We wish our former CEO and Board Chair, Peter Bicknell, all the best in retirement as he steps down from his position as the Chair of UnitingCare Australia this week.

Here is a message from UnitingCare Australia about Peter’s contribution:

Peter Bicknell retires as Chair of the UnitingCare Australia National Committee at the end of this month.

Peter commenced in the role in 2006, and has been a tower of strength and wisdom for both UnitingCare Australia and for the Uniting Church. Over almost eleven years of Peter’s leadership UnitingCare Australia became a significant contributor and advocate in the national policy and political scene.

In the early years Peter concurrently chaired the Uniting Missions Network (UMN) prior to its merger with UnitingCare Australia. In 2008 the UMN formally became part of the national UnitingCare network through the work known as Resourcing the Future. Peter’s leadership was instrumental in this foundational moment in the life of UnitingCare Australia and the wider Church. He was, and is, trusted across the diversity of the Uniting Church and its caring services.

Peter’s political expertise and deep understanding of the internal and external environments, his integrity and empathy across groups of people and organisations to deliver for the common good, has been profound in assisting UnitingCare Australia in achieving its goals.

Peter always promoted an approach to advocacy that focused on building long term relationships. With his counsel, UnitingCare focused on bringing the values and vision of the Uniting Church, together with the expertise of UnitingCare service providers and the lived experience of those we exist to serve, into the policy mix.

Peter has worked to ensure that UnitingCare Australia and the network it serves developed a clear identity as an integral part of the Uniting Church and a foundational expression of the Church’s mission. He fostered a contemporary, professional, hope-full network, thinking and operating beyond service delivery to activity that empowers individuals, families and communities to thrive.

Forging strong relationships with colleagues in other major church providers with whom UnitingCare has worked very well over the years was also a priority for Peter.

In recent years, Peter has contributed his wisdom to developing relationships with the Protestant Church in China – again, a testament to his commitment and dedication to the Church and its broader mission in the world.

We look back with graciousness and thanks for Peter’s strong and solid leadership in the role of Chair for such a long time. Beyond his outstanding achievements, Peter’s persona, his sense of humour, and his passion for those most in need, will be greatly missed.

Peter has also led by example on work balanced with the rest of life. His family is central to who Peter is and he prioritises them – June, his girls, their partners, and his beloved grandchildren.

We wish Peter and his family every blessing in retirement.

UCWPA CEO Libby Craft, pictured left with Peter, continues to be a member of the UnitingCare Australia National Committee.