The Wesley Centre: Theology, Ethics and Public Policy

About the Wesley Centre

In partnership with key agencies of the Uniting Church in Victoria and Tasmania, Wesley Church Melbourne is excited to be launching a new Centre to enhance understanding and debate on vital issues in Australian society. Grounded in the history, theology and traditions of the Uniting Church in Australia, the Centre will focus on broad, deep and substantial explorations of the values and ethics that underlie public policy. It will draw together people with diverse views and create a space for honest, thoughtful conversations about what is at stake and how the Gospel of Jesus Christ could help shape a more just society.

Appointment of Director to the Wesley Centre
16 November 2023

Rev Assoc Professor Robyn Whitaker

Wesley Church Melbourne is delighted to announce the appointment of the Reverend Associate Professor Robyn Whitaker to the role of Director of The Wesley Centre for Theology, Ethics and Public Policy.

The Centre, to be launched in early 2024, is a collaboration between Wesley Church, Uniting Vic.Tas, Uniting Agewell, UEthical, and the eLM unit of the Synod of Victoria and Tasmania. The UCA Congregation of Mark the Evangelist is also a significant Donor.

The Centre will be a key forum for public conversation about ethics and public policy through the lens of theology.

Through Wesley Mission (1893-2016), now Uniting Vic.Tas, Wesley Church has been a leader in the sector, consistently pairing social welfare services with policy critique and justice advocacy.  Rev Arthur Preston (Superintendent of Wesley Mission 1968- 1981) wrote, ‘the Gospel is concerned with the dignity and worth of every individual person and with the right of every person to fully share in the good things which [God] has provided.’

Robyn is a biblical scholar and an ordained UCA minister. Robyn has a commitment to speaking beyond the church in ways that contribute to public discourse in a nuanced, researched-based, and respectful manner. She says, “I am convinced by the need for compassionate, loving, and intelligent Christian contributions in the public square.”

Robyn is an outstanding contributor to public dialogue. She was included in The Conversation’s Yearbook of “50 Standout Articles from Australia’s Top Thinkers” in both 2017 and 2018, and has an article in the 2021 celebratory volume 50 standout articles from the first ten years of The Conversation, and has promoted debate through television, radio and newspaper comment.

Robyn will be seconded part time from her current role, but remains 0.5FTE as Associate Professor of New Testament at the Pilgrim Theological College in the University of Divinity.

Contact for comment:  Please email Leonie Barber on if you would like further information or to comment.