our team

Every person involved in PeaceWise shares a passionate commitment to our purpose: promoting peace and reconciliation in relationships through biblical principles and the power of Christ.

governance structure

Formed in 2007, we are a Christian, cross-denominational, not for profit organisation. We are a registered charity with the Australian Charities and Not for Profits Commission (ACNC). We have a national office based in North Parramatta (NSW). 

PeaceWise Ltd is incorporated as a company limited by guarantee and our board members are spread across the nation. All Board and Ministry Coordinator positions are voluntary. The Chief Executive Officer sits on the Board as an Executive Director.

PeaceWise is accredited by the Standards Council to the highest levels of governance, having met the CMA Standards Council’s Principles and Standards of Responsible Stewardship.

PeaceWise board

The Board provides strategic and governance oversight of the ministry. The Board is the ultimate custodian of the vision, values and mission of the ministry.

Jeroen Bruins

Board Chair

Drs. Geology, Free University Amsterdam Cert Spiritual Direction

Jeroen has a professional background in the oil and gas industry. Originally from Holland, but calling Australia home for many years, he has also lived and worked in the U.K., Oman and Nigeria.  Jeroen has been the Chair of the PeaceWise Board since 2013. In December 2019 he also joined the Esther Foundation board.

Jeroen has been a follower of Jesus since he was 18. His passions and giftings are in the area of prayer, spiritual direction and biblical peacemaking. This has caused him to be involved in a variety of ministries, including his current involvement with PeaceWise. His deepest desire is to see the Christian faith transform people’s lives and share the good news of Jesus.

Jeroen has been married to Eva for over 40 years. They enjoy three adult children, their spouses and six grandchildren. Jeroen and Eva are actively involved in Providence City Church. The more recreational passions of Jeroen are running, cycling, hiking, bird watching, reading and more recently sculpting or just spending time with family and friends around a good meal.

I feel called and am honoured to serve as the Chair of the Board of PeaceWise, because through the PeaceWise ministry of peacemaking and reconciliation the heart of the Gospel of Jesus is being tangibly expressed in a world of increasing polarisation and conflict. How good is it to journey with people discovering a redemptive, restorative and God-honouring way of dealing with conflict or difficult relationships. And I pray that biblical peacemaking will lodge into the DNA of the next generations through PeaceWiseKids and PeaceWiseYouth, so that they may impact the world for the Kingdom of God. 

Wayne Forward

Chief Executive Officer

BNur, Grad Dip Nur (Mental Health), BMin, Cert Min, Cert IV Leadership Coaching, Cert IV Workplace Training and Assessment

Wayne is the CEO of PeaceWise. He is married to Amy and has three children. He comes to these roles from a diverse background in mental health nursing, pastoral ministry and para-church organisations where he has held a variety of senior leadership and training roles.

“In western, post-Christendom culture now more than ever people  want to know that Jesus makes a difference. What better way can there be than to show the difference that Jesus makes than in the very area that nearly everybody I speak to struggles with and often lacks hope in – conflict. PeaceWise present a practical theology of the gospel of reconciliation for everyday relationships. A practical theology that when embraced has the capacity to transform relationships in families, between friends, across school communities and in churches. A transformation that directs attention to the one who makes it all possible – Jesus. For this reason alone I am convinced PeaceWise offers a critical voice that needs to be heard amongst the Christian community and in the world today.”  

Bruce Burgess

Founding Director

BA(Hons), LLB(Hons), Grad. Dip. (Christ. Stud.), MA(Christ. Stud.) MTh

Bruce Burgess is married to Helen and they have two adult children.

Bruce is the Founding Director of PeaceWise and is Australia’s first Certified Christian Conciliator™. He holds degrees in Arts, Law, Christian Studies and Theology. Bruce has extensive legal, risk and governance expertise, advising in these areas professionally on the day’s that he is not working for PeaceWise.

Bruce’s peacemaking work has led him to become involved in teaching and working with schools, workplace disputes as well as church and para-church based conflict cases. He is a sought after international speaker and his two particular areas of passion are working with organisations to build cultures of peace and teaching children and young people peacemaking so that they become peacemakers for life.  

“I believe serving PeaceWise is the most strategic thing I personally can do to serve the church and bring honour to God, with all the hope and health that the ministry of reconciliation brings.   It’s not just about being the flying doctor service when things go wrong – it’s about helping ordinary Christians learn how to deal redemptively with conflict in their own lives and in the lives of others, with all the potential witness to Christ and glory to God that this entails.”

