Wagga woman makes church history

AFTER 25 years of service to Anglican parishes of the Riverina, Reverend Karen Kime has become the first indigenous woman to be appointed an Archdeacon at an ordination service in Goulburn on Saturday.

Archdeacon Kime had been the acting rector at St John’s in Wagga for 18 months before being appointed to her new role.

Having grown up in Sydney, Archdeacon Kime said her family have spent the past 20 years in the Riverina as she served with the Anglican parish in Young and later as the parish priest in Coleambally.

Reflecting on her ordination, Archdeacon Kime said that she has always been committed to achieving social justice for all Australians and hopes that her role will encourage other indigenous people to take up leadership roles within the church.

“As is the case overseas, discrimination within the church has often kept indigenous people at the very margins, with few Aboriginal people as

leaders,” she said.

“My role is to help change that.”

Bishop of Canberra and Goulburn Stuart Robinson, who conducted Archdeacon Kime’s ordination service, said her appointment shows the Anglican Church’s commitment to gender equality in ministry.

“Karen’s appointment sends a strong signal that indigenous ministry is now on our agenda and therefore we are deploying a highly gifted skilled and experienced indigenous leader to take carriage of this work,” he said.

Though Archdeacon Kime will be based in Wagga, her new role will see her work with other leaders across the Riverina and Bathurst diocese.

She has also taken up the position as manager of Indigenous Services, Culture and Education with Anglicare.

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