The
Inspiration
Project

WITH BRENDAN CORR

GUEST Clare Steele

Episode 20

Clare Steele: Episode Summary

On this episode of ‘The Inspiration Project’, Brendan Corr talks to Clare Steele about leading Compassion, global poverty and the God of justice.

Among other things Clare shares:

  • The 3 types of books Clare is reading at any one time.
  • Her favourite teacher at school.
  • Engineering as a creative endeavour.
  • Using God’s gifts irrespective of your workplace.
  • How Clare found God at university.
  • The Bible as one beautiful, unfolding story.
  • Encouraging women to utilise their gifts.
  • How transitioning from compassion to action is costly.

Clare Steele: Episode Transcript

Sponsor Announcement
This podcast is sponsored by Australian Christian College. A network of schools committed to student wellbeing, character development, and academic improvement.

Introduction
Welcome to The Inspiration Project, where well-known Christians share their stories to inspire young people in their faith and life. Here’s your host, Brendan Corr.

Brendan Corr
Hi there everybody, welcome to another episode of The Inspiration Project podcast. We hope you’re enjoying the stories of prominent Christians who’ve been able to find faith and fulfillment in their professional careers. This morning, we’re having a conversation with Clare Steele. Clare is currently the CEO of Compassion Australia. She first set out on her career studying mechatronics robotics at university and through a series of diverse appointments and opportunities, moved from childcare into some work with consultancy with some of the corporates, finally entered the role as CEO of Compassion Australia. Clare, thank you for your time this morning. Welcome.

Clare Steele
Thank you, Brendan.

Brendan Corr
I noticed that along the way, you also picked up a master’s degree in divinity.

Clare Steele
I did, that’s right, in between other things.

Brendan Corr
So obviously study, university life, learning is something that’s important to you?

Clare Steele
Yeah, definitely. I love to learn, I don’t love to write. So doing a theological degree was a tough ask, writing lots of essays, but I love to read, I still read widely. I always have a theological book on the go, a book about the current things I’m working on, and then always a good fiction book by the bed.

Brendan Corr
A lot of our listeners are involved in school in some way, either because they’re students or they’re parents of students or they’re teachers who are teaching the students. Think back to what school was like for you. You said you love learning, tell me about school life for you.

Clare Steele
I went to my local state school, and early on I loved math and science. I was actually sharing this with my team at work the other day that I loved that maths and science gave you a framework for how the world would operate. You follow these steps and things would come out how they were meant to. And I really loved learning more and more about that, but I’ve always also loved to read. I read so much fiction when I was at school.

Brendan Corr
Science fiction, Clare?

Clare Steele
I love science fiction, yeah. But no, just any fiction actually. I mean, I went from Magician, Raymond Feist, which was released when I was at school, to Jane Austin. Judy Blume was big when I was in primary school. So very a wide reader, anything really.

Brendan Corr
You’re one of those readers that keep track of the authors. That is a sign of a reader, when you know…

Clare Steele
That’s true. I don’t like Kindles though because then I don’t keep track of the authors on my Kindle, that’s for sure.

Brendan Corr
Yeah, it’s a lot harder isn’t it, the change to digital mediums. I like the tactile feel of the pages turning.

Clare Steele
The smell.

Brendan Corr
And putting the bookmark into the side and be able to track it, that’s lovely. You spoke about the interest that science had for you, science and maths, in terms of the predictability that it brought, it has a right and a wrong answer and you could follow that path and track it. Well, let me first ask you, being a girl, a woman, they’re not necessarily areas of study that normally are associated with feminine traits, was it hard for you to be interested in maths and science at school?

Clare Steele
Not really. I had great teachers who encouraged me, I also had a great group of friends and I guess I had this awareness that I actually didn’t know it was unusual, that it didn’t really hit me until I started working, that there were any barriers to me as a female entering these paths. I mean, I should’ve been more aware. When I studied engineering mechatronics at university, I was the only female in the four years in mechatronics. And so there weren’t a lot of other peers, female peers, but I always felt welcomed and accepted and encouraged in those peers at that time.

Brendan Corr
If there are some young ladies in school at the moment who think that maths and science are an area of interest for them, what encouragement might you give to them?

Clare Steele
That it’s such a world of beauty and creativity and not to let go of it. It’s just something that, if you love it, just pursue it. Sometimes you may face opposition, but in the end, there’s a beauty in it that I think we really need to grasp. And there’s a way I think sometimes females look at math and science, it’s slightly different with a little different creative way and I think we need that, the world needs to look at problems in different ways. So I just encourage them, go after it in full pursuit.

Brendan Corr
You mentioned you had some good teachers. What was it that marked those particular people in your life as being good teachers for you?

Clare Steele
One, in particular, Mr. Honeysett, he was my engineering science teacher in year 11 and 12. He really created in me a love of problem-solving, not just the logic that I originally loved, but that fact that you’ve come up with a problem and there might be 12 ways to solve it, but you have to work out which is the most beautiful, which is the most creative, which fixes most of the problem. And he just really inspired me in that, and I think that’s what I’ve taken on for many, many years, that love of creative problem-solving.

