Reverend Dr Lucy Morris
Lucy is an Anglican priest who found herself being ordained in 2014 after spending a lifetime working in the community sector in Australia while on her faith journey. She still smiles at the unexpectedness of this decision which continues to give her great joy. Her previous work as a leader and experienced CEO in the community sector highlighted the challenges facing ordinary people who must deal with the difficulties of living day to day in poverty and struggling with the inherent discrimination in many of the welfare systems in our world today.
T he lack of social justice for all and the increasing tendency towards populist rhetoric and growth in hate language in our daily conversations which she calls ‘hateoric’ now point more than ever to the need to have a loving God in our lives. Lucy is adamant this does not mean a domesticated God who echoes our views and consumerist desires; she does not believe in the prosperity gospel, but believes in God who loves abundantly, who creates and blesses all of creation, and who does not exclude on grounds of race, religion, gender, sexuality or ability, irrespective of what we might prefer.
Reverend Dr Lucy Morris has a strong academic background. She has a First Class Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree in Theology and a Master of Philosophy degree, both from Manchester University in the UK. She was awarded a Doctor of Philosophy degree from Curtin University in Perth. This latter research explored Leadership, Spirituality, Ethics and Values in Non-Government Organisations and the connections between personal and organisational belief systems and cultures.
Her working life after leaving Manchester University included employment as a journalist and PR consultant and as a manager in the NHS in drug, alcohol and AIDS services in the UK. After moving to Australia, her focus was in the community services sector in WA, working for Anglicare, Mercycare, Community Vision and Baptistcare, the last two where she was CEO for nearly 15 years. These roles took her into state and national environments where she chaired and worked on national issues and with the Commonwealth government. She also spent time as an Adjunct Professor at Notre Dame University School of Business, Fremantle where she co-ordinated a course on leadership and management in the community sector.
She has also run courses in Rome over a number of years on leadership for Anglican clergy women sponsored by the Anglican Centre in Rome. Lucy is currently the Diocesan Secretary for the Anglican Diocese of Bunbury in the south west of Western Australia where she has lived and worked for the last few years. She is also an Assisting Priest in her local parish.
However, beyond this work is a woman who enjoys the simpler things in life. Lucy reflects daily on her conversations with God, with prayer and daily quiet times in reflection, reading, writing and she is a published author and writes her own poetry in her spare time. Her pleasure in sharing and observing nature and the beauty of her surroundings makes her feel very blessed, living as she does in one of the most beautiful parts of the world.
Her choice of books is telling. Lucy’s favourite authors include Indian author Arundhati Roy, human rights advocate and writer of political commentary and polemic; Hannah Arendt, a Jewish philosopher who escaped the holocaust and ended up in the USA and Vaclav Havel, the first Czech president after the fall of the communist government who wrote ‘Disturbing the Peace’ are all listed among her most influential writers. Elizabeth Johnson and Rowan Williams start her very long list of theological authors.
Her interests are firmly focused on social justice causes, with climate change high on the list of priorities as she seeks to bring justice to God’s creation itself. She is strongly involved in issues concerning women and children; and more specifically women’s rights and gender discrimination, slavery and refugees. Her work also highlights her passion for good governance and justice within the organisational systems and structures within which she works and lives. She is a member of the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Australia and works on a daily basis with Safe Church at the forefront of her heart and mind, making the church and community safe for everyone.
Lucy says: "I live in God’s time and I seek always to live in God."
Baptistcare Board Chair Garry McGrechan wished Lucy the very best for the future and thanked her for her enormous contribution in transforming the organisation.
“It has been a pleasure to work with Lucy and see the changes she has brought to Baptistcare during a time of enormous change for the community sector. She has brought a strength of faith and commitment, and has created positive social change for Baptistcare,” Mr McGrechan said.