Our Team

The Presbyterian Church of Australia in NSW has committed to the Breaking the Silence policy, procedures and Code of Conduct. We want everyone to be safe. All our leaders (including program leaders and helpers) and staff hold current Breaking the Silence (Safe Church) training and Working With Children Checks.


Ian Coutts (Elder)

Scott Herd (Elder)

Scott has been an elder at SCPC for only a few years. He has discovered that leadership is not only servant-hearted but also dynamic and transformational. Scott loves that the SCPC  Leadership team is gospel-focused and unified under Christ.

Scott and his wife Bronwyn lead a diverse Gospel Community and are encouraged by the shared experience of serving, studying and socialising together.

Scott and Bronwyn live out of town where Scott unwinds by pushing a lawnmower, growing fruit trees and torturing plants (bonsai).

Whilst Scott has appreciated and gained understanding from many Christian leaders and authors, his heart truly skips a beat when he sees great faith in common people. Scott loves to hear testimonies and see faith in action. He is thankful for having met so many servant-hearted Christians with charisma, courage, commitment and a faithful reliance upon God.

Jon Mison (Elder)

Jon is the father of three adult children and enjoys pottering around in the garden, walking along the beach, doing various puzzles (Kenkens and Sudokus are probably the current favourites) and music (which is always playing inside his head even when he’s not physically listening to it – and it’s a great way to remember Scripture too).

Being part of the Kemsley Gospel Community is a great blessing for Jon as it provides opportunities to hang out, getting to know and support each other in ways that are not possible within the context of the whole church family. It also provides a smaller (and less formal) environment to invite a neighbour or friend.

Jon enjoys reading and has had his thinking influenced by a number of authors – C S Lewis, Jim Packer and John Stott being a few of them. Bible talks by the founding pastor of SCPC were particularly helpful in appreciating the full word of God, and the whole Bible pointing to God’s plan of salvation for mankind through Jesus. Talks by Tim Keller are also great value.

Jon is looking forward to 2024 and having his life beating more with the heartbeat of Jesus as we reach out in a loving, compassionate way to a hurting and self-centred society that needs a Saviour (but perhaps hasn’t realised yet who that Saviour has to be).

Wayne Brooks (Elder)


Stew Playsted: Vision, Leadership and Community Pastor

Stew is the Leadership, Vision and Community Pastor at SCPC. This means he spends a lot of time thinking about our future (and in meetings!) and also acting as a guide for key leaders and volunteers to embrace our vision, and consider their role in our future too. But whatever our future may be, he would love to see our gospel heartbeat stay strong. He is the chairperson of our Leadership Team (elders) and Committee of Management and leads our staff team meetings. To assist him in his organisation and future planning, Jill works alongside him as an admin assistant.

Stew loves resourcing the Vision Coordinators who lead our Gospel Communities and has the joy and privilege of being the Vision Coordinator of the Gospel Community (GC) he leads alongside his wife. What gets his heart jumping for joy is when members of his GC  make simple invitations to include other members – and even cooler a friend or neighbour too – in the hope they might join the heavenly community of the saints. 

Stew was once a Physical Education teacher and tries to convince his body he can still do what it has always done. You may see him out jogging or trying to ‘lift the intensity’ in social sport.

In his life, Stew has been influenced by godly leaders like Tim Keller, Scottish evangelical Thomas Chalmers and David McDonald (the author of Hope Beyond Cure).

James Ritchie: Preaching and Mission Pastor

Peita Patch – Ministry Coordinator

Peita is our Ministry Coordinator and you can find her doing all sorts of tasks to support our staff and ministry teams, prepare for Sunday gatherings and events, facilitate the use of our Park Ave premises, ensure we’re upholding our safe ministry practices and whatever else needs doing to keep everything running as smoothly as possible. She’s still waiting for the (ever elusive) ‘normal’ week to come!

In her life, Peita has been influenced by Christian leaders like Tim Chester, Rosaria Butterfield, Dane Ortlund, Rico Tice and the Apostle Paul. She also loves hearing other people’s stories of how God is at work in their lives, witnessing the outward working of the gospel heartbeat others have and is spurred on and strengthened by the women in her Gospel Community as they meet for DNA each week.

Peita serves our church family as the Music Ministry Leader and has a deep love for seeing the message of Christ dwell richly in God’s people through song. Singing is one of the ways she loves to express her gospel heartbeat and finds such joy and encouragement in joining with God’s people in song!

