Minister's Profile

Rev. Liellie McLaughlin   BA (Languages), MPhysio (UniSA), BTh.

Liellie was born in South Africa and worked as a physiotherapist in hospitals in South Africa during the years of apartheid South-Africa before moving to Australia in 1984. Married to Irish-born Michael, researcher-cum-farmer, she is blessed with two children: Anna, studying in London and Ben working in Toronto. She finds living on a farm in Montacute both a delight and a lovely place to have gone off the grid, do regular bush-walks, potter in the vegie patch, make wine and keep bees. She is also involved with Interplay and connects with the local community by planting trees and playing scrabble. Reading is a joy and a great place to ponder theological sub-positions such as wondering about the life of the ant.

Liellie was ordained in 2008. Her previous ministerial placements include Coordinating Chaplain at Resthaven (Marion and Bellevue Heights) and Eden Hills Uniting Church, during which she gained grants from Mitcham and Adelaide City Councils to assist in the work of connecting with the wider community. Liellie is particularly interested in interfaith and multifaith work, exploring the experiences of new arrivals to Adelaide. Her appointment as one of the Ministers at Maughan UC included being Coordinator of the Welcome Centre which aimed to welcome new arrivals, including members of the Sudanese Congregation.

Working at the Brian Burdekin Medical Centre (a medical centre for marginalised people) as a Physiotherapist since 2012 has deepened Liellie's awareness of the marked challenges faced on a daily basis by Aboriginal people, former refugees and other marginalised people in Adelaide. Volunteering with the Adelaide City Council, Liellie became a facilitator of a social support group: Random Acts of Welcome (RAW) in 2012. RAW aims to welcome new arrivals, bridge culturally created silos, and facilitate integration and access to life in Adelaide, all with a capacity-building focus. The creation of a quarterly Interfaith Forum, initiated at Eden Hills UCA in 2014, paved the way for Liellie to become a member of the Multifaith SA Board.

Currently Liellie works alongside organisations such as STTARS (Survivors of Torture and Trauma Assistance and Rehabilitation Service), Fuse Friendship Programme, Circle of Friends, Catherine House, MARRnet (Migration and Refugee Research Network) and Hope's Café, all of which work with new arrivals. Since the commencement of the pilot-programme 'Community Connections' at Pilgrim in 2019, this work has expanded to focus on three groups: former refugees, marginalised folk and new arrivals. The aim is to help grow connections with Indigenous people and enhance learning of environmental and interfaith matters. Being a member of the EAG (Environment Action Group) of SA, Multifaith SA, Justice for Refugees, Montacute Progress Community, Circle of Friends (Circle 114), Morialta Bio-link and a volunteer for the City of Adelaide enhances Liellie's joy of connecting with community in rich ways. The gracious and quiet work of many members of the UCA, other churches and the wider community, is also a vital part of this work.

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