It was in October 2017 that the Anglican Diocese of Adelaide appointed a new Registrar and Secretary of Synod but it wasn’t until January 2018 that Amanda Harfield started in the job.
Amanda entered the role with a wealth of experience in corporate governance, legislation and law, previously serving as the Associate Director of the University of Adelaide’s in-house legal team. Her qualifications cover Science, Law, Business Administration as well as having completed the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Directors Course.
After more than three months of anxious anticipation, Guardian finally got to sit down with Amanda to discover a little bit about what makes her tick…
Q. What attracted you to apply for the position of Registrar/Secretary of Synod?
A. The opportunity to serve in this unique position was an important consideration in my application. I have a passion for both governance and leadership that fits well with the requirements of the position. My previous roles across a few different sectors provide me with a broad base of experience that I considered would allow me to bring some different insights to the role of Registrar/Secretary of Synod.
Q. Has the reality met your expectations of the role after the first month?
A. Yes! I have however been surprised (in a positive way) by the breadth of activities being undertaken in Parishes and across the Dioceses and just how hard working and committed people are.
Q. How does Church Office differ from previous workplaces?
A. It is an obvious thing to say but it has a God-centred approach to work. This is very different from my previous experiences – and is refreshing and energising. Speaking about your faith in this workplace is encouraged!
Q. Where do you worship? How long have you worshipped there?
A. St George’s at Magill. We recently celebrated our 170th birthday – a lovely occasion to reflect on the past, present and future. I have been connected with St George’s for over 10 years now.
Q. I understand you’re a 4WD/camping enthusiast – where does that passion stem from?
A. I enjoy being able to experience the beautiful landscape and wildlife, particularly in remote parts of South Australia. When in these locations, you must focus on the ‘here and now’ – the environment demands your attention – allowing you to properly put into perspective other aspects of your life.
Q. Where was you last 4WD trip to? What was your best/most memorable 4WD experience?
A. My last trip was beach camping in the Coorong – a breathtaking place. My most memorable 4WD experience has to be my wedding! Thornton and I were married in the Flinders Ranges – and of course, the bride and groom arrived in a 4WD. We then undertook a 4WD holiday into central Australia with friends and enjoyed all of the sights of the West McDonnell Ranges.
Q. Do you have any other passions/hobbies/interests?
A. I enjoy watching and being around birds. Their behaviours are fascinating and their intelligence under-rated. This interest matches very nicely with my passion for camping and being outdoors. At home we currently have a magpie pair who visit us daily and so I get lots of opportunities to learn more about them.