Erica Mandi Manga (nee Hamence) (2003)

Queen’s College was my first home in Melbourne. It is the place I first explored faith, developed as a leader, and made what have been so far lifelong friends.

It’s hard to say what difference living at Queen’s has made for my life professionally, because when I lived there was I studying Arts/Law with a hope of becoming a human rights lawyer somewhere in South America. That obviously hasn’t happened. 

But in another sense, by giving me a place to explore leadership, it actually gave me a really significant foundation for what I now do as a minister. Personally, it gave me friendships that are precious to me to this day. 

I am a senior assistant minister at an Anglican church in central Sydney (St. Barnabas Anglican Church). I oversee our formation and training ministries.

I am also the founder and spokesperson for Common Grace’s Domestic and Family Violence Justice Team. Common Grace is a nondenominational Christian social justice movement. As part of my work in Domestic and Family Violence advocacy, I have helped to create Safer, an online resource for people experiencing domestic or family violence, and those seeking to support them (; Renew, a handbook for Christian women survivors of domestic violence; Before It Starts, a primary prevention curriculum for youth groups to teach them about safe and respectful relationships; and Responding to Domestic and Family Violence, an online course for theology students and other interested participants to help them to care for victims and survivors of domestic and family violence, as well as Gender Equality and Respect: A Bible Study Series for the Melbourne Anglican Diocese. 

When it comes to violence against women, unfortunately not much has changed. In Australia, more than one woman a week is killed by her partner. Where I find some hope is that there is now much more education and some growing understanding about the complexity of gender-based violence. Cultural and structural change is a long game, and we’ll need equal amounts of persistence and patience to see a reduction in violence towards women in this country.

Alongside that, I’d love to see more women enter, and thrive, in ministry. The church needs them.

If you or someone you know is experiencing violence or abuse, you can contact 1800RESPECT

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