordinator be appointed (2 days per week) – vetted and employed by the DRCN, funded by the Uniting Church Moderator’s Disaster Relief Fund for a period of six months with a review at five months, and the possibility of an extension for a further six months. 
  4. A new Lismore Business Chaplaincy team be formed up (under the DRCN) made up from:

              a. Existing DRCN chaplains

              b. New chaplains (proposed by the churches’ leadership) recruited for this purpose. 

5. Training be run by the DRCN, which will include: 

              a. 2-day Disaster Recovery Chaplaincy Core training (for new chaplains) 

              b. 1-day extra training for all involved which will consist of half a day suicide awareness and intervention training and half a day business issues training with input from Business Lismore and Business NSW. 



To provide well trained and consistent chaplaincy support to local business owners and their staff for an average of 8 hours per week. 

Key responsibilities 

  • Provide pastoral support to people engaged in local businesses and relevant organisations. 
  • Work under the oversight of the coordinating chaplain, providing the coordinator with regular feedback and appropriate information. 
  • Work as part of a chaplaincy team, providing and receiving support and encouragement from fellow team members. 
  • Abiding by the DRCN Code of Ethics and Guiding Principles. 

Essential Qualifications, Experience and Characteristics 

  • Proven pastoral skills and experience. 
  • The ability to listen without judgement. 
  • Willingness to make appropriate referrals. 
  • A high level of spiritual formation, self-awareness, and self-discipline. 
  • An established practice of good self-care. Willingness to undertake professional or peer supervision. 
  • Strong supporting networks in life and ministry. 
  • Effective communication and networking skills. 
  • Commitment to the work of disaster recovery chaplaincy. 
  • Basic computer literacy. 
  • Willingness to respect people’s stories and maintain confidentiality. 


To enable and coordinate well trained and consistent chaplaincy support to local business owners and their staff. 

Key Responsibilities 

  • Oversight of volunteer chaplains within the business chaplaincy team. This will include the following: 
  • Recruitment of local volunteer chaplains in cooperation with the Lismore Minister’s Fellowship and the DRCN. 
  • Supporting the DRCN in the organisation of training the chaplains. 
  • Coordination of the chaplains in who and how they visit local business people. 
  • Providing pastoral support and advice to the chaplains 
  • Connecting with Council and Business organisations to ensure good referral and support mechanisms for those the chaplains encounter. 

Employment of the Coordinating Chaplain – The Coordinating Chaplain will be employed by the Uniting Church, Synod of NSW and ACT as part of the DRCN team. The role will be funded by the Moderator’s Fund. 

Term of EmploymentTwo days per week for six months with a review at five months, and the possibility of extension for a further six months. 

Management and oversight of this role  – The Coordinating Chaplain will meet regularly with both the Steering Committee and the Senior Chaplain of the DRCN (this position’s line manager). 

Reporting  – The Coordinating Chaplain will make monthly written reports to the Steering Committee. 

Key Relationships 

  • The Business Chaplains within the Team 
  • The groups represented by the Steering Committee 

Essential Qualifications, Experience and Characteristics 

  • Ordained or Lay leadership within a church or faith-based organisation 
  • Demonstrated commitment to chaplaincy. 
  • A high level of spiritual formation, self-awareness, and self-discipline. 
  • An established practice of good self-care, professional supervision and strong supporting networks in life and ministry. 
  • Strong communication and networking skills. 
  • Commitment to the work of disaster recovery chaplaincy. 
  • Knowledge of emergency management, critical incident stress, and the importance and place of pastoral response in this context 
  • A commitment to continuing education in these areas. 
  • Good computer literacy. 
  • A commitment to work within the national principles of disaster recovery, trauma-informed care and the DRCN Code of Ethics and Guiding Principles. 
  • A current driver’s licence and use of a vehicle. 


Classification: Minister in placement 

Employment Type: Two days per week 

Appointing Body: Uniting Church Synod Standing Committee

Team: DRCN 

Report Line: Coordinator/Senior Chaplain DRCN 

Direct Reports: Steering Committee 

Created by: Stephen Robinson 



Expressions of Interest shall be lodged by Close-of-business Friday 24 November 2023.

Expressions of Interest should be submitted by email to

Email subject heading- Expression of Interest Lismore Business Chaplaincy

Expressions of Interest should include the following information- 

  • Your name and address 
  • Church or faith group affiliation 
  • Church/faith group leader contact details (as a referee) 
  • Details of relevant experience 
  • Details of which role you are applying for (you may choose both) 

Should you wish to discuss or receive more information regarding these roles, send an email to detailing your name and telephone number, and you will be contacted. 



Position Description

DRCN Code of Ethics


Type: Part time

Category: Minister

Reference ID:

Date Posted: 07/11/2023