General Synod notes the Bishop Arthur Malcolm intends to retire from his present ministry and to hand over his pastoral staff to a new Aboriginal bishop on Sunday 16 September at St Alban’s Parish in Yarrabah, during this year’s NATSIAC meeting. This will precede the gathering of the(international) Anglican Indigenous Network being hosted by NATSIA for the first time. Members from Alaska, Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, Australian, Canada, Hawaii and the United States will be present.
General Synod places on record the following reference to his life and work. Bishop Malcolm was born at Yarrabah (Queensland) and began training as a Church Army Officer in Stockton (New South Wales) where he completed a Certificate course in Evangelism in 1959. During his time as a Captain in the Church Army he served at Lake Tyers (Victoria) and Brewarrina (New South Wales). People from Victoria and New South Wales express great affection for their beloved “Captain”.
He returned to Yarrabah in 1974 as Chaplain and was ordained by the Bishop of North Queensland in 1978. As well as ministering to his people at Yarrabah he had responsibility for Anglican people at Palm Island. He was made a Canon of St James’ Cathedral, Townsville in 1984 and consecrated Bishop with special responsibility to Aboriginal people in 1985 – the first and (to date) only Aboriginal Bishop in Australia to establish a national Aboriginal Anglican voice in Australia.
During this time he developed an outstanding leadership amongst Aboriginal people and encouraged them in their education, community life and in the many struggles which Indigenous people in Australia encounter.
He has also been engaged in leadership and pastoral support in the non-Indigenous community and is well respected and admired for his sensitive and reconciling counsel.
Arthur Malcolm has had great involvement in the ecumenical community and was foundation Chair of the Aboriginal and Islander Commission of the National Council of Churches in Australia.
In 1992 he and Aboriginal members of the Anglican church of Australia met together and decided Arthur Malcolm was elected Chairman, a position he continues to hold. In nine years the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Anglican Council has had a significant impact and the emerging leadership amongst Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Anglican people is recognised around Australia.
Arthur Malcolm is also involved in international ministry and he has recently been a participant in a meeting of Anglican people from developing countries; he is a member of the Anglican Indigenous Network; and he receives invitations from many places to speak about his ministry and mission. His faith is grounded in his ministry in which he is keenly supported by his wife, Coleen.
This General Synod gives thanks to God for the remarkable contribution that Bishop Arthur Malcolm has made to the Anglican Church of Australia. His committed leadership and his faithfulness to the Gospel of Christ, devotion to the wellbeing of all Aboriginal people in Australia and unstinting service to this church are gifts which we have treasured and which we honour. We offer prayerful good wishes to him and to Coleen, for their retirement.
Bishop C Wood moved, Revd G Shipp seconding.