The man behind the scenes

The man behind the scenes

After looking at Insights’ predecessors, our next article in the 30th anniversary series looks at someone who has long been part of the magazine and website.

Since 1994, Adrian Drayton (pictured right) has worked in the NSW and ACT Synod’s Communication Unit. Over a variety of roles he has ensured that the Synod has a voice in the public sphere and oversaw the transition from print to more online content. All the while, his has been a tireless but low-key presence. Insights spoke to some of his colleagues – past and present – in the Synod to show a little more about the man behind-the-scenes.

Adrian Drayton started working for the NSW and ACT Synod on 19 July 1994, on a fixed-term contract as Advertising Officer, Communications Unit.

On 12 August that year, this became a permanent, part-time role.

On 8 September 1995, he started full time, eventually receiving a promotion in 2011.

On 14 May, 2013, after a controversial restructure, Mr Drayton became the new Internal Communications Manager, a role that has since seen him leading the Synod’s communications output. In 2019, he received another promotion, this time becoming the Head of Communications and Marketing.

Below are some thoughts from Mr Drayton’s current and former colleagues.

Lisa Sampson was Synod Media Relations manager from 2013 to 2019.  She is currently the Deputy Chair of Frontier Services.

The much-loved Insights magazine captures so many memorable moments in Church life and community. In the half decade I worked alongside Adrian in marketing and media we experienced many changes. Insights went from monthly to quarterly, a new digital version and a weekly digital newsletter. Media scrutiny for the Church reached all-time highs.  

The Martin Place siege the week before Christmas in 2014 was one of the most memorable days. There was a silence of uncertainty that day as our world paused. The events we reported on reshaped the CBD forever. 

Adrian’s passion for all things Church producing the best possible stories and news is inspiring.

Melissa Stewart was Communications Coordinator for the Synod from 2016 to 2019.

Adrian was truly one of the best bosses that I have had in my career. He is someone who supports professional development and cares for the wellbeing of the team. He is a great example of the notion lead by example— lead by faith.

He always has been and continues to be a passionate advocate for the Uniting Church. Among many things, he finds innovative ways to share the message of God in this digital age and collaborates across the UCA to ask the question: How do we engage young people throughout their faith journey?

Because something as simple as discussing a movie can lead to an in-depth talk about faith.

UCA is extremely blessed to have people like Adrian contributing to the church’s mission.

I’m excited to see what he and the team does next with Insights magazine and within the NSW and ACT Synod.

Steve Molkentin is a Senior Pulse Field Officer

Adrian has the presence of an aquatic bird about him – ever calm on the exterior while his mind is paddling furiously inside.

He’s generous with his time and always encouraging of those who would challenge the status quo and seek to lead the church into the dangerous fringes of mission and ministry.

His influence within the Synod cannot be understated: where there is an opportunity to promote the Gospel to the wider society and engage with an issue of social justice that the church is passionate about, he will make the arrangements, corral the cats of leadership, and do so with military efficiency. Sometimes muttering, always gracious, ever engaged. Adrian is a precious friend and exactly the man you want to stand next to in the trenches.

Tara Curlewis is NSW and ACT’s Safe Church Relationship Minister

Adrian as a long term member of the Synod Communications Team with much wisdom to offer.

He models professionalism that seeks to enhance the quality and effectiveness of the various media used in Synod communications. Adrian has seen many changes in the area of communications moving from a monthly Insights magazine to a quarterly production with a focus that raises awareness on emerging issues.

Alongside this has also been the need for an online presence through the website and various social media channels. Adrian works with his team seeking a strategic approach to communications while building a profile that is recognised broadly in the community.  Adrian is a quiet achiever always ready and willing to provide guidance and support to other teams across the Synod.

David Rudd is the Synod of NSW and ACT’s Director of Innovation & Project Office 

Having worked collegiality with Adrian for the last two years, Adrian is someone who I see making time for others and as such someone I turn to for wise council on all things pertaining to the art of communication or simply a pragmatic listening ear on some hair brained idea or concept I want to road test or sharpen.

From my vantage point, Adrian is someone who has been instrumental in helping the Synod of NSW and ACT lift its public profile and ensured that stories of worship, witness, service and hope, from near and far are captured, told and retold in ways that spark curiosity, engagement and wonder at the sheer scale of faithful acts of service of people across our Church.

 I am inspired by the contribution that Adrian has made and continues to make to the life and witness of the Church. He is the true “ever ready” Duracell battery!


3 thoughts on “The man behind the scenes”

  1. Is there some reflection on the great team that guided Insights for many many years before 2013? Adrian would be first to admit he has not steered the journal for all of its 30 years.

    1. This is the second in a series of online articles that will cover the 30th anniversary theme. Stay tuned for more.

      I’m also happy to say that the next print issue of Insights is the anniversary issue, and I’m excited about what we have lined up. Long term readers will particularly appreciate it.


    2. Totally agree with you Geoffrey, acknowledgment from previous team members is coming very soon, Jonathan has a lot planned coming in the anniversary issue in the Spring Issue of Insights.

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