Li Ai Oh

Board Member

LLB, BJuris, BCom 

Li Ai holds law and commerce degrees and practiced as a lawyer in both the private and government sectors for over a decade.  She is one of the foundation PeaceWise Board members and currently is also the PeaceWise Training and Conciliation Manager.  Li Ai has provided PeaceWise training and mediated church based conflicts. Her greatest passions are spending time with and learning more about Jesus, and sharing her love of him with others through practical helps and conversations over a cup of tea (or coffee!). She attends Providence City Church.

“I have seen how we hurt each other in conflicts and it saddens me to see families and friendships fall apart.  I know that the gospel of Jesus Christ provides both the motivation and the power for us to live peaceably with each other.  PeaceWise equips, encourages and supports ordinary people “do relationships better”. I love being  involved in the ministry of PeaceWise because there really is no higher privilege (or challenge!) than to personally live and spend time serving others become gospel-centred peacemakers.”

Lucy Dessington

Board Member

BSc (Medical Imaging Science), Grad. Cert. Business (Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies)

Lucy is married to Ryan and lives in the Perth Hills. Lucy first came to know PeaceWise through ‘The Board Internship’ (CMA Korus Connect) where she was hosted by the PeaceWise board and mentored by Bruce Burgess. Lucy is passionate about sharing Jesus with young people and equipping local churches to be thriving, Jesus-centred communities for all generations. She is an experienced allied health professional and has also worked in the area of youth engagement for the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Lucy has a growing interest in governance and has completed studies with the Australian Centre for Philanthropy and NonProfit Studies (QUT). 

Hadyn Bernau

Board Member

BEc, BActSt, MActSt, FIAA, MAICD

Hadyn has a background in finance, business development and relationship measurement as an Actuary. Haydn’s appointment to the board came after Haydn began his own personal peacemaking journey by participating in PeaceWise’s biblical peacemaking training that awoke in him a passion for living out the gospel as a peacemaker, and helping others to do the same. Hadyn is married with two boys whose homeschool curriculum includes PeaceWise Kids. Hadyn attends Hills Bible Church.

Elizabeth Torres-Russell

Board Member

CSA, GIA (Affiliated)

Elizabeth is a C-suite Executive with a career that expands 30+ years in broadcast media; strategic communications; public participation; policy and governance; and project management in the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors. 

Her PeaceWise journey started after learning about the ministry at a conference which led to her championing all staff at Vision Christian Media where she serves as Chief of Staff to undertake the training. In 2022 she started volunteering at PeaceWise to lead the content strategy on LinkedIn.

She was born in Barcelona, Spain, and grew up in an era where her parents were legally discriminated against and persecuted for their Christian religious beliefs. 

“My parents taught us to put God first above all, to fight for what we believed in, and to ensure we were respectful, we demonstrated humility and retained our integrity. To keep dreaming and to never, ever give up on hope.”

Elizabeth has been married to her college sweetheart for over 35 years and they have two sons. Her passion is to:

·       connect people to God.

·       inspire people to embrace their God-given purpose.

·      instil in people the ability to believe in hope. 

Josh Ingrames

Board Secretary

LLB, GDLP, NMAS 

Josh is a Barrister and Mediator who lives, works and worships in Darwin with his wife Sarah and 5 young children. Josh has experience in church leadership and ministry governance teams, having variously held the position of secretary and public officer for Darwin Baptist Church over a period of 10 years, and more recently with the Baptist Union of the Northern Territory. Josh attends Emmaus Road Christian Church.

Josh is also a PeaceWise trainer and is the State Ministry Coordinator for PeaceWise in the Northern Territory.

Deborah Bensted

Minute Secretary

BTh

Deborah joined us in 2017 as the Minute Secretary to our National Board. Deborah has a Theology degree and has experience in leadership, training, and as a Community Carer in Anglican Retirement Villages. She is extremely gifted with technology and has helped PeaceWise tremendously with our database and online processes.

Serving people in conflict is something that Deborah has experienced in pastoral care and now even more so as a peacemaker. She has fast become a passionate PeaceWise advocate and not only seeks to live as a peacemaker but also promotes PeaceWise training and assists people to reconcile through PeaceWise mediations.

Deborah is married with two independent adult daughters and is on the Ministry Staff at St Matthews Church in Manly.

PeaceWise ministry team

Our Chief Executive Officer heads up a passionate, highly dedicated team who serve all across the country

leadership team

Wayne Forward

Chief Executive Officer

BNur, Grad Dip Nur (Mental Health), BMin, Cert Min, Cert IV Leadership Coaching, Cert IV Workplace Training and Assessment

Wayne is the CEO of PeaceWise. He is married to Amy and has three children. He comes to these roles from a diverse background in mental health nursing, pastoral ministry and para-church organisations where he has held a variety of senior leadership and training roles.

