New chapter begins for Australia Eastern Territory
Historic restructure underway in one of Australia’s two territories.
By Scott Simpson –
The Salvation Army began in Australia in 1880 in Adelaide, but two years later a headquarters was established in Sydney, at 260 Castlereagh St., and called The Colony War Office. In 1911, the headquarters changed its name to Provincial War Office, located at 73 Goulburn St. This building also housed the new Sydney Congress Hall Corps.
The Salvation Army’s growth over the next decade resulted in two territories being formed in 1921, the Australia Southern Territory based in Melbourne and the Australia Eastern Territory based in Sydney.
The Salvation Army Australia Eastern Territory is undergoing its most comprehensive restructure since its inception in 1921. Commissioner James Condon, territorial commander, notified the territory of the decision via a video message in fall 2015, and a package of documents outlining the changes went out to all officers and employees of the territory.
The most striking component of the restructure is the reduction of divisions from seven to two: the New South Wales/Australia Capital Territory (NSW/ACT) Division, based in Sydney, and the Queensland Division, headquartered in Brisbane. Eleven “areas” will be established throughout the territory, each overseen by the newly created role of “area officers.” Each area officer will have direct oversight of a specific list of hubs and corps. Seven of these areas will be within the NSW/ACT Division, with the other four in the Queensland Division.
“Our territory is committed to seeing that every part of our headquarters’ activities are as effective as possible in supporting frontline mission,” Condon said. “To that end…our territorial executive, supported by International Headquarters (IHQ), has decided on a comprehensive restructure of territorial headquarters (THQ) and divisional headquarters’ (DHQ) responsibilities in order to deliver the best possible support to the frontline. The changes we make as part of this restructure will help us to be a stronger, more agile and innovative Army now and into the future.”
Condon acknowledged the impact the change would have on many individuals.
“We have the conviction that this is the right move for the future of our territory, but at the same time we are acutely aware that these decisions bring with them considerable pain for some highly valued members of our team,” Condon said. “The territory’s executive would like to acknowledge the outstanding contribution of employees and officers throughout DHQs and THQ over many years. We are eternally grateful for the diligence and professionalism that you have displayed in supporting our mission.
“As a territory, the coming months will be filled with new opportunities, but also new challenges,” Condon said. “If The Salvation Army is to become everything that God is inviting it to be, we must be deeply rooted in prayer, overflowing with hope and grace, and committed to transparency, honesty, vulnerability and tremendous love for one another. Each of these things must be true for us now more than ever.”
The new two-division structure and appointment changes took effect Jan. 14.
See more at salvos.org.au/forwardtogether.