Oaktree Anglican Church | Staff
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Our Pastors

Mark Durie - Senior Pastor

BA (Hons), DipTh, BTh, PhD, ThD, FAAH


In addition to leading Oaktree, Mark is responsible for the Caulfield morning 9am and 10.30 am services.


Mark held a senior academic position at Melbourne University before commencing pastoral ministry in 1999. Mark speaks and writes on relations between monotheistic faiths, human rights and religious freedom. He is the founding director of the Institute for Spiritual Awareness, a Shillman-Ginsburg Writing Fellow at the Middle East Form, and an Adjunct Research Fellow of the Arthur Jeffery Centre for the Study of Islam at the Melbourne School of Theology.


Mark has been married to Debby for 30 years. Over the years they have been regular worshippers together at 11 different churches, but their longest time in one place is where they are right now.


Mark blogs at blog.markdurie.com and oaktreevicar.blogspot.com

Debby Durie - Senior Pastor

Bachelor of Theology (Tabor College), Nurse-Midwife


Debby is responsible for Prayer Ministry in the church, including the training of ministry and intercessory teams.


Debby originally trained as a Registered Nurse and Midwife. She worked in a variety of roles in nursing and hospital management. Her previous roles in ministry have included children’s pastor, leading and training music and worship teams, and leading and training Alpha teams. She also worked as the National Training Director for Cleansing Stream Australia and advises churches in setting up prayer ministry teams. She graduated with a Bachelor of Theology degree in 2010.


Debby and Mark are the parents of Matthew, David and Christopher. Debby enjoys spending time with her grandchildren and Corby the Jack Russell terrier.

Suzie Ray - Assistant Pastor

B.Bus, GradDipAcctg, GradDipEd, M.Div


Suzie joined Oaktree in July 2017. Part of her Assistant Pastor role is to lead the Families and Youth Ministries of our 10:30am service at Caulfield.


Suzie has formerly worked as a School Chaplain and Head of Faculty for Religious and Values Education. Prior to her ministry training she worked in banking and finance.


Suzie and her husband David have 2 daughters.

Michelle Turnbull - Assistant Pastor

Michelle has many years experience working as an evangelist and with children and families. She and her husband Kepas recently served with Iris Global Ministries in Pemba, Mozambique.

Kepas Turnbull - Assistant Minister

BMin, BApplSci, DipTh, DipEdAdmin, DipEd


Kepas worked as a School Chaplain and School Teacher for more than 30 years.


2017 saw him and his wife Michelle serving in missions in Pemba, Mozambique with Iris Global. At Oaktree he ministers in the St Clement’s morning congregation.


Kepas and Michelle have 4 children between them.

Associate Clergy

Reverend Andrew Stewart - Chaplain

Chaplain at Mentone Grammar


Service Leader and occasional fill in preacher when the Vicar is away.


Andrew and his family have worshipped at Oaktree for over thirteen years. Andrew experienced a warm welcome when he first visited the church and has been coming back ever since.

Reverend Carol Elfverson

Rev. Carol Elfverson is involved in leadership roles at the 9am Service and conducts second weekly communion services at a local aged care facility.


Carol retired from hospital chaplaincy/pastoral care last year. For relaxation she enjoys bushwalking, travel, reading and meals with family and friends.

Reverend Kate Jacobs

Bachelor of Ministry, Graduate Diploma of Education


Kate is a Chaplain at Beaconhills College, serving at their Pakenham campus and has been with the College since 2016. She has a passion for revealing the love of God to the students at Beaconhills.


She is also involved in service leading at the 10.30am service and occasionally preaches.


Kate started attending Oaktree in 2013 after being appointed as Youth Pastor. She continued in the role until moving into school chaplaincy. She and her husband Ajit attend the 10.30am service and continue to enjoy serving the Oaktree community.

Other Staff

Rene El Khodr - Accounts Manager

Bachelor in Business Accounting
Certified in International Financial Reporting Standards Experts (IFRSE)


Rene El Khodr is responsible for managing the accounts at Oaktree Anglican. He is also the Parish Treasurer.


Rene El Khodr provides accounting support and financial analysis for some other churches in Melbourne as well as occupying the role of remote Financial Controller for a Christian organization in Lebanon “Lebanese Society For Educational & Social Development”.


“Swimming is a hobby that I enjoy and I hope that in Australia I will not by coincidence find myself practicing my hobby in the ocean with a shark for company.”

Neelam Tigga - Prep Coordinator

Neelam leads Oaktree’s pre-schoolers towards Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit on Sunday mornings throughout the school terms from 10.30am – 12pm.


Neelam lives in Melbourne with her husband and their only daughter and works full time as a Business Consultant at Coles Head office.

Valerie Trigger - Honorary Lay Minister

Bachelor of Ministry

Valerie began attending Oaktree in 2011 while studying her degree at Ridley. Having completed the degree she is now working at Oaktree as an Honorary Lay minister organizing events and making opportunity for the church family to engage with one another in outings outside of Sunday services. Her heart is to see John 13:34-35 fulfilled in the Body of Christ: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”


Valerie has a desire for Christians to recognize the Hebraic Roots of the Church encouraging a deeper understanding of its Judeo/Christian heritage, and also to engage with the surrounding Jewish community.

She is involved in organizing conferences and seminars to this end.

Amy Bryant - Jigsaw Coordinator



Amy has the privilege of coordinating Oaktree’s Jigsaw Program on Wednesday mornings from 9:30 to 12pm. She has a lot of fun each week leading the group in each of the different activities while everyone (herself included) learn more about God, his amazing love and each other.


Amy practiced as a veterinarian for over 10 years, before taking a break to raise her family (with her husband John) and now with her role as Jigsaw Coordinator helping to care for a slightly different variety of sheep, some of God’s own little lambs!

Liz Kovacs - Office Manager

Liz is responsible for Administration across Oaktree Anglican Church, including accounts payments and inquiries. She has worked in administration at Oaktree since 2011, after some years at home as a full time mother. Before having children Liz worked in various administrative positions in the private sector.


Liz, her husband Joe and family have attended Oaktree (St Mary’s) since the late 1990s. Their children have grown up in the Sunday Club and now their daughter Sammi is an assistant leader at Magnetic Youth. Their two boys Seb and Brad are current TCS members. As well as work at Oaktree and managing the family, Liz enjoys reading in her spare time.

Robert Jones - Connect Group Coordinator

B.App Science (Computer Technology), Studying Master of Divinity at Ridley College


Robert is responsible for coordinating and nurturing the connect groups at Oaktree Anglican. He has a passion to see the people through connect groups support each other in their Spiritual growth, develop caring relationships and connect with others.


Robert had worked in the IT industry for 18 years before God had other ideas for him.


Robert has a wonderful wife Susan who is a great support, as well as two great children Aidan and Charlotte.

Robert loves reading biographies, history as well as historical novels. He follows Collingwood Football Club and has been a part of 8 different denominations but now thinks he may settle down as an Anglican.

Araluen Rapson - Children's Ministry Assistant

Araluen has been attending Oaktree since 2008 and has worked with children as a nanny/babysitter since finishing year 12. She has a passion for teaching children about Jesus and now leads the Acorn’s in a fun creative way each Sunday.


Araluen enjoys spending time with Harry her Jack Russell x Kelpie and Guinea pigs and spending time with her friends and family.