NEWS | Anne Lim
Wednesday 2 March 2016
The Salvation Army is to unify its territories in Australia, with a streamlined national administration releasing more resources for frontline mission but also leading to job losses and redeployment.
Announcing the merger of the Eastern and Southern territories on Tuesday, the Salvation Army said expected substantial savings from a national administrative structure would be ploughed into a Mission Development Endowment Fund to strengthen the effectiveness and sustainability of its mission.
The planned merger comes after 15 years of active discussion and about a year of consultation and review. The merger will be implemented progressively, with a target of being fully operational by January 2019.
The creation of a single territory would also ensure that the Army speaks in Australia with a single voice and has a consistent approach in all of its programmes, personnel management and business dealings, the Army said.
“This is an important milestone that will further enhance the Salvation Army’s ability to provide life-changing social and spiritual services to the people of Australia,” said Floyd Tidd, who has been appointed the inaugural National Commander from June 2016, to be based in Canberra.
Tidd is the current Territorial Commander for the Australia Southern Territory, which encompasses Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory.
He and the Territory Commander for the Australia Eastern Territory, James Condon, pushed the merger proposal in January at the International Management Council, which endorsed it unanimously.
As reported by Eternity last year, Condon plans to retire in May after a challenging period in which he made an emotional apology to victims of historic sexual abuse at Salvation Army homes.
Tidd made reference to that abuse on Tuesday in saying the merger was a chance to create a new future after the failings of the past.