There is usually a song in Peita’s head just bursting to come out and she (not so secretly) loves singing 90’s classics loudly. Peita tries to keep up with her precious (and very active) family – husband Scott and three teenage sons – and is working up the courage to go camping with them (soon… maybe). She is also developing her skills as a plant mum and enjoys spending time in the sunshine.

Cameron Bryant – Ministry Apprentice

Cam is in his second year as a ministry apprentice and coordinates our youth ministries (under the guidance of Ritchie). Cam was previously a dairy farmer who thoroughly enjoyed seeing the amazing stars early in the morning, however has been convicted to serve Jesus through an MTS apprenticeship. Books by John Stott have been influential for Cam, but not as much as some of his youth leaders from his teenage years including Luke T, Sam H and James Ritchie (his now trainer!).

Cam’s heart beats for spending time with others – from our Friday night youth gatherings to enjoying meals with the Henderson GC. These times are super helpful for his personal growth in following Jesus and also for growing others to follow Jesus. 

Cam is married to Jess and they love sharing meals and playing board games with others. If you ever want a BBQ and board games night you should give them a call!

Steve Tilley – Ministry Apprentice

Steve is one of the new ministry apprentices on the team. His main ministry will be the care and coordination of Southern Cross Goonellabah as they combine with our East Lismore church family in early 2024. He will be heavily involved in the ‘welcoming newcomers’ sphere, mainly thinking through helpful pathways, policies and principles to best get people connected to the church family. He will also be involved in clarifying the Common Fund guidelines and promoting its existence and purpose to the church family.

Steve heads up his Gospel Community team as the Vision Coordinator. With SCG transitioning from congregation to Gospel Community, Steve is looking forward to diverting the energy previously used for facilitating Sunday services to meeting together and equipping those God has given him. Steve’s GC vision passage comes from Jesus’ prayer in John 17:20-23…

20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

As an opportunist, Steve is always looking to take the current opportunity God has before him. He uses his ‘freedom of circumstance’ to invest heavily in the lives of those around him.

Steve is a Puritan at heart and loves the work and writings of John Bunyan, C.S. Lewis and others of that ilk. He appreciates the work of Christians in the mental health space such as Dan Allander and Jeff Van Vonderan, but has primarily been influenced and encouraged by Mike and Cathy S (previous members of our church family) who lived a marriage of gospel unity, shared their lives deeply and invested in others with reckless intention.

Steve has witnessed God’s mercy poured out in his life and has a heart that beats to see that same mercy known by those who are captive and crushed by sin, as well as encouraging all to know Jesus and the peace he brings in ever-increasing measure.

Amelia Murphy – Ministry Apprentice

Amelia is in her first year of a ministry apprenticeship. After 10 years of working with little people at various preschools, Amelia decided to take a step in a different direction and begin life as a ministry apprentice alongside her husband James. This decision came after lots of long chats with God, James and close Christian friends. Amelia is unsure what her role will look like as she sets out on this new adventure, but is excited to see how God can use her to grow His kingdom. She also hopes the coming years will continue to involve lots of encouraging conversations with her youth girls on Friday nights, cups of tea and chats with young adult women, and the opportunity to share the gospel with non-Christian friends. 

Amelia has the privilege of co-leading a Gospel Community alongside her husband and good friends the Kemsleys. She enjoys shared meals and the life-on-life aspect found within GCs, even though this (at times) can be messy, her heart is filled with joy witnessing the intergenerational interactions that flow from doing life together.

Amelia loves all things crafty, from quilting and sewing to crochet, paper making and knitting. When she isn’t outside in her garden with her chooks, or reading a book in her hammock, she can be found buried under piles of fabric and yarn in her sewing room. Amelia and James spend time navigating a spinal cord injury (James) and finding ways to push the limits and be vessels for God even within their limitations. Their latest joy (and blessing) has been getting back into bike riding together, with an adaptive mountain bike for James. 

During Amelia’s walk with Christ, she has been influenced by Christian leaders such as Nancy Gutherie, Joni Eareckson Tada and Paul David Tripp.

James Murphy – Ministry Apprentice

James Is the unicorn of the staff team and is doing a ‘lite’ version of a ministry apprenticeship while being mentored by Stew. He will also help lead young adults alongside his wife Amelia whilst continuing to lead 7/9C and youth. James is keen to hear his heartbeat grow for the love of Jesus as our church thrives to do the same. 

