Church Staff

Rev. Ray Gormann


phone: 0447 142 425

I have been a Uniting Church minister for just over 30 years, the vast majority in urban mission settings - I commenced ministry as a young family with my one year old daughter down at Geelong where I was for five years and my son was born just before we moved back to Melbourne. The good folk at Geelong could hardly believe the family was going to Melbourne but it softened the blow when we said we were going to St Kilda and the congregation could feel we were being sent out as missionaries. The St Kilda years were a stretching, invigorating and often confronting time. This was in the 1990's when there was a little bit of everything in St Kilda. Kind of like all these sub-cultures rubbing up against each other, but mostly pretty harmoniously. But you could see the gentrifcation was already underway. I had a lot to do with people living with mental health issues due to the St Kilda Drop In Centre which the congregation ran. I seem to have a record of longer ministries and was at St Kilda for 10 years before a move across the other side of town, but about the same distance from the city. Initially the placement was at SW Brunswick and St David's but the congregation at SW Brunswick had pretty much outgrown their building so in a case of a very positive merger moved up to the prominent Sydney Rd site. Brunswick Uniting was, and remains, a extraordinarly gifted community doing great outreach into the community. So much so I stayed nearly 12 years. I was being asked, "Where to from here" and did not really have an answer but a growing sense it would be good to have a spell out of congregational ministry and get out of my comfort zone so to speak. I was aware of a Presbytery funded position of Mental Health Chaplain at Sunshine Hospital, and felt a calling (as we say) to that. It was a good move but a massive culture shock and I had lots to learn - to name a few, working under the umbrella of "spirituality" and how to encourage sometimes pretty battered but resilient people to draw upon the strengths of their own spirituality to recover, the hospital system in general, and specifically the mental health system, and no longer being at the centre of a vital community that gathers for worship. After 3 and a half years the congregational minister in me was restless again.  I did not move far, at least geographically, even if a long way in my head! and am now minister at the Sunshine congregation where I commenced in August 2015. I live in Footscray with my partner Laura and her daughter and have two adult children.

Troy van der Pluym

Youth Centre Co-ordinator


Troy is the new Sunshine Youth Centre (SYC) Coordinator for Sunshine Uniting. The SYC is based on youth participation and community development principles to empower, enhance, motivate and provide opportunities for young people. Troy will work with young people, community groups, local council and agencies to develop a Drop-in programme and service delivery within this model. Troy has many years experience in community development with local and foreign work experience with specific youth-focus programme development, coordination and support.