Celebrating the life and legacy of Rev. Harry Herbert
The Uniting Church and Uniting (the Church’s community services agency) community is celebrating the life and achievements of Harry Herbert AM, who sadly passed away on 6 December, aged 75.
Harry was Executive Director of UnitingCare NSW and the ACT for 26 years and responsible for building the combined community service delivery, advocacy and chaplaincy organisation that became Uniting NSW.ACT, now one of the largest not-for-profits in Australia.
Harry will be remembered as a fierce and tireless campaigner for the most vulnerable people, who passionately fought for a better society.
Tracey Burton, Executive Director of Uniting NSW.ACT said, “Harry Herbert was a force of nature and achieved incredible results through passion, courage and leadership. His vision continues to guide us as we try to create a more just society where the vulnerable are treated with respect and kindness, without judgement.”
A lifetime of achievements
Harry was ordained a Congregational minister in 1972 before being appointed General Secretary of the Board for Social Responsibility in 1986, where he served until 2012. Other placements included Warrnambool Congregational Church and Ivanhoe-Heidelberg Uniting Church.
As well as service on many Uniting Church and community sector boards, such as serving as President of NSW Council of Social Service, he sat on NSW Government Committees including; the Legal Aid Commission Board, the Independent Commission Against Corruption Operations Review Committee, the NSW Social Justice Reference Group and chaired the Social Impact Committee for the 2000 Olympics.
A Uniting legacy
Harry’s significant legacy includes the consolidation of the Church’s work in aged care that strengthened the contribution that is being made to support older people now and into the future. He also established and advocated for the Uniting Medically Supervised Injecting Centre (MSIC) at Kings Cross, which has saved countless lives.
Rev. Simon Hansford, Moderator of the Uniting Church Synod of NSW and ACT said, “Harry’s passion, determination and capacity meant that many significant achievements occurred in the life of our church, and thus, our community. His passion was for justice, driven by the gospel; his determination was a clear understanding of how to achieve the goals he set for himself and the church; his capacity arose from his faith, first in Christ, then in the Church and importantly, in the call of God on his own life. The Uniting Church gives thanks for Harry’s life, and service.”
Together, the Uniting Church and Uniting communities, alongside family and friends, celebrated Harry’s life and achievements at his funeral on Thursday 12 December, at Bowral Uniting Church.