“In western, post-Christendom culture now more than ever people  want to know that Jesus makes a difference. What better way can there be than to show the difference that Jesus makes than in the very area that nearly everybody I speak to struggles with and often lakes hope in – conflict. PeaceWise present a practical theology of the gospel of reconciliation for everyday relationships. A practical theology that when embraced has the capacity to transform relationships in families, between friends, across school communities and in churches. A transformation that directs attention to the one who makes it all possible – Jesus. For this reason alone I am convinced PeaceWise offers a critical voice that needs to be heard amongst the Christian community and in the world today.”  

Bruce Burgess

Founding Director

BA(Hons), LLB(Hons), Grad. Dip. (Christ. Stud.), MA (Christ. Stud.) MTh

Bruce Burgess is married to Helen and they have two adult children.

Bruce is the Founding Director of PeaceWise and is Australia’s first Certified Christian Conciliator™. He holds degrees in Arts, Law, Christian Studies and Theology. Bruce has extensive legal, risk and governance expertise, advising in these areas professionally on the day’s that he is not working for PeaceWise.

Bruce’s peacemaking work has led him to become involved in teaching and working with schools, workplace disputes, church and para-church based conflict and victim-offender cases. He is a sought after international speaker and his two particular areas of passion are working with organisations to build cultures of peace and teaching children and young people peacemaking so that they become peacemakers for life.  

“I believe serving PeaceWise is the most strategic thing I personally can do to serve the church and bring honour to God, with all the hope and health that the ministry of reconciliation brings.   It’s not just about being the flying doctor service when things go wrong – it’s about helping ordinary Christians learn how to deal redemptively with conflict in their own lives and in the lives of others, with all the potential witness to Christ and glory to God that this entails.”

Li Ai Oh

Conciliations Manager an Training Support

LLB, BJuris, BCom

Li Ai holds law and commerce degrees and practiced as a lawyer in both the private and government sectors for over a decade.  She is one of the foundation PeaceWise Board members and currently is also the PeaceWise Training and Conciliations Manager.  Li Ai has provided PeaceWise training and mediated church based conflicts. Her greatest passions are spending time with and learning more about Jesus, and sharing her love of him with others through practical helps and conversations over a cup of tea (or coffee!). She attends Providence City Church.

“I have seen how we hurt each other in conflicts and it saddens me to see families and friendships fall apart.  I know that the gospel of Jesus Christ provides both the motivation and the power for us to live peaceably with each other.  PeaceWise equips, encourages and supports ordinary people “do relationships better”. I love being  involved in the ministry of PeaceWise because there really is no higher privilege (or challenge!) than to personally live and spend time serving others become gospel-centred peacemakers.”

Allen Sibley

Chief Operations Officer

Dip. Teach (UTS), MBA (Macquarie Graduate School of Management) and GAICD (Australian Institute of Company Directors).

Allen is married to Jenny, and they have 6 children, and they live in the north-western suburbs of Sydney.

Allen has been a Christian since he was 15, and has been worshipping at Parramatta Baptist Church since 1991, being actively involved as a Deacon, Men’s Ministry leader, worship team member, and property committee chairman. He also serves in ministry as Board Chairman of IntegriCare Pty Ltd, a Christian not-for-profit early learning organisation.

Most recently, Allen has been doing consulting work in the areas of governance, management and leadership development.

Prior to that, Allen was employed by BaptistCare NSW & ACT in a range of General Management roles for 11 years, and served as Company Secretary of Baptist Care Australia. Before BaptistCare he worked for multinational companies in the Information Technology and Telecommunications industries for over 20 years, having originally trained as a Teacher.

staff and ministry coordinators

Karen Collum

Relationships and Content Manager

BEd (Bachelor of Education, Primary), currently completing Master of Ministry

Karen is our PeaceWiseKids and PeaceWiseYouth Relationships and Content Manager. This spans both ongoing responsibility for the maintenance and development of content, as well as working at building and supporting those using PeaceWiseKids and PeaceWiseYouth.

Karen lives on the Gold Coast with her husband, Mike, and four children. She has many years experience as a teacher, chaplain and children’s ministry leader. Karen is also a published author and writes and speaks about children, theology, family and women’s issues. She is currently completing her Master of Ministry.

Josh Ingrames

North Territory Ministry Coordinator

LLB, GDLP, NMAS 

Josh is a Barrister and Mediator who lives, works and worships in Darwin with his wife Sarah and 5 young children. Josh has experience in church leadership and ministry governance teams, having variously held the position of secretary and public officer for Darwin Baptist Church over a period of 10 years, and more recently with the Baptist Union of the Northern Territory. Josh attends Emmaus Road Christian Church.

Josh is also a PeaceWise trainer and is the State Ministry Coordinator for  PeaceWise in the Northern Territory.

