The Salvation Army in Australia is using their new unified organisation to speak and act with a single voice on issues affecting all Australians.
While a lot of the details are still being worked out, the Salvation Army’s mission remains unchanged: to share the love of Jesus by caring for people, creating faith pathways, building healthy communities and working for justice.
In March 2016, the world leader of the Salvation Army, General Andre Cox, announced that the Army’s two territories in Australia (Australia Eastern and Australia Southern) would amalgamate into one new national territory called Australia One.
Australia One, which will not officially start until 1 January 2019, will enable the Salvation Army to present a single strategy and mission culture across the whole of Australia. According to National Commander, Commissioner Floyd Tidd, this will result in an increased capacity for innovation and strategic thinking and action.
“Wherever there is hardship or injustice, Salvos will live, love and fight alongside others to transform Australia one life at a time with the Love of Jesus.”
As part of the development of Australia One, the Salvation Army in Australia released a new vision statement in December 2016: “Wherever there is hardship or injustice, Salvos will live, love and fight alongside others to transform Australia one life at a time with the Love of Jesus.”
But there will be changes to the operational model of Australia One, including an emphasis on holistic mission by unifying the Corps and the social programmes.
The personnel briefing pack describes this move as “enabling God inspired delivery of effective mission in the communities in which the Australia Territory serves and helps to bring our unique differentiator of ‘holistic mission’ to life.”
Other changes include the development of a Gender Equity Plan to “address the systematic inequality faced by women officers.”
The plan will seek to implement the Army’s biblical teaching about women’s leadership. As a result, an Advocate for Women’s Equity will be appointed, supported by a Women’s Equity Committee. The committee will have equal representation of women and men. It will have internal and external members. Its role will be to develop and implement strategies to achieve the goals of gender equity for women.
Commissioner Floyd Tidd said, “I am confident that the National Vision Statement can be realised through the continued dedicated service of Salvos in communities across Australia, supported by an appropriate national administrative structure. The days ahead will be filled with challenges and opportunities as together we work to position The Salvation Army for 21st century Australia.
“I am grateful to so many who have selflessly contributed to the development of these key components in the development of Australia One. I have been impressed by the engagement of officers, employees, soldiers and volunteers who have contributed to the process leading to these foundational steps for Australia One irrespective of personal implication, considering first the mission.”
The transition to one territory is for national leadership to assume direct oversight of the existing Southern and Eastern territories mid-year 2017, then leadership of one entity effective 1 July 2018, in preparation for the official start of the Australia Territory on 1 January 2019.