Micah Australia employs a small staff team to help facilitate and lead the coalition.
Ben Thurley, National Coordinator
Ben is married to Lyndall and has two boys, Gabe (12) and Jake (7). He’s been working with Micah Australia for the last four years, first as Political Engagement Coordinator and now as National Coordinator. In those roles, he has helped develop and steer Micah’s campaigns on aid, tax justice and climate change.
Before that, Ben and his family lived and worked in Nepal as Advocacy Advisor with United Mission to Nepal. In that role he worked with Nepalese organisations to become better advocates, established a local democracy and budget monitoring program and helped the major church bodies establish a social issues analysis and church/community mobilisation program known as Christian Commitment to Building a New Nepal.
Prior to living in Nepal, Ben was the Advocacy Coordinator with TEAR Australia and initially trained as a teacher and taught at Canterbury Boys high school in Sydney.
Holding degrees in Arts, Education and Theology, Ben is passionate about encouraging and equipping Australia Christians to stand and speak up for justice and peace and is part of the Lalor Park Cafe Church community in Sydney's west.
Pip Berglund, Voices for Justice Coordinator
Pip lives with her husband and two young boys in Sydney. With graduate and post-graduate degrees in social work, theology and international development, Pip Berglund has committed her life to working for justice in many areas including politics, local communities, tertiary education and development.
Pip brings a wealth of experience to her current role with Micah Australia, including having previously worked as the Campaign Coordinator for Micah Challenge (2007-2008) and having ten years ago launched and directed a theological gap year called Plunge at Morling College. She has also held roles with HopeStreet Urban Compassion, Street Level Salvos and a stint as National Youth Director for the Wesleyan Church.
Pip's role at Micah Australia includes supporter engagement and leadership development, intentional coaching and training of advocates, and the coordination of Voices for Justice events/ conferences across Australia.
Benn Banasik, Political and Campaigns Coordinator
Benn is married, a father of two boys and keeper of two cats. He is a former Mayor of Wollondilly Shire Council and was an elected Councillor for two terms before retiring to concentrate his work in the advocacy sector. Benn comes to Micah with a long history of political involvement; handing out for his first election at just seven years old he has worked for a number of State and Federal MPs as an advisor and chief of staff.
Before coming to work for Micah in September 2015, Benn's first involvement with Micah was meeting with advocates at Voices for Justice when working for a Federal Member of Parliament. He holds a Theology degree, is currently continuing this study and also holds certificates in Information Technology.
When not working for Micah, Benn can be found investigating over ancient texts from the second to fifth century, tweeting about SBS TV shows or with a control pad in hand playing Sega games.
Jessica Morthorpe, Communications Coordinator
Jessica lives with her husband and various pets in Perth. With qualifications in environmental science, marketing and theology, Jessica is passionate about advocating for the reconciliation and renewal of all creation. She is also the founder and director of the Five Leaf Eco-Awards, an ecumenical environmental change program for churches and religious organisations.
Jessica has previously worked with Fairtrade Labelling Australia and New Zealand and in multiple roles within the Uniting Church in Australia. She has also attended multiple national and international training programs and conferences, including the Green Steps Environmental Change Leadership Program (2006), Asia Pacific Youth Camp on Climate Change (2008), Youth for Eco Justice (2011) and the Emerging Leaders’ Multi-Faith Climate Convergence (2015). These programs have helped to convince her that we can achieve truly amazing things when we work together.
A previous Voices for Justice participant, Jessica was excited and inspired by her time at Voices and is keen to help others be empowered to make a difference through these conferences and Micah's other events.
When not working Jessica is mad keen reader, with a particular enthusiasm for eco-theology, YA and Historical Fiction.