Catherine Locke

Office and Training Manager

BBusCom (Hospitality Management)

Catherine is our office manager, with responsibility for the overall smooth day to day operations of the ministry. Catherine comes from a small country town but moved to Sydney to complete her university education. She has completed a Bachelor of Business and Commerce at Western Sydney University.

“I believe Jesus is the source of our salvation, life and healing. “I am the vine, you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). It is such a privilege to serve as the PeaceWise office manager and to be part of a ministry which brings the transformational gospel of hope and peace to the lives of many people.”

Jenny Metcalfe

Finance & Administration Officer

Business Dip, Cert Theology

Jenny started with PeaceWise in 2013, after working for 20+ years in partnership with her husband John managing a small retail business.  Jenny was seeking a change that was more in-line with her Christian faith and which gave her the opportunity to use her experience within a Christian or not-for-profit organisation. PeaceWise provided this role and Jenny has put her financial and administration experience to good use, providing support across all the ministry areas.

Jenny and John live in the Hills district of Sydney and attend the local C3 church.  They have four adult children, two in-law children, and currently two beautiful grandchildren.  Outside of PeaceWise Jenny spends her time caring for their special needs daughter, assisting her elderly parents, walking the dogs, and planning the next holiday!

I am really excited that God is moving in this space where there has been such a gap in Christian thinking.   As a previous leader in the local church I understand that conflict is so often the cause of multiple other problems and while we know that it needs to be reconciled quickly, this is not always possible.  People often need help to work through their problems and the question then is, who do they turn to?When the church turns to secular sources for its answers to life’s problems it is missing out on the vast wealth of knowledge contained in the scriptures, and the power of Christ to bring about real change in His people.  PeaceWise provides the training and resources necessary to help Christians support each other in times of conflict and also to understand what it means to bring God-given peace into personal relationships.

Angela Niejalke

South Australia Ministry Coordinator

LLB/LP, BA, Grad Cert Mediation (Family), Grad Cert Counselling

Angela lives in Adelaide with her husband and two boys. She works as a chaplain at a local Christian School and has had a heart for peacemaking for over 20 years. Having previously worked as a lawyer, mediator  (NMAS) and Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner (FDRP), Angela has seen first hand the consequences of poorly managed relational conflict, as well as the life-giving power of forgiveness. A long term supporter of PeaceWise, her heart is to see every believer equipped and encouraged to be a peacemaker, bringing the hope of the gospel to all relationships.

Li Ai Oh

Western Australia Ministry Coordinator

LLB, BJuris, BCom

Li Ai holds law and commerce degrees and practiced as a lawyer in both the private and government sectors for over a decade.  She is one of the foundation PeaceWise Board members and currently is also the PeaceWise Training and Conciliations Manager.  Li Ai has provided PeaceWise training and mediated church based conflicts. Her greatest passions are spending time with and learning more about Jesus, and sharing her love of him with others through practical helps and conversations over a cup of tea (or coffee!). She attends Providence City Church.

“I have seen how we hurt each other in conflicts and it saddens me to see families and friendships fall apart.  I know that the gospel of Jesus Christ provides both the motivation and the power for us to live peaceably with each other.  PeaceWise equips, encourages and supports ordinary people “do relationships better”. I love being  involved in the ministry of PeaceWise because there really is no higher privilege (or challenge!) than to personally live and spend time serving others become gospel-centred peacemakers.”

Ginny Png

Administration and Communications Officer

BAComm (Bachelor of Arts in Communication, Public Communication)

Ginny is our Administration and Communications Officer who brings over a decade of strategic marketing communications experience, in both corporate and not-for-profit organisations, to the PeaceWise team. Ginny and her husband Reuben spent ten years in Singapore, where she built a successful small business whilst staying home with her two young children, before moving back to Australia in 2021. She now lives in the Hills area of Sydney and worships at Parramatta Baptist Church with her family.

Ginny is passionate about marriage and family and seeing unity in the body of Christ. She has a heart for prayer and encouragement and is excited to support the unique and crucial ministry of PeaceWise in building peacemakers for life.

Kevin Warner

NSW Hunter Region Ministry Coordinator

Kevin has over 25 yrs Pastoral ministry with a focus on personal application of Biblical principles into everyday life. He has recently retired as Regional Minister for Hunter Baptist Churches and currently is a BaptistCare Chaplain. Kevin is also a founding Board member of HunterHarvest, Kingdomworks, and CityServe Charities, and is the PeaceWise Regional Ministry Coordinator in the Hunter.

He has worked for many years in challenging and conflicted situations to see God glorified through transformed relationships. Kevin trained for ministry at Morling College & has degrees in Engineering, Arts and Theology. As well as his serving in ministry roles for PeaceWise, Kevin is a trained PeaceWise conflict coach and mediator.    

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