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Welcome, Andrew

Major Andrew Craib Assistant Social Program Secretary

Newly-appointed assistant territorial social programme secretary Major Andrew Craib is keen to get into the year and his new responsibilities.

These include efforts to assist the overall coordination of the territory’s emergency services and The Salvation Army’s stake in disaster management and responses; ‘getting a handle on contract management, ensuring good outcomes all round and ensuring we meet contractual obligations’; and other roles that include liaising with divisional social programme secretaries across the territory, and coordinating the upcoming mid-year DSPS conference in Melbourne.

After joining The Salvation Army’s officer ranks, as one of the aptly-named ‘Heralds of Hope’ (1982-1984), Andrew has served far and wide throughout the territory. This service includes some 18 years of service in corps roles, in Tasmania, South Australia and Victoria, and a decade in PR roles in Adelaide (divisional) and Melbourne (territorial).

His first appointment as a Salvation Army officer was to the Army’s former Bayswater Youth Training centre, which cared for youth placed in the Army’s care by legal and governmental processes.

Andrew’s lesson from that appointment, and from close observation of Salvation Army programs throughout his ministry (including his most recent former appointment as divisional social programme secretary in WA), is that ‘people matter – individuals matter. I see each person for who they are and I encourage them to be who they are meant to be’.

Andrew says the lessons gleaned from corps officership are largely pastoral – ‘to be “present”, as every informal and formal engagement, every pastoral visit, should be about getting alongside people and connecting with them’.

‘We connect with God, we connect with each other, in terms of fellow Salvo employees and/or members/soldiers, and we connect with others; those whom we help and meet along the way. I believe that these connections, with God, with our colleagues and with our clients, all help us connect with ourselves.’

Andrew’s lessons from his PR roles include the awareness that he must be available to be available. ‘I have to find what I can do to help; just because a role may be a communication, fundraising or a PR role, that doesn’t mean I lose the pastoral element. I have to keep people in the forefront of what I do, ministering to them as best I can.’

Andrew is a proud father to three adult children, all in Adelaide.

Rebekah (28) is a junior primary schoolteacher; she has a son, Rowdy Jr. Rachel (26) is a youth support worker who is finalising her social work degree. And Benjamin (22) is living the dream as a bass guitarist, recording a second album with five-piece band Storm the Sky.

Born and bred in Perth, Andrew is turning 53 in February. He is a keen cyclist and golfer (‘although the golf ball itself is a handicap sometimes’) and, when possible, water-skiing.

‘Cycling is a great analogy for life,’ Andrew suggests, ‘and I love the camaraderie of riding with a team. Going back into corps officership in Geelong was a case of getting back on the bike and re-discovering old skills and “muscles” (and, he adds, ‘sore points’)..

‘In riding, as in life, you just need to keep turning the pedals and you’ll get there in the long run. And if you fall over, you get back up and start again. That’s true of life, spiritually speaking; at times you’ll get it right and – at other times – it won’t be so right. The trick is not expecting to reach your destination without applying yourself.’

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