The Red Sea is the culmination of 14+ years of prayer, listening, discussion, and planning. We first tried to establish the centre in 2009, but the time was not yet right for us. In 2019, the concept was presented at the Missions Interlink South Pacific Member Care Conference in Dunedin, New Zealand, where it received overwhelming support and encouragement.
We have been working towards this goal ever since, with the help, guidance, and advice of many mission agencies in the region. With the formation of our Board in July 2021, we gained an incredible foundation of knowledge and wisdom. The board appointed our immensely qualified CEO, Mark van Rossen, in February 2022. The momentum of Mark and his wonderful wife and teammate Lorene has driven the centre since.
As we open our doors, we feel so grateful and blessed to have had such great support, as we step forward in faith on our mission to support the Christian mission community.
Our full Statement of Faith can be found here.
Our board members have immense experience and breadth of understanding, and above all, passion for our purpose. We are truly blessed by their support and direction, which has been fundamental to our development and focus. Their support guides us to reach the world for Christ, by supporting the vital work of our members and clients.
Rev Karen Newnham
Karen is a qualified spiritual director, ordained pastor with the Baptist church, accredited Cerny Smith facilitator, accredited Myers Briggs facilitator, trained at Le Ruecher in Critical Incident debriefing and a trained pastoral ministry supervisor with the Baptist Union. Karen served with Global Interaction (10 years) in Bangladesh, Malawi, China and Kazakhstan, was the Personnel Director with Global Interaction (11 years) and Interim Personnel Director Interserve (1 year). Currently she works as Multicultural Pastor (Camberwell Baptist church), as a Member Care worker for Missions Interlink, Chaplain for Interserve staff in Australia, Member Care worker for Interserve, and South Pacific Member Care Network Coordinator.
Dr David Nicholls
David is the Associate Area Director for the Pacific, SIL International, with responsibilities that include language strategy, organisational planning and project management. David has previously served with SIL in PNG in aviation, and then in Bible translation and language development programs in New Caledonia (Yuanga language community) and Vanuatu (South Efate). David also served as Director of SIL Vanuatu, Associate Director for Wycliffe Australia, and Principal Executive Officer of SIL Australia, before joining the SIL Pacific Area team. He currently chairs the boards of SIL Australia and SIL Pacific and is a director of Wycliffe Relief and Development Foundation. He has a PhD in organisational leadership, with research interests in leadership in multicultural contexts, language program strategies, and postcolonialism and mission.
Dr Kate Pocklington
Kate oversees the multi-cultural leadership development and formation initiatives within the Oceania Region of a faith-based not-for-profit organisation. She brings with her a background in community development within the urban slums of India, training and development experience within the mobilisation hub of the same organisation, and a passion to see people authentically live out their faith for the sake of others. She holds a doctorate in Intercultural Studies, with a focus on cross-cultural formational matters.
Dr Katherine Thompson
Katherine has a BA, BAppSci(Hons), BTh, BSW, PhD, is a Clinical Researcher, an Accredited Mental Health Social Worker, and Member of the Australian College of Social Workers. She is an Honorary Associate Fellow of Melbourne School of Theology. Her current research interests include youth mental health, personality disorders, psychosis, and the well-being of people who work in mission. She has her own private practice with a focus on young people aged 12-25 years, and ministry and mission staff. In 2019, her book Christ Centred Mindfulness: Connection to Self and God won the Martin Institute for Christianity and Culture and the Dallas Willard Research Center book award.
After many years as a chartered accountant in England, Daniel heard the call to mission. Along with his wife Libby, he served with MAF in Tanzania for three years, then in Kenya for four years, before moving to Cairns in 2013. He is currently the Finance Manager for MAF, where his financial expertise has been invaluable. He continues to share his time and knowledge for the benefit of Christian mission by serving on the Red Sea Board.
Carol and her husband of over 45 years, Doug, have long been involved in cross-cultural mission work. Their interest began in 1974, when they visited Doug’s sister and brother-in-law, who were translating the Bible into Kriol in Arnhem Land. Carol later worked at Global Interaction for many years, which cemented her passion for mission. She and Doug have visited Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand on short term visits to support teams in both administration and I.T. Since retiring five years ago, Carol has coordinated a mentoring program in Beaconsfield Primary school through an organisation called Crosslinks.