Gershon Nimbalker - National Director
Gershon Nimbalker stepped into the role of Common Grace National Director in June 2022. Gershon has brought a wealth of experience to Common Grace - and a proven passion for Jesus and justice. He is well known and deeply respected across the Chsristian social justice and aid sector in Australia, having worked for more than 15 years in advocacy, policy and research, as well as leading and growing grassroots movements to campaign on issues of social justice. During his time as the Advocacy Manager for Baptist World Aid Gershon helped lead the development of Baptist World Aid's Ethical Fashion Report and the Electronic Industry Trends Report. Gershon has also more recently been founder and Managing Director of Sojourners Social Change Consultants, working with numerous Christian development organisations both in Australia and overseas. Gershon lives on Awabakal Country, Newcastle, with his wife Naomi and young family, attending Hamilton Baptist Church.
Tahlia Smith - Executive Administrator
Tahlia Smith is a Gureng Gureng and South Sea Islander woman currently living on Gubbi Gubbi country. She has recently transitioned from ministry in her local church, and although she will continue to volunteer and serve her local community with passion and generosity, has now proudly joined the Common Grace movement as of August 2021. Tahlia is passionate about seeing and advocating for the undervalued, and seeks to build strong culture in whichever environment she finds herself in through showing the same love and grace Christ extended (and continues to extend) to her.
Bianca Manning - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Justice Coordinator
Bianca Manning is a Gomeroi woman and an emerging Aboriginal Christian Leader who grew up in Newcastle on Awabakal country. Bianca was previously Common Grace's Communications Officer and currently lives in Brisbane on the lands of the Yuggera, Jagera, and Toorbul peoples, working closely with Senior Aboriginal Christian Leader Aunty Jean Phillips in the Brisbane and Logan areas. Bianca has a Social Work degree, previous ministry experience with Youth With A Mission (YWAM), and is passionate about Aboriginal social justice, youth work, asset-based community development, dance, and pursuing a genuine relationship with Jesus.
Safina Stewart - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Christian Consultant
Safina Stewart is a proud Wuthithi and Mabuiag Island woman who grew up cross culturally in New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Australia. Safina is passionate about culture, education, the arts, justice and faith and supports and contributes to the work of Common Grace as an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Christian Consultant. Safina lives with her husband and three children in the Victorian coastal town of Wonthaggi on Bunurong Country.
Ellaina Welsman- Fundraising and Operations Manager
Ellaina is the Fundraising and Operations Manager at Common Grace, and has a diverse background in strategy, project management, fundraising and communications, and church engagement. With a Masters in International Studies (Refugees) Ellaina has spent the last decade serving in the not-for-profit sector, seeking to help end global poverty and systemic injustices. Most recently Ellaina worked for one of Australia's largest Christian international development agencies helping grow the church's generosity and engagement with global poverty. Ellaina's passion for gender equality, living sustainably, and helping organisations thrive is driven by her love for Jesus and His compassion for all of creation. Ellaina and her family are living in Awabakal Country (Newcastle).
Jane Kelly - Creation and Climate Justice Coordinator
Jane lives in Western Sydney with her husband Simon and their three children, Elise, Finn, and Eamon, and the black labrador, Bailey. She has over two decades of experience in tertiary education administration and project management roles. Her studies include theology, ministry, ethics, and legal studies. Jane is excited to bring her passion for Jesus and creation and climate justice to Common Grace.
Monique Hughes - Communications Coordinator
Monique Hughes is the Communications Coordinator at Common Grace with a background working in media, communications and advocacy in the not-for-profit sector. She is passionate about justice and seeing Christians live out God's deep love and care for his creation. Monique is also a painter and designer with a keen interest in seeing the arts engaged in helping spark action on social justice issues. She has been part of the Common Grace Creation and Climate Justice advisory team for a number of years and lives surrounded by the beautiful bushland of Garigal Country (Northern Sydney) with her husband and three children.
Emma Lalic - Supporter Engagement Coordinator
With a Degree in Communication (Journalism and Public Relations) and a Master's in Teaching, Emma is passionate about building authentic relationships. She thrives when using her skills and experience in not-for-profit organisations, where her values align with her work. Emma is a mother, writer, nature-lover and advocate for justice. In her spare time, you will find her reading, trying to skateboard with her kids, or bushwalking around the beautiful Awabakal Country (Newcastle) where she lives. She enjoys contemplating the big questions as she explores her faith, looking for signs of hope in her quest for aliveness.
Abbey Sim - Data and Donor Projects Officer
Abbey works as Common Grace's Data and Donor Projects Officer, a role which involves offering support to the team with managing data, engaging with donors, and communications. She is currently studying communications and law, as well as theology part-time, and reflects these passions in her work for Common Grace. Abbey lives on Dharug Country in western Sydney. Having previously worked in sports development and administration, she enjoys watching cricket, knitting, and spending time in the presence of animals.
Kristyn Crossfield - Chair
Kristyn is a daughter, wife, mother and worker in the not-for-profit world. A long-time social change advocate for justice in the world of work, Kristyn is committed to helping groups of people achieve their dreams of a more just world through the creation of healthy, effective collectives. Kristyn and her family, Phil, Maya and Campbell live on the Central Coast of NSW and love being members of Coast Community Church.
Adam Gowen - Deputy Chair
Adam Gowen is an Aboriginal man with ancestral connections to the Wiradjuri nation. He currently lives on the land of the Murramarang people of the Yuin nation (South Coast NSW) with his wife, Lisa and their 3 children. Passionate about relatedness, he seeks to understand all things in the context of their relationships. He is a Christian minister and holds a post-graduate qualification in theology and a first-class honours degree in Indigenous studies. The thesis component of his honours degree examines concepts of Aboriginal identity, settler colonialism, and sovereignty. Adam is passionate about social justice and committed to working at a grass-roots level to see large scale change. Most days you can find him sipping a flat white with his chocolate Labrador, Tank, sitting by his side.
Rachel Saravanamuthu - Company Secretary
Rachel is a human rights lawyer of Sri Lankan Tamil heritage. She is a Senior Solicitor at the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre and has also worked in legal and policy advocacy roles in Tanzania and South Africa, including at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Rachel loves being part of her church community at City on a Hill in Melbourne.
Michelle is a strategic planning, brand, communications/ advocacy professional with 16 years’ experience in the not-for-profit, corporate, education and international development sectors. Michelle has been worked with more than 100 organisations while being involved in leading a number of consulting companies including The Future Leader Group, CoCreate Consulting and Capacity Builders. Michelle is married to Bruce and they have two young children, Charlize and Judah, and they attend Northside Baptist.
Our justice teams are made up of numerous wonderful volunteers and consultants who either have lived experience or bring their policy knowledge, practitioner experience or their passion for Jesus and justice to shape our work.