Annual Review 2020

Message from our CEO

It is a great privilege for me to present the 2019-2020 Annual Review for Bible Society Australia. I began in the role of CEO in October of last year and I want to acknowledge the work of my predecessor Dr Greg Clarke, who in 2011 became the inaugural Chief Executive Officer of the newly formed national organisation.

I am excited to take up the baton to lead this extraordinary organisation as I, like you, believe Bible Society has a unique place in Australia’s history, but more than that, Bible Society also has much more work to do into the future.

For example, think about our neighbours in Indonesia. Over 600 languages and only 33 of those languages have been translated into full Bibles. There is a huge amount of work to do there.

We are part of a global fellowship, the United Bible Societies. In the latest United Bible Societies (UBS) Scripture distribution figures, the annual distribution of full Bibles has gone up from more than 34 million in 2015 to just short of 40 million in 2019. Together with the UBS, we are cooperating on significant timelines for translations, working across different languages and cultures. We provide support to enable our partners to do their job, to translate the Scriptures. For example, you will hear more about translation work in Vietnam, often undertaken by passionate local pastors, with demanding day jobs, and at night translating the Scriptures.

Here in Australia, Bible Society is committed to young people. We have a vision for a youth Bible. A new Christian’s Bible. We are more and more intentional in the digital space, getting the word out to young people, via YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram, ensuring all our digital platforms are mobile friendly as that’s where we want to be reaching the next generation of Australia.

Bible Society is a family of brands coming under the headship of the Bible Society Australia Group. We encompass the Centre for Public Christianity (CPX), advocating in the public square for the gospel; Eternity, bringing the good news of Christianity to all who seek it; Koorong, equipping churches and individuals with Christian resources; and Acorn Press, publishing Australian Christian voices. Collectively we can help make a difference serving the church and building Australia.

It has not been an easy year for our brothers and sisters in the Lord both here in Australia and around the world, as communities have faced catastrophic climate events and a global pandemic.

Our vision is to impact and influence Australia and the world by Opening The Bible to all people everywhere by all means possible.

We will continue to follow this vision no matter what. Bible Society work is the work of our donors and supporters – you – and would not continue without you. We are so grateful for your ongoing support.

This review will report on some of the struggles our partners have experienced due to COVID-19 and we ask that you continue to pray for our work and the difficulties facing our partners and the communities they serve.

Grant Thomson
CEO, Bible Society Australia