JCU Chaplain Marney Walker retires

@JCU JCU Chaplain Marney Walker retires

JCU Chaplain Marney Walker retires

The JCU Multifaith Chaplaincy Service is provided by the university in partnership with local faith communities and recognises that as a multicultural community, the university encompasses people of diverse faiths.  It seeks to offer support, friendship and hospitality to students and staff in search of spirituality and meaning in life on the Cairns and Townsville campuses.

A new Chaplain will start at JCU on January 3, 2017.


Marney (pictured above) has been the JCU Chaplain since October 2012, and said she only is 'semi-retiring', and will stay on in Townsville and pursue other interests, including mentoring activities.

Marney wishes everyone a very Merry Christmas, and a safe and happy holiday season.

Message from Marney:

It has been a great privilege to have been the JCU Multifaith Chaplain since October 2012. The Chaplaincy is a part of the Learning Teaching and Student Engagement Directorate and the chaplain works closely with the Wellbeing unit offering support and encouragement to staff and students. Being an active member of this team provides the opportunity for personal and work related support on both Townsville and Cairns campuses.

  • The chaplaincy has welcomed nearly 5000 visitors in 2016.  This number has been growing steadily each year
  • The chaplain is supported by a coordinator for the International Family Group which was formed to address the isolation that international families can experience when they come to a new place.  They often have limited English which restricts their opportunities and complicates the stories of our animals and climate.  Student volunteers offer activities for the children and conversational English sessions for parents.  Benefits include:
  • Social interaction and cross cultural experiences for the families and volunteers
  • Confidence to engage in the community
  • When families are happy, students are more settled
  • The Chaplain is supported by the coordinator of the Interfaith Project which was established in 2015. It is a vehicle for establishing and promoting unity between staff, students and groups on campus who come from different faith religious traditions. Within the Project, programs have been implemented that enhanced peer relationships, increased religious literacy, encouraged cross cultural awareness and facilitated unity between people of different faiths. It aims to provide a greater understanding of the role of religion in peace building rather than the current political narrative of its role in conflict.

Interfaith is a term that refers to initiatives that bring people from different faiths together to build relationship, overcome religious ignorance and contribute to social justice.

The Chaplaincy is working in collaboration with the Conflict Management and Resolution Program using the fortnightly Let’s Talk Lunch events to research the effect of Interfaith Dialogue and Conflict Resolution.

  • The chaplaincy offers drop-in service: appointments with the Chaplain; faith-appropriate spiritual support and guidance; Muslim Students’ prayer rooms; quiet rooms for personal prayer, rest and study; kitchen/bathroom facilities.

I have had the opportunity to

  • present on the International Family Group at the Tertiary Campus Ministry Conference (TCMA) in 2014
  • co-present on the Interfaith Project with Lorne Anderson, Coordinator of the project at the TCMA conference in 2015
  • co-present on the Interfaith Project and Interfaith Dialogue with Claire Holland from  the Conflict Management and Resolution Program and Lorne Anderson at the Tertiary Chaplain’s Global Conference in 2016

I have loved every minute of the last four years as JCU Chaplain and it is proving challenging to leave the university. I am grateful for all the support that has been given to me personally and to the Chaplaincy from the staff, the JCU Multifaith Chaplaincy Committee, community members and the students and volunteers who keep the energy flowing.

I’m very happy to welcome the new Chaplain in 2017 knowing that the chaplaincy is a place that is integral to the life of so many students and staff and that she will be welcomed and supported as I have been.