John Martin is a retired Uniting Church minister living at Robina, Queensland. When his wife, Noelene died suddenly in 2014 John was a chaplain with UnitingCare Ageing (now Uniting), in the Blue Mountains in NSW.
After Noelene died John decided to do two things. One was to retire from ministry after 30 years in congregations and nine with UnitingCare Ageing. The other was to move to the Gold Coast to be near his daughter and her family who are at Mudgeeraba.
Over the years Noelene and John had been convinced that one of the best ways to put into practice the justice which Jesus calls us to live out is through Fair Trade.
In an effort to network with others with a passion for Fair Trade and to share ideas, John explored whether any conferences with those aims are available in Australia. Finding none, John decided to suggest that we should run one ourselves.
Enthusiastic affirmations have led to the planning of this. Many people have been helpful with suggestions and offers of help. The Queanbeyan Uniting Church offered a venue and Corinne Nash of Bangalow, NSW has been the most enthusiastic collaborator with John.
At Noelene’s funeral service her elder son, Robert, suggested a periodical lecture in memory of his Mother. This idea lay dormant until it became obvious to include it as part of the programme for this Conference.
Noelene would be proud!