Meet the Team
The team at the Australian Christian Lobby is a diverse group of individuals who bring a variety of experiences and expertise to the work of ACL.
Each team member is a committed Christian and fellowships at a local church from a broad range of denominations.
The main ACL office is based in Canberra, with staff on the ground around the country.
- Lyle SheltonLyle Shelton is the Managing Director of the Australian Christian Lobby.
- Rod McGarvieRod McGarvie is the Chief of Staff of the Australian Christian Lobby.
- Ben WilliamsBen Williams is the Administration Manager of the Australian Christian Lobby.
- David Hutt David Hutt is the New South Wales Director of the Australian Christian Lobby.
- Dan Flynn Dan Flynn is the Victorian Director of the Australian Christian Lobby.
- Wendy Francis Wendy Francis is the Queensland Director of the Australian Christian Lobby.
- Rhys Vallance Rhys Vallance is the Western Australian Director of the Australian Christian Lobby.
- Mark Brown Mark Brown is the Tasmanian Director of the Australian Christian Lobby.
- Richard ThackwayRichard Thackway is the ACT Director of the Australian Christian Lobby.
- Yvonne PrattYvonne Pratt is the NT Director at the Australian Christian Lobby.
- Katherine SpackmanKatherine Spackman is the Communications Director at the Australian Christian Lobby.
- Laurenne Abdelmalak Laurenne Abdelmalak is a part-time Media Officer at the Australian Christian Lobby.
- Daniel SimonDaniel Simon is the Research Officer of the Australian Christian Lobby.
- Rhonda AmentRhonda Ament is the Personal Assistant to the Managing Director, Lyle Shelton.
- Cindy McGarvie Cindy McGarvie is the Development Manager of the Australian Christian Lobby.
- Jenny HentzschelJenny Hentzschel is the Finance Officer at the Australian Christian Lobby.
- Peter TomsPeter Toms is the Supporter Relations Officer of the Australian Christian Lobby.
- Nick JensenNick Jensen is the Director of the Lachlan Macquarie Internship and Director of Leadership Development at ACL.
Lyle Shelton is the Managing Director of the Australian Christian Lobby.
Lyle is a journalist by profession. He worked in rural journalism as a roving reporter for Queensland Country Life before serving as the Melbourne-based Group Commodities Editor for Rural Press Limited, with articles syndicated to the stable’s rural weeklies, including The Land newspaper.
In 1997 he became youth pastor at Toowoomba City Church before being elected to Toowoomba City Council in 2000. He was re-elected to Council in 2004 and unsuccessfully contested the 2006 Queensland state election.
After a short stint as a political adviser, Lyle was appointed in 2007 as National Chief of Staff at the Australian Christian Lobby, based in Canberra. He served this role for six years before being appointed Managing Director in May 2013.
Rod McGarvie joined ACL as Chief of Staff in November 2013.
Rod started his career with the Australian Army serving in the Royal Australian Engineers for eight years including United Nations peacekeeping duties overseas.
After studying social linguistics, he worked in East Africa for 12 years with a faith-based language development organisation, seven of those years as Executive Director.
Since returning to Australia in 2010 he has been actively involved in politics at the federal, state and local levels, both as campaign manager, and as a federal candidate in the 2010 and 2013 federal elections.
He is presently completing an MBA Executive with Australian Catholic University.
Ben Williams joined ACL as Research Officer in July 2008 before moving to the role of Deputy Chief of Staff / Administration Manager in March 2011.
He previously worked with the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department in the area of legislative publishing.
Ben holds a Bachelor of Education with First Class Honours from the University of Tasmania.
David Hutt is the New South Wales Director of the Australian Christian Lobby.
He has worked for a number of senior Australian politicians including leaders of the Opposition at both the state and federal level and a federal cabinet minister.
David has extensive political campaign experience and has worked on a number of local, state and national campaigns. Prior to his life as a political staffer, David worked as a professional musician.
He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Music from the University of Western Sydney and is currently undertaking post-graduate studies in International Relations at Macquarie University.
Dan Flynn is the Victorian Director of ACL.
Dan is a lawyer by profession. He practiced as a Barrister from 1989 to 2006, before commencing as a Solicitor with the Victorian Government.
From 2008, until joining ACL in 2012, Dan managed a team of government prosecutors conducting environmental cases in Victorian courts.
