Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture


The Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture is governed by a Board of Directors (under delegation from the Council of Charles Sturt University) consisting of representatives of the Christian churches.

The ACC&C also has Centre Ambassadors, including its Patron, the Governor-General of Australia.


Right Reverend Professor Stephen Pickard

Right Reverend Professor Stephen Pickard

Executive Director

Professor Pickard was Head of Charles Sturt University's School of Theology from 1998 to 2006. Since then he has served as an Anglican Bishop in the Archdiocese of Adelaide, Visiting Fellow Ripon Theological College, Cuddesdon, Oxford; Acting CEO Anglicare Canberra & Goulburn and as a priest in a Canberra parish.

He is currently an Assistant Bishop in the Canberra-Goulburn Diocese and is the author of several books, including Seeking the Church: An introduction to Ecclesiology (2012) and In-Between God: Theology, Community and Discipleship (2011).

Professor Pickard was appointed Executive Director of the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture and Professor of Theology at Charles Sturt University in September 2013.

Bishop Philip Huggins

Bishop Philip Huggins

Director of Centre for Ecumenical Studies

Bishop Philip Huggins, current President of the National Council of Churches in Australia (NCCA), was appointed Director of the Centre for Ecumenical Studies (CES) in 2019.

Bishop Huggins’ appointment follows the retirement earlier in 2018 of the former Director Rev’d Dr Ray Williamson OAM.

Bishop Huggins coordinates key activities of the CES including an annual roundtable event, an ecumenical course held on average every two years and annual event to mark the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

Bishop Huggins is supported by a CES Advisory Board which is chaired by Professor Ross Chambers.

Bishop Huggins recently resigned from his position as an assistant bishop in the Anglican Diocese of Melbourne. He brings a wealth of experience and networks to the role. He has held senior positions in a range of diocesan, national and international bodies including social responsibilities, refugee taskforce, Brotherhood of St Laurence, Jewish, Christian Muslim association and Centre for Dialogue La Trobe University.

Elizabeth MacKinlay

Professor Elizabeth MacKinlay AM

Elizabeth is both a registered nurse and a priest in the Anglican Church of Australia. She was the inaugural Director of the Centre for Ageing and Pastoral Studies at St Mark's National Theological Centre, Canberra 2001 to 2012. Professor MacKinlay researches issues of ageing and spirituality, including well-ageing, frailty and dementia. The book: Finding meaning in the experience of dementia. (MacKinlay and Trevitt) was awarded the 2013 Australasian Journal of Ageing book prize. A companion book 2015 is titled: Facilitating spiritual reminiscence for people with dementia: A learning guide. A second edition of Elizabeth’s book: The Spiritual Dimension of Ageing was published in 2017.

Ann Harrington

Professor Ann Harrington

Ann comes to CSU with a background in nursing practice and nursing research. She has been employed in the tertiary sector for 36 years and continues to hold Academic Status with Flinders University in South Australia. She has supervised 20 Honours, Masters and PhD students to successful completion and is currently primary supervisor for 4 PhD students. She has obtained research grants that include funding from ARC, Health Workforce Australia, Department of Health (previously DSS) and industry partners. Her contributions to teaching include expertise in palliative care, spirituality, nursing care of the older person, qualitative research and research design. She has a major in curriculum planning and has undertaken curriculum development for post and undergraduate nursing students. Her publications include refereed reports, book chapters, book reviews and numerous conference presentations at national and international levels. She is a Fellow of Australian College of Nursing and foundation member of Australian Hartford Consortium of Gerontology Nursing Excellence.

Dr Peter Hooton

Head of Research Secretariat

Peter Hooton is a former career diplomat with extensive overseas experience in Africa (Dar es Salaam and Nairobi), the Middle East (Riyadh), South and Southeast Asia (Colombo and Kuala Lumpur), and the South Pacific (Apia, Suva, and Honiara).

Prior to leaving the public service at the beginning of 2012, he was the Assistant Secretary in charge of DFAT’s Arms Control and Counter-Proliferation Branch. Peter subsequently helped write the report prepared by the ANU’s Centre for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament, and published in 2013, on Nuclear Weapons: The State of Play.

He has an MTh from CSU and has just completed a doctoral thesis on Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s concept of “religionless Christianity” and its place in his broader theology.

Mrs Hazel Francis

Mrs Hazel Francis

Centre Manager

Hazel has responsibility for the day to day management of the centre, its events and functions and also provides assistance to the Executive Director.

Mrs Katherine Waite

Mrs Katherine Waite

Communications and Database Coordinator

Katherine has particular responsibility for the communications activities of the Centre, especially events. She has been working at the Centre since September 2016.

Miss Sarah Stitt

Dr Lauren Bartley

Corporate Services and Events Officer

Lauren job shares with Sarah Stitt as the Corporate Services and Events Officer at the Centre and was appointed in December 2017.

Sarah Stitt

Miss Sarah Stitt

Corporate Services and Events Officer

Sarah job shares with Dr Lauren Bartley as the Corporate Services and Events Officer at the Centre and was appointed in December 2017.

Justin Aquilina

Mr Justin Aquilina

Gardener/horticulturalist for the Bible Garden

Justin Aquilina is the new gardener/horticulturalist for the Bible Garden at the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture.

Justin was appointed in February 2019 and  will work at the garden for a number of days each month. He said his favourite plant at the Bible Garden was the Holly Oak or Holm and that he was hoping to create a beautiful space at the Bible Garden for people to enjoy.