Siami and Sawitri

Siami is a missionary and Bible College graduate who travelled to Thailand from her native India in the mid-1980s and began working with the Karen tribal group near the Myanmar border.

Siami and Sawitri

Siami is a missionary and Bible College graduate who travelled to Thailand from her native India in the mid-1980s and began working with the Karen tribal group near the Myanmar border. From the small beginning of offering shelter, education and Christian discipleship to a handful of at-risk girls, Siami now runs the Hilltribes Resources and Development Centre (HRDC), which supports around 500 students (kindergarten to tertiary) through sponsorship. Many have now reached adulthood and have trained in nursing, pharmacy, teaching, accounting, agriculture and trades.

Sawitri was one of Siami’s original group of young women. Education for Sawitri, including the learning of English, has changed the course of her life. She is now married with two children, is a key leader in HRDC, and an English translator. In addition, Sawitri and her husband run a church in the village of Maedet where many of the Newlife sponsored children come from.

In November 2004, two families from Newlife Church travelled to northern Thailand, at the invitation of Australian friends who were working with Siami. Since then, many people from Newlife have visited and we now have over 70 children sponsored.

Our Vision

Our Mission

Newlife exists to see more people more like Jesus by planting and leading thriving local churches.

Our Vision

Our vision is that by 2027 Newlife will be a movement of renewal in Australia with and through the Uniting Church.

Strategic Priorities

Social Transformation

As we journey together, we will inevitably encounter those in need of assistance. Instead of viewing the vulnerable as a distraction, we understand that helping them is central to our purpose. Reflecting God's heart of mercy and justice, we prioritise the renewal of our communities as a key aspect of our vision. We will achieve this in two ways: by ensuring that every Newlife church is committed to the renewal and transformation of their local community, and by establishing gospel partnerships with diverse cultural local and international communities.

Lighthouse Leadership

As we forge ahead with pioneering and innovation, we recognise that our experience can offer valuable guidance for others within our sphere of influence. Our goal is for Newlife to continue providing resources for renewal to the wider Uniting Church. We aim to achieve this by creating a network of churches for resource sharing and relationship building, as well as establishing a presence on councils within our denomination.

Digital Innovation

The message we bring is timeless, but the methods we use must be adaptable to the surrounding conditions. This is why we aim for Newlife to be a national leader in online and digital evangelism strategies. We'll see this through three key ways: Newlife Online will be marked as a thriving Newlife community. We will have meaningful digital presence at all locations. Newlife will develop resources to equip the Australian church in digital evangelism and ministry.

Church Multiplication

Multiplication is an integral part of Newlife's DNA, starting with the multiplication of disciples, which naturally leads to the multiplication of churches. We are dedicated to regularly and consistently planting churches, ensuring that all Newlife churches thrive in areas of evangelism, commitment, community, formation, and mission. To achieve this, we will focus on the regular and consistent planting of churches while maintaining the health and vitality of our existing churches.

Personal Formation

We firmly believe that our growth during the journey will determine whether we reach our destination. The central question is not about what we will do, but who we will become. That's why one of our strategic priorities focuses on personal formation, which involves discipleship—submitting our heart, soul, mind, and strength to Jesus' way. It's not just about changing our thoughts or behavior, but allowing ourselves to be shaped in His image. We'll achieve this by nurturing a prayerful attitude and developing deliberate discipleship pathways that cultivate leaders in ministry and the marketplace.