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Episcopal Vicar
Very Reverend Fr Denis Stanley EV
Very Reverend Fr Denis Stanley EV has served as the Episcopal Vicar for Ecumenism and Interfaith Relations in the Archdiocese of Melbourne since 2010. He has been active in Archdiocesan and National Ecumenical initiatives, especially as a member of the executive at the National Council of Churches of Australia. He has a particular interest in ecumenical dialogue and is a member of the Australian Anglican-Roman Catholic Theological Dialogue. He has also been the facilitator for the "trialogue" between the Lutheran, Uniting and Anglican churches. Having served as the Chair of the Ecumenical and Interfaith Commission from 2010 to 2016, Fr Denis is currently Rector of the Provincial Seminary, Corpus Christi College.
Current Members
Rev. Fr Cameron Forbes STL - Chair
Rev. Fr Cameron Forbes STL was appointed Chair of the Ecumenical and Interfaith Commission by Archbishop Hart in 2017. Before entering the seminary, he worked in both government and legal fields. Raised in the Anglican tradition, he became a Catholic during his time in the workforce and was ordained in 2009, serving in the parish of Werribee before undertaking studies in Rome in moral theology. He is currently a formator at the provincial seminary, Corpus Christi College, and a lecturer in moral theology at Catholic Theological College. His research interests include the development and relevance of Christian just war principles, and the relationship between authentic friendship and social media use. He is a trained musician, playing piano and organ, who also enjoys choral singing and direction.
 
Mr David Schütz - Executive Officer
Mr David Schütz has been the Executive Officer of the Commission since 2002. He was a Lutheran pastor from 1992 to 2001 and was received into the Catholic Church in 2003. For many years a member of the Victorian Council of Churches Faith and Order Commission (both as a Lutheran and a Catholic), David served as Chair of the Commission from 2012 to 2015. A foundation member of the Jewish Christian Muslim Association, he served as Secretary of JCMA from 2009 to 2012. His theological interests focus on ecumenism, church history and liturgical theology. He is an adult faith educator for Anima Education, a cantor in his local parish and at the Cathedral, a member of the Christian Motorcyclists Association and a member of the Australian Rat Fanciers Association.
Associate Professor Rev. Dr John Dupuche
Rev. Fr Dr John Dupuche is an Emeritus Pastor of the Archdiocese of Melbourne and Associate Professor of the University of Divinity. He retired from his role as Parish Priest of the Ricketts Point Catholic parish in 2015. He is Chair of the Catholic Interfaith Committee and much engaged in interreligious relations in the Archdiocese. He is also on the executive of the School of Prayer within the Archbishop's Office for Evangelisation. At Catholic Theological College, he is the co-ordinator of the Graduate Certificate in Guiding Meditation within the Department of Pastoral and General Studies. He is also an Honorary Fellow at Australian Catholic University in the Inter-religious Dialogue Network of the Faculty of Theology and Philosophy, an Honorary Research Associate at the Centre for Studies in Religion and Theology at Monash University. His particular area of interest is in the interface between Christianity and Kashmir Shaivism.
Dr Max Stephens
Dr Max Stephens  is a senior research fellow in the Graduate School of Education at The University of Melbourne. He is the longest serving member of the Commission, having been a member since 1978. He has served as member and chair of the Faith and Order Commission of the Victorian Council of Churches; and has been an executive member of the Council of Christians and Jews (Victoria).  He is also active in inter-church activities in Kensington as a member of the pastoral council of his parish.
Sr Dr Mary Reaburn NDS
Sr Dr Mary Reaburn joined the Commission in 2006. She is a Sister of Our Lady of Sion, and a lecturer in Old Testament studies at the Yarra Theological Union in Box Hill. She is also a member of the Catholic Interfaith Committee. Her special interest and expertise is Jewish Christian relations, in particular Jewish interpretation of the Bible and the biblical imperative for justice. The Sion Sisters conduct a Centre for Biblical Formation in Jerusalem and Mary works some months of each year in this Centre.
Sr Cheryl Camp RSM
Sr Cheryl Camp is a Mercy Sister who holds the degree of Master of Islamic Studies from the Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Melbourne University. She has worked extensively in education in Papua New Guinea and Pakistan, and with Aboriginal Communities in Australia. Her special interest is Muslim-Christian dialogue. She has been a member of the Commission since 2012.
Mr Jeff Wild
Mr Jeff Wild works for the National Council of Churches in Australia as the Development Officer for their international aid agency, Act for Peace. Jeff was previously a teacher and has holds an M.Ed. in Religious Education. From 1998 to 2001, he served as Executive Officer of this Commission. Since joining Act for Peace (then Christian World Service) in 2001, he has travelled to India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Fiji, Geneva and Kuala Lumpur, and completed a Graduate Certificate in International Development. Jeff is married to Rev. Margie Dahl of the Uniting Church in Australia and together they are particularly interested in interchurch families. Jeff has been a member of the Commission since 2013.
Associate Professor Dr Nasir Butrous
Dr Nasir Butrous is Associate Professor of Management at the Australian Catholic University in the Faculty of Law and Business. Before he took up this role, Nasir had been actively involved as a Member of the Commission for Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations in the Archdiocese of Brisbane (since 2003) and Chair of the Brisbane Catholic-Muslim Dialogue Taskforce (since 2002). He is a member of the Chaldean Catholic Church with a special interest in Muslim-Christian dialogue. Nasir joined the Commission in the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne in 2013.
Dr Edmund Chia
Dr Edmund Chia is originally from Malaysia. He served as Executive Secretary of Interreligious Dialogue for the Asian Bishops' Conferences from 1996-2004. He then joined Catholic Theological Union in Chicago where he last served as Associate Professor and Chair of the Doctrinal Studies department. Since 2011 he has been on the faculty of the Australian Catholic University in Melbourne. Edmund joined the Commission in 2014. For further information, see the ACU website.
Rev. Fr Geof McIlroy
Rev. Fr Geoffrey McIlroy was born in England and raised in Sydney and Melbourne. He worked as an Industrial Chemist for 25 years and part-time with St Vincent de Paul Society, Pathway Christian Counselling service, Christian Motorcyclists Association, and overseas mission work. For many years he worked within the Anglican and Baptist communities. In 2011, he entered the Corpus Christi College and then spent four years studying in Rome, receiving a BTh and being ordained Priest in June 2016 for the Archdiocese of Melbourne. He is currently assistant priest in the Parish of Melton. He is also a member of the Jewish Christian Muslim Association.

