When your dream job calls, twice

What defines a dream job? Maybe it is a group of people that you admire from afar, a culture you feel aligned to, even as an outsider.

This realisation came to Rev Stu Cameron in the form of a question asked five or six years ago by his professional supervisor, who was testing his calling at the time. “Is there any other role that would interest you?” his trusted advisor asked.

An answer came quickly to Stu’s heart and mind, “Leading Wesley Mission would be an incredible challenge.”

Yet no sooner were the words out of his mouth, he dismissed them. “In so many ways I was already in my dream job,” Stu explains. “Serving at Newlife Church with congregations on the Gold Coast and in Brisbane was, without doubt, the most exhilarating and enjoyable season for Sue and me. And we thought we’d continue in leadership there for a long time yet, God willing.”

Then a little over a year ago, a phone call from the executive search firm working on behalf of Wesley Mission came as a surprise.

After thought and prayer together with Sue, Stu called Wesley Mission back to decline.

But the story doesn’t end there as Michael Anderson, Chair of the Wesley Community Services Board, called Stu back weeks later to ask them to reconsider. Stu sought his professional supervisor’s counsel who reminded him of her question regarding his ‘dream job’ and Stu’s answer. And so, reconsider he did.

“We saw in Stu a natural fit with Wesley Mission’s culture and values,” says Michael. “It is a unique placement, and the Board is confident in Stu’s capability to lead our community services and congregations forward. Here is someone with the mind of an entrepreneur, the heart of a pastor, professional training as an accountant and is a clear communicator with a track record of building healthy communities.”

After relocating to Sydney and a comprehensive two-month induction process, Stu became the CEO and Superintendent of Wesley Mission on January 1, 2021.

“I’ve been impressed by the people I’ve met so far, from across the whole Wesley Mission community. People who are living out who we are called to be, exhibiting Christlike servanthood, unfailing integrity and courageous commitment,” says Stu.

“I’m honoured to step into such a rich legacy, more so, to join with others in a unique expression of God’s heart for those most in need.”

“What was once primarily a Sydney-based group of services and faith community has grown significantly, reaching across NSW and around Australia. When we uphold our tagline to ‘Do all the good you can, because every life matters’, there is a great calling for anyone who wants to join us.”

Rev Stu Cameron will be inducted as CEO and Superintendent Minister at 4pm, Sunday 7 February. Please join with us via livestream available at www.wesleymission.org.au

20 questions to get to know Wesley Mission’s new leader

Name: Stuart Cameron, call me Stu.

Education: Country High School (Naracoorte, SA), Bachelor of Arts (Accounting), Adelaide College of Divinity.

Formation: I was ordained as a Minister of the Word in May 2004, having been a Uniting Church member since there was a Uniting Church to belong to (1977). I was a know-it-all Sunday school kid and youth group brat who was blessed with patient, wise and Christ-like leaders and parents.

Career highlight to date: Lots, but leading Newlife the last fifteen years would be top of the tree.

Strength: Passion for God and people and my curious optimism.

Weakness: Many – but I can easily be distracted (flip side of my curiosity – I find that our weaknesses are often the shadow side of our strengths).

Management style and tips: Collaborative – I LOVE working in teams. I know no other way. Tip – ask more questions than you give answers.

Work motto: Excellence honours God and inspires people.

Family: Married to Sue (we started dating when we were in high school!). Two kids – Joel (27) and Emily (25). And a very spoiled dog called Splash.

Professional associations: Director of Propel Network Inc.

Favourite way to relax: Golf (mid-range hacker). Reading (lots). Long-suffering supporter of the Adelaide Crows. Following Sue around in Bunnings and sneaking a sausage when I can.

Coffee order: Skinny Flat White (no sugar – the coffee should be good enough).

Early influences: From History, John Wesley, George Whitfield and William Wilberforce. Personally, my parents and the youth pastors and ministers who saw and called the best out of me.

Secret talent: I can bowl a bit of leg spin and was quite decent in my day, buying cheap wickets. I did have a deadly wrong ‘un.

Life verse: Two, actually. Romans 8:38-39.

Lifechanging book/album: U2 – Joshua Tree (‘I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For’ is the greatest song of all time – no debate). Dallas Willard – ‘The Spirit of the Disciplines’.

A leader you admire: Martin Luther King Jr and Bryan Stevenson.

First job: Paper Boy (if you are under the age of 40, ask someone old like me what a Paper Boy was).

Netflix queue: Just finished The Queens Gambit (fun). Currently watching Doc Martin (pure escapism).

Leap of faith: Many – but following God’s call to live in four different states would be up there. In the end, faith is an adventure God calls us into.

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