My name is Garry Deverell. I am an academic and a priest. My wife, Lil, and I have two grown-up daughters.
As a child I wanted to be a pilot. I think it was that classic childhood dream. Seeing pilots on tele and in movies…it looked cool. Then I realised you either had to join the Air Force or be wealthy so that was never going to happen.
I’ve worked within Baptist, Uniting and Anglican congregations, and I’ve worked in hospitals and theological colleges, all in Victoria and Tasmania.
It would be fair to say that churches and I have not had a terribly easy relationship. I chose to study at Whitley because one of my key mentors as a young man, the Rev Peter Evans, studied there during the sixties. There was really nowhere else I even considered. I graduated from Whitley in 1995 with a Bachelor of Theology (Hons), majoring in systematic theology and pastoral studies. The college helped me develop the self-awareness and theological acumen I needed to continue my work in the face of persistent opposition and many apparent roadblocks.
I’ve since completed a doctorate and have written a couple of books. I’m currently Vice-Chancellor’s Fellow in Indigenous Theologies with the University of Divinity and I’m involved in setting up an Indigenous Studies Centre within the university.
I would like to give a shout-out to Whitley people, Meewon Yang and Nathan Nettleton, for loving me and staying in touch. Also to Mark Brett and Frank Rees for helping shape what remains of my academic mind!
To hear more of Garry’s story and to learn more about his work, check out his books and media interviews:
- The Bonds of Freedom: vows, sacraments, and the formation of the Christian Self, Wipf and Stock (2008).
- Gondwana Theology: a trawloolway man reflects on Christian faith, Morning Star Press (2018).
- Interview with Liam Miller for his podcast ‘Love, Rinse, Repeat’ about Gondwana Theology.
- Interview with Meredith Lake on Indigenous spirituality for ABC Radio National program ‘Soul Search’.