2023 Theme: My Spiritual Journey
MICHAEL GILL: A practicing solicitor, grandfather and recently widowed, Michael comes from an active Catholic background, including CYO where he met his wife Kathy. Active in his Jesuit North Sydney parish, in 2018 Michael formed a small group of reform minded Catholics, called VOCAL.
He is encouraged by the possibility of change within the Catholic Church with the Synod on Synodality.
LUKE SMITH. An avid long distance runner, Luke, 28 years old, attended St. Ignatius College, Riverview, but does not participate much in church activities. He does however love exploring the bigger questions of life/spirituality, through a combination of books, life experiences and conversations with others. More recently he embraces living in the present moment.
NINA ANGELO. Born in Athens, Nina migrated to Sydney with her parents who survived Nazi concentration camps. Nina attended the National Art School and has been awarded the Order of Australia medal plus a range of other honours for her contribution to community and culture. She is
a marriage celebrant, an arts consultant, a writer and cultural activist.
MICHAEL BARNES. Michael enjoys being on journeys, geographical and spiritual, finding them great teachers. He has learnt so much through the challenges and opportunities they throw up. Michael was a Uniting Church Minister for over 30 years, which allowed him to ride near or beyond the boundaries of religion, and now is on a journey in retirement.
JENNIFER HENRY. Having worked in the Public service and studied at University, Jennifer recently
moved from the country to live on the Central Coast. She has married three times and has two
children. Life hasn’t always been easy but through all the difficulties Jennifer has retained her
VERONIQUE HARRIMAN. With a background in Social Work, Veronique now works as a counsellor
for a not-for-profit organisation, after graduating with a Masters in Counselling in 2021. Veronique
lives life from the standpoint of humility and compassion which she derives from the spiritual aspects of her being.
JENI ANDREWS. A meditator and practitioner of Buddhist philosophies for the past 40 years, in 2011 Jeni was given the opportunity to help establish and manage Central Coast Meditation Centre. Then in 2018 she had the good fortune to volunteer at a Buddhist centre in Rome, after studying Italian for many years.
RICHARD THOTRNTON. Arriving in Australia as a ‘ten quid pom’, Richard has enjoyed parallel careers as a doctor (rural medicine for 30 years, then Palliative Care consultant for 10) and as an ordained Anglican minister. Ministry has been of an evangelical interdenominational character, mostly in small country churches.
JUDY THORNTON. Born in Sydney, Judy has enjoyed careers as a High School Art Teacher, mother of 4, and Practice Manager. She trained in theology and has spoken at many events, and coordinated scripture teaching across Northwest NSW. Like Richard, Judy loves to sing – both have been involved in musical theatre and concerts.
DON ARCHER. A professional civil engineer, now retired, Don spent 41 years in the NSW rail system,
where he was appointed to several senior management positions. He also has been a lifelong member of the Salvation Army where he has been very active and held a number of lay positions in various congregations. His convictions as an active Christian have been a major influence in his life.
ELEANOR CASTLE. Originally from the Hunter Valley, Eleanor has lived on the Central Coast with her family since 2008. Her background is in Primary School Education, Theology and Counselling. For 10 years, Eleanor has been a chaplain in aged care and palliative care, working at Gosford Hospital since February 2022.
NOVEMBER 14 (Second Tuesday) Special Guest Speaker
DR ANDREW KWONG: Born in China under Mao’s oppressive regime, Andrew later made his way to
Australia, graduated as a doctor and became a Fellow of the RACGP in 1982. He has been a GP on the Central Coast since 1979. Andrew is a multi-award writer including the Michael Crouch Award for a debut work in The National Biography Award 2021 for One Bright Moon, a memoir about his life in China and his endeavour to become a doctor.
What is Spirituality in the Pub? SIP is a an initiative of Catalyst for Renewal which provides a forum to prompt open exchanges among the community of believers mindful of the diversity of expression of faith in contemporary Australia.
WHERE? The Grange Hotel, Cnr Renwick St & Pacific Hwy, WYOMING 2250
WHEN? 7.30pm – 9.00pm 1st Tuesday in March – October 2nd Tues in Nov.
Bistro meals from 5-30pm
Terry Cooke: 4365 4502
Tony Voller: 4362 1579;
Maryke Keulemans: 4365 9197