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The Uniting Church celebrates the life and legacy of the Rev. Harry Herbert

The Uniting Church community is celebrating the life and achievements of the Rev. Harry Herbert AM, who sadly passed away, aged 75, on December 6.

As the former Executive Director of Uniting NSW.ACT, Harry will be remembered as a fierce and tireless campaigner for the most vulnerable people.

After theological study at the University of Sydney and Yale, he served in a number of placements as a Minister before building the combined community service, advocacy and chaplaincy organisation that became Uniting NSW.ACT, now one of the largest not-for-profit organisations in Australia.

He was ordained a Congregational Church minister in 1972 before being appointed General Secretary of the Board for Social Responsibility in 1986, where he served until 2012. Other placements included Warrnambool Congregational Church and Ivanhoe-Heidelberg Uniting Church.

As well as service on many Uniting Church and community sector boards, such as President of NCOSS, he sat on NSW Government Committees including; the Legal Aid Commission Board, the ICAC Operations Review Committee, the NSW Social Justice Reference Group and chaired the Social Impact Committee for the 2000 Olympics.

His significant legacy includes the consolidation of the church’s work in aged care that has strengthened the contribution that is being made to support older people now and into the future and, the establishment and advocacy for the Uniting Medically Supervised Injecting Centre (MSIC) at Kings Cross, which has saved countless lives.

Tracey Burton, Executive Director of Uniting NSW.ACT said, “Harry Herbert was a force of nature and achieved incredible results through passion, courage and leadership. His vision continues to guide us as we try to create a more just society where the vulnerable are treated with respect and kindness, without judgement.”

The Rev. Simon Hansford, Moderator of the Uniting Church Synod of NSW and ACT said of Mr Herbert’s passing, “Harry’s passion, determination and capacity meant that many significant achievements occurred in the life of our church, and thus, our community. His passion was for justice, driven by the gospel; his determination was a clear understanding of how to achieve the goals he set for himself and the church; his capacity arose from his faith, first in Christ, then in the Church and importantly, in the call of God on his own life. The Uniting Church gives thanks for Harry’s life, and service.”

Harry Herbert is survived by his wife Meg and daughters Julia and Catherine.

A service of celebration of Harry’s life for family and friends will be held at 11am on Thursday December 12 at Bowral Uniting Church, 28 Bendooley Street, Bowral.



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