Our Staff

Meet the Team

The Australian Christian Lobby’s head office is located in Canberra, with staff on the ground around the country. We employ individuals from diverse professional backgrounds who fellowship at local churches of various denominations.

  • Lyle SheltonManaging Director
  • Martyn IlesChief of Staff
  • David HuttNSW State Director
  • Dan FlynnVIC State Director
  • Wendy FrancisQLD State Director
  • Rhys VallanceWA State Director
  • Mark BrownTAS State Director
  • Richard ThackwayACT Director
  • Yvonne PrattNT Director
  • Laurenne Abdelmalak Media Officer
  • Daniel SimonResearch Officer
  • Rhonda AmentPersonal Assistant
  • Cindy McGarvieDevelopment Manager
  • Jenny HentzschelFinance Officer
  • Peter TomsSupporter Relations
  • Silvia CorreiaAdministration
  • Nick JensenLachlan Macquarie Institute Director

 

Lyle Shelton
Managing Director

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 Chief of Staff at the Australian Christian Lobby, based in Canberra. He served in this role for six years before being appointed Managing Director in May 2013.

Martyn Iles
Chief of Staff

Martyn is a lawyer, with a Bachelors degree from the University of Queensland and a Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice from the Australian National University. He is currently studying his Master of Laws, also with ANU.

Prior to ACL, Martyn has managed his own successful technology business, co-managed a multimedia company, edited a magazine, worked in a top-tier law firm, and been deeply engaged in social work as a youth pastor.

David Hutt
NSW State Director

David 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 having 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
VIC State Director

Dan practiced as a barrister from 1989 to 2006 before becoming 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
QLD State Director

Wendy is the former Marketing Manager for Queensland Baptists (QB) and Editor of the QB Magazine. She also organises the Lord Mayor’s Christmas Carols which are televised on Channel TEN each year.

Prior to joining ACL, Wendy ran as the lead Queensland senate candidate for Family First at the 2010 Federal Election.

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 seven years as senior pastors at the City Tabernacle Baptist Church in Brisbane.

Rhys Vallance
Western Australia Director

Before he joined ACL, Rhys 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
Tasmanian Director

Mark moved to Tasmania from New Zealand in 1993 to study theology. He also holds scientific qualifications.

Other than a few years in pastoral ministry the majority of Mark’s work has been in pharmaceutical-related industries.

Richard Thackway
Australian Capital Territory Director

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 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
Northern Territory Director

Laurenne Abdelmalak
Media Officer

Laurenne has previously worked as a communications advisor for the Victorian state government and the 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
Research Officer

Daniel holds a double degree in Economics/Law at the University of New England and a Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice.

Prior to joining ACL, he has worked at a law firm and for a Christian school.

Rhonda Ament
Personal Assistant to Lyle Shelton

Rhonda Ament is Personal Assistant to the Managing Director.

Cindy McGarvie
Development Manager

Cindy began her career as a nurse in the Australian Army where she served for seven years and afterwards worked 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
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
Supporter Relations Officer

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.

Silvia Correia
Administration Assistant/Receptionist

Before joining ACL, Sylvia was a Conveyancing Secretary for one of South Africa’s top law firms. She also worked for several years as an Office Administrator.

She has a National Diploma in Office Administration and speaks three languages English, Afrikaans and Portuguese.

Nick Jensen
Lachlan Macquarie Program Manager

Nick Jensen is the Director of the Lachlan Macquarie Internship and Director of Leadership Development at the ACL. 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 Sturt University, as well as a Bachelor of Arts from the Australian National University in philosophy, religious studies and politics.

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