James is a part of the Kemsley GC and enjoys doing life alongside his brothers and sisters in Christ. He loves to be able to open his home to his church family by hosting GC dinners, young adult nights etc. Some leaders who have shaped James’ Christian walk are Simon A, Peter Y, David K and Stew.

James lives in Goonellabah with his wife Amelia, bunny Poppy, bird Gerrie and their chickens. A big part of life is living with a spinal cord injury and all the challenges involved with that. However, he tries not to let this stop him from getting out and enjoying life. James likes to get out on his adaptive mountain bike, go for road trips or have a quiet night of playing games with friends.

Jillian Coutts – Administration Assistant

Jillian works at SCPC as an Administration Assistant on Wednesday afternoons and Fridays. In her role at SCPC, Jillian predominantly provides administration assistance to Stew in his role as our Leadership, Vision and Community Pastor at SCPC, though also assists in other areas such as finance, event planning and other administrative tasks. 

Jillian is married to Ian, and they have three school-aged children. Jillian is also an Early Childhood Teacher two days a week. Jillian and Ian lead a Gospel Community and try to keep their gospel heartbeat pumping strong as they seek to encourage one another as followers of Jesus. They do this by gathering for meals, meeting together weekly in DNA groups and planning fun activities to do together. Jillian loves observing the cross-generational relationships that form within their GC. 

Jillian has been influenced by Christian leaders such as Dane Ortlund, Michael Reeves, Tim Keller and John Mark Comer. She enjoys returning to God’s word again and again for refreshment, comfort and encouragement in the promises that God has made and has recently been doing this by using scripture journals.

Jillian finds enjoyment and refreshment with people. She enjoys baking and trying out new recipes, especially when there are people to share them with. She enjoys listening to music, singing and reading outdoors – on a beach or in a hammock.

Eliza Faulkner – Kids Coordinator

Eliza works as the Kids Coordinator. Her ministry role includes writing a gospel-centred children’s program each week with various activities and teaching times based on the Bible passage that week. She works closely with Jess Bryant the Kids Team Leader to lead our team and kids in gospel maturity.

Gospel Community life helps Eliza’s heart beat stronger and has brought much richness, enjoyment and encouragement to Eliza. She loves having lunches, and cups of tea with the grandmas and studying the bible with the beautiful people within her GC.

Eliza is married to Brent and the mum of a handsome little boy called Rory, who brings much joy to their lives. On a normal day you would see Eliza playing with Rory, baking, or inviting others to chat and play.

Eliza has been influenced by various Christian books, and authors such as Jen Wilkin over her life but mostly by Christian relationships that have fostered, grown and matured her. Recently she has had to adjust her quiet times with having a new baby in the house and is enjoying ‘New Morning Mercies’ by Paul Tripp.

Jess Bryant – Kids Coordinator

Jess is the Kids Team Leader and this looks like coordinating our kids leaders, and helping our kids program to run smoothly on Sundays. She works closely with Eliza as they help to grow the next generation in love and knowledge of the Gospel. 

Jess is part of the Henderson Gospel Community with her husband Cam. They love spending time with members of their GC, sharing a meal and being encouraged to live out their faith. 

During the week Jess is a primary school teacher and she loves bringing her knowledge of teaching and learning to her role at SCPC. Outside of work Jess loves to sew. She is in the middle of many projects making clothes and quilts. She also loves reading and playing board games!

Lately she has been encouraged in her faith through reading books by Jen Wilkin, Kevin DeYoung and some biographies of Christian men and women.

Jericho Clarke – Sunday Logistics

Jericho facilitates the Sunday Logistics at our gatherings, which means she will often be found floating around the back of the hall (usually surrounded by a swarm of Youth) but always ready to answer any questions you might have related to our gathering.

She is studying a Bachelor of Digital Media at SCU and hoping to find inspiration into what path she should follow, while keeping in mind that God’s got everything planned out. She enjoys listening to music and spending time in nature, and is more than happy to share those joys with anyone who will join her.

She is a member of the Ritchie Gospel Community, and a part of their leadership group as the Kids, Youth and Young Adults Coordinator.

The Christian Leaders which influence her are her prior Pastor Darrel P, and her GC Leaders Jasmin and James R, along with numerous youth leaders from her teen years.

What makes her heart beat is serving as a Youth Leader and supporting her youth in their lives and especially their growth in Christ. She also loves spending time in community with fellow Christians (either in Young Adult or GC settings).