Our chaplains

Father Rupert Bowd - Ballarat

Rupert Bowd is a Catholic priest and chaplain at Federation University Ballarat.

He is a supporter of cultural diversity in the workplace and community, refers students to counselling, offers prayer support and refers to local churches when requested;

Encourages international students and researchers –attended the recent Australian History Association Conference at Federation,

Orientation and exam times are points of anxiety for many- available to listen then and in term weeks,

His interests are scripture, archaeology and history.

Pastor Andrew Battistella - Ballarat

Andrew was born into an Italian family and raised in a Roman Catholic home. He is married to his wife Melanie and has five wonderful children. He and Melanie are the senior pastors at Mt Clear Church of Christ in Ballarat. Andrew’s desire is to see people discover and live in their true identity, being, accepted and valued for who they are and not what they do. He seeks to see them take hold of their full inheritance as an integral part of their local community. His studies have seen him focus on leadership within the church and local community. He was accepted to study with and be a part of Arrow Australia and has recently completed a post-graduate certificate in leading a multi-staffed church.

Father Constantine Osuchukwu - Ballarat

Anglican chaplain, SMB Campus

Constantine is the parish priest of St Paul’s Anglican Church, Bakery Hill in Ballarat, Victoria and a dual citizen of Nigeria and Australia, having migrated here in 2003. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy and theology from Nigeria and Australian universities respectively. Constantine is currently completing a Masters of Counselling with the Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors (AIPC) and is a passionate advocate for social and environmental justice, as well as a believer in the latent ability of human beings to find strength and hope within themselves to deal with life’s vicissitudes in order to find growth, hope and opportunity.

Constantine's favourite quote is the African proverb: ‘We are human together’ – which implies that ‘what diminishes one diminishes all, and what enhances one, enhances all.’ Working for the eradication of poverty, inequality and injustice through community development, and provision of opportunities for disadvantaged communities is vital in creating a more humane, just, secure and peaceful world.

His hobbies include travelling, walking, soccer, reading, preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and working with disadvantaged individuals and communities to maximise their potentials and to enable their human flourishing. He is also an enthusiastic fan of Chelsea and Essendon football clubs.

Constantine is happy to chat with you anytime if you need a listening ear or in need of a chaplain’s support at the SMB Campus. He is available on Mondays from 9am-4pm on 0455 371 379.

Reverend Frank Lees - Gippsland

Frank has lived and worked in England, Scotland, Kenya and Australia in a wide variety of positions (in hospitals, prisons, children’s homes, charities, churches, etc.).

He has over 30 years of experience in counselling support to a diverse populous, including 18 years of pastoral care as a minister of a local Church. Frank was previously a minister in Scotland.

In Kenya, as the administrator of a Christian children’s home, where he was for over 3 years along with his wife and two youngest children, the Homes’ children saw him as father and the staff saw him as ‘mzee’ (a term of respect meaning ‘elder’). He still values greatly the memory of this time.

In Scotland, Frank worked in prisons for over 14 years (his last 3 years were as an Assistant Prison Governor). Though never speaking of specifics, the work was often very challenging, but also very rewarding.

He commenced at Federation University Australia, Gippsland as chaplain at the end of 2014, working on a part-time basis, but he continues as a church minister part-time as well.

As chaplain, Frank is someone to talk to in an informal way with ‘no strings attached’ for both staff and students and their families. The role of chaplain also involves providing help at times of crisis.

Chaplaincy has been offered to the Gippsland Campus since 1991. It is financially supported by the Anglican, Catholic and Uniting churches, and with ‘in kind’ support provided by the University.

The Gippsland Campus is a community which, like any community, reflects needs in the personal, intellectual, social and spiritual dimensions of life. Tertiary chaplaincy is an ecumenical role, working with people who have ties to a variety of faiths and many having no formal religious ties, and is about assisting in and enhancing the formation of a university community in which spiritual values underpin, as far as possible, how the whole community functions.

The daily work is very different indeed, and this is part of the appeal of such a position. Frank is therefore someone who is ready and willing to talk to anyone, about anything.