Wendy Francis is the Queensland Director of ACL.
Wendy is the former Marketing Manager for Queensland Baptists (QB) and Editor of the QB Magazine and is the organiser of the Lord Mayor’s Christmas Carols which are televised on Channel TEN each year.
Wendy’s political interests before joining ACL in January 2011 included her running as the lead Senate candidate in Queensland for the Family First Party in the 2010 Federal election.
Wendy has also been a strong advocate for the interests and wellbeing of children, having advanced the cause for outdoor advertising to be ‘G-rated’. Wendy is married to Peter Francis, who is Director of Field Education and lecturer at Malyon College, Brisbane.
Peter and Wendy have been in pastoral ministry for over 23 years, the past 7 years as senior pastors at the City Tabernacle Baptist Church in Brisbane.
Rhys Vallance is the Western Australian Director of the Australian Christian Lobby.
Before he joined ACL in October 2011, he was a youth worker for Youth for Christ.
He graduated from the University of Western Australia in 2010 with a Bachelor of Arts – Double Major in German and Political Science and International Relations.
Mark Brown is the Tasmanian Director of ACL.
Mark began working at ACL in September 2010.
Mark moved to Tasmania from New Zealand in 1993 to study theology. Other than a few years in pastoral ministry the majority of Mark’s work has been in pharmaceutical related industries
He holds scientific qualifications.
Richard Thackway is the ACT Director at the Australian Christian Lobby.
Richard was the ACT Director from 2001-09 and recommenced again in 2012.
Richard moved to Canberra in the late 1970s. Since that time he has been involved in leadership positions in the Canberra Christian community. He was the inaugural chairman of the Board for Covenant College Tuggeranong, ACT from 1989-1993.
Richard has worked as an environmental research scientist for the last 30 years in the Australian Government. Recently he retired and took up a position as an Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Queensland; based in Canberra.
Yvonne Pratt works one day a week as the Northern Territory Director.
Katherine Spackman is ACL’s Communications Director.
Before joining ACL in January 2011 she worked in the ABC as reporter in Queensland in Gladstone, Rockhampton, Bundaberg and Brisbane.
She’s also worked as a journalist for a mining magazine in Central Queensland.
She graduated from Central Queensland University with Distinction in Bachelor of Business and Bachelor of Professional Communications.
Laurenne Abdelmalak joined ACL in August 2012 as the part-time media officer.
She has worked previously as a communications advisor for the Victorian state government and been sponsorship coordinator of a Christian youth ministry.
She graduated from RMIT University in 2009 with a Bachelor of Communication (Public Relations), and completed a Masters of International Relations at the University of Melbourne in 2011.
Daniel Simon joined ACL in March 2011 as the new Research Officer.
This is his first full-time employment since finishing a double degree in Economics/Law at the University of New England.
He has worked part-time in a small country law firm and a Christian school.
Rhonda Ament is Personal Assistant to the Managing Director, Lyle Shelton.
Cindy McGarvie joined ACL as Development Manager in November 2013.
Cindy began her career as a nurse in the Australian Army where she served for seven years and afterwards working in east Africa with an international faith-based language development organisation for 12 years.
On returning to Australia, she worked as Global Engagement Director for a large church for two years.
Previous to ACL she was a political staffer for a Queensland federal senator and a state MP as well as being actively involved in federal, state and local government campaigns.
Jenny Hentzschel is ACL’s Finance Officer.
Before joining ACL in July 2011 she worked in Respiratory Research, and was responsible for Clinical Trials Administration.
Prior to this she was practice manager for an accounting firm in Adelaide.
Peter Toms is ACL’s supporter relations officer.
Before joining ACL he was a high school teacher, working in Catholic and independent schools. He also worked for several years as an Industrial Chemist in the food industry.
He has a Diploma of Education, Bachelor of Science and Graduate Diploma in Computing.
Nick Jensen is the Director of the Lachlan Macquarie Internship and Director of Leadership Development at the AC. He previously worked as the ACT Director at the Australian Christian Lobby.
Nick has been with ACL since before the 2008 ACT election, and has previously worked as a chaplain at the Emmaus Christian School.
Nick has a Bachelor of Theology from Charles Stuart University, as well as a Bachelor of Arts from the Australian National University in philosophy, religious studies and politics.