Rev. Deacon Dr Joseph Leach
Rev. Deacon Dr Joseph Leach has a PhD in planetary geology, is married to Amanda and is the father of three boys. He worked as a lecturer at Footscray Insitute of Technology, a research scientist for the CSIRO, an intelligence officer for the Royal Australian Air Force, and a lecturer at the University of Melbourne until 2015. He studied theology at Melbourne College of Divinity and has a MA(Theol) from the Australian Catholic University. In 2012 he was ordained a Deacon in the Catholic Church. Deacon Joe has co-authored six non-fiction books in both geology and the theology of the eastern church and has written over 80 scientific papers and reports. He also writes fiction and poetry under the pen name of Joseph Liaigh.
Mrs Elissa Roper
Elissa Roper is a doctoral candidate in systematic theology at Yarra Theological Union. Her thesis has the working title of "The Catholic Church as Synodal: taking responsibility as the Body of Christ". Since 2013, Elissa has served as a Catholic representative on the Victorian Council of Churches Faith and Order Commission. She was appointed to the Commission in June 2017. A highlight of her working career has been her current role as Project Co-ordinator for the Sisters of Mercy program of theological education in Papua New Guinea. Elissa and her family are members of the Healesville Parish.
Past Members
Monsignor Franco Cavarra
Monsignor Franco Cavarra, is parish priest of St. Clement of Rome Parish in Bulleen. His interest in ecumenism dates back to his student days at university, and he joined the Commission as a newly ordained deacon in March 1998. Prior to becoming a priest, he worked in the performing arts as a freelance director of opera and drama and Arts Festivals generally. Mons. Franco took leave of absence from the Commission in order to direct the "Stations of the Cross" production at the 2008 World Youth Day in Sydney. In recognition of this contribution, Pope Benedict XVI made him a Prelate of Honour in 2009. He resigned from the Commission in June 2017.
Mrs Gwenda Rait
Mrs Gwenda Rait joined the Commission in 2006 and retired from this role in 2016. She was also an active  member of the Catholic Interfaith Committee during this time, very much involved in local interfaith issues through the Janssen Centre for Spirituality and the Knox Interfaith Network.
Monsignor Peter Kenny:
Monsignor Peter Kenny: Ordained in 1962, Peter earned a Doctorate in Theology and was a lecturer at Corpus Christi College from 1971 until 1992. From then until his retirement in 2013 he was Parish Priest of St Monica’s, Moonee Ponds. Peter served as Episcopal Vicar for Ecumenism and Interfaith Relations in the Archdiocese of Melbourne and Chair of the Commission until his retirement from these roles in January 2010. He is a Diocesan Censor, a member of the Archdiocesan Marriage Tribunal since 1968, and served as both President and Treasurer of the Victorian Council of Churches.
Rev. Fr Len Thomas
Mr Gary Cuthell
In Memoriam
Sr Margaret Galvin
Sr Margaret Mary Galvin
(13.04.1928 - 15.11.2016)

Eldest daughter of Frank and Eileen Galvin, Margaret joined the Sisters of Charity in 1954, and worked in schools and parishes where, under the influence of John Main and Lawrence Freeman , she formed groups in Spirituality and Family Development. Sr Margaret attended her first Commission meeting as a member on 1 February 1995. She continued as a faithful member of the Commission for the next 13 years, also representing the Archdiocese on the Victorian Council of Churches. The last meeting she attended was on 21 May 2008, and she tendered her resignation by letter to the next meeting on 18 June, 2008.
Dr Basil Johns
Dr Basil Johns (11-10-1930 to 4-02-2013) was the longest serving member of the Commission, from July 1970 to July 2010. He was was a pioneer of organic geochemistry in Australia, teaching in the Chemistry department at Melbourne University. In the early days of the Commission, Basil assisted with the 1973 Eucharistic Congress and was editor of the Ecumenical Bulletin, chairing Commission meetings on occasions when Fr Percy Jones was unavailable. Basil was a Catholic delegate to the Victorian Council of Churches from the time when the Archdiocese joined the Council in 1979 until 2010. In 2004, Basil gained a Bachelor of Divinity degree from Melbourne College of Divinity, and a Master of Theology degree in 2011.
Sr Gabrielle Smyth
Sister Gabrielle Smyth (11-3-1925 to 15-7-2010) was a Missionary Sister of the Sacred Heart who served as Provincial Superior and moved to Rome as an Assistant to the Sister General in the late 1960s. While in Rome, she came to appreciate the developments that were taking place in the Catholic Church following the Council. On her return to Melbourne, Dr Percy Jones nominated her as one of the first Catholic Delegate on the VCC, remaining an active delegate until the year of her death. She was one of the first from Australia to attend the Irish School of Ecumenics in Dublin.
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