Brendan Corr
It’s interesting. You talk about that notion, it’s something that has driven scientific theory for a while, isn’t it? That there is an elegance and a beauty in the symmetry or the aesthetic of what is, not everyone can see that beauty Clare, but it’s fantastic when people can.

Clare Steele
My teenage son hasn’t come there yet.

Brendan Corr
Not there? He’s not following in your footsteps? Well, mechatronics is not a field that people are familiar with. You mentioned that it’s robotics. What got you involved in that particular type of engineering?

Clare Steele
I actually started originally studying environmental engineering, I think that was partly, I studied that because 50% of the students were female and I thought, “Well, maybe this is an easier path in some ways.” But I got to the stage where I realised environmental engineering at that time, many years ago, was really about writing reports that were often ignored and you weren’t actually the ones creating the solutions, you’re the ones outlining the problems to be solved and I really wanted to create solutions. I think in the end, my love of fictional reading probably ended up with me in robotics. I loved Isaac Asimov’s stories from the 1920s, I Robot, and his short stories and just thinking, “If it’s used well, what amazing solutions we can automate?” And there was a great creativity in that. So probably not the best well-chosen career, but it’s something I really did enjoy.

Brendan Corr
Well-chosen in terms of profitability, is that what you mean, security?

Clare Steele
Just back when I was studying, there were not a lot of jobs in Australia, robotics was very much a fledgling career. And so to really get into the robotics that I was looking at, you needed to travel to Singapore or a number of the European countries. Factories back then, weren’t really investing in automation. That’s all changed now, but it was not probably the most easy career to jump into.

Brendan Corr
Clare, I want to come back and ask you some questions about the difference between automation and robotics and where that is, and whether you’ve kept in touch with that field, I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on it. But let me take a different tact because you’ve found yourself in engineering, it’s intellectually creative, it’s analytical, it’s data-driven and informed, and then you find yourself taking a bit of a different track in life, ending up doing childcare, which is quite a different sphere. Tell me about how that happened.

Clare Steele
I finished my engineering degree and did go and work for consulting firms. I worked for Accenture and Macquarie Bank in the finance area and there was one day, I think I’d been doing that work for five years and I got to the point where I didn’t understand, if I got to be 70, what would I have achieved if I continued on my career path with Macquarie Bank. And I think the things that I would have achieved is not what I wanted to achieve. I would have made a lot of people more wealthy, I would’ve made Macquarie Bank more wealthy, but that’s not really what I wanted to achieve. And that was really part of my Christian faith which I came to at university, was asking those questions. What did I want my life to be shaped by? So I got offered, believe it or not, a job at a local church working with children. I didn’t have many qualifications, except I think that the senior minister really did like robotics and was hoping that I might create him a robot. That never happened. My husband at that time was studying full time at Sydney Missionary and Bible College and so I took a role at the local church and was the children’s worker there, while I started my graduate diploma. And I guess, it was a bit of an accidental sidestep, it was out of probably quite a lot of exhaustion from working at Macquarie Bank and just a desire to look at what else I could do in life.

Brendan Corr
What I’m hearing is that you came to this moment where you started to really dig a little deeper into yourself as to who did you want to be, and how did you want to leave an impact in the world and felt maybe the direction you were, the path you were, the place you were, wasn’t as consistent as it could be with who you thought you were to be, who you felt called to be?

Clare Steele
I think looking back, I might make a different decision now, because I think I had a very shallow understanding of what faith and work look like. And I’ve met some wonderful Christian men and women in fields like Macquarie, that just use their skills and gifts to really create an amazing environment and amazing team that really shows the Gospel. But I think I had a very shallow understanding of what faith and work look like, and I couldn’t understand how they could integrate together, and perhaps I’d also gone too far down a track at Macquarie that I couldn’t pull it back.

Brendan Corr
I understand. Sometimes the only way to recover is to retrace your steps and sidestep out. Well, let me ask you about your faith. You mentioned that you came to faith during university time, so while you’re forming your priorities in life, you’re discovering the beauty of science and engineering and all that wonderful ordering of the world, you didn’t know the Creator of that beauty?

Clare Steele
No, that’s very true. I grew up in a very nominal Catholic family. So I went to Catholic schools and we went to mass maybe twice a year. We’d often sneak in the back and sneak out pretty quickly. So I think I believed there was a God, I think I always believed there was a God, but I didn’t know who this God was or what that meant for my life. And it’s funny, I started university at New South Wales uni and I was studying engineering, so it was a busy day. And I met a lady called Sally and the lunchtime group at uni happened on our busiest day, on Wednesday, we started lectures at 8:00am and we finished at 6:00pm with a one hour break. And somehow, I don’t know how Sally managed to convince me that using that one hour break to attend the Christian lecture was the right thing to do.

Brendan Corr
Sally was quite the saleslady?

Clare Steele
Sure is. And I was introduced to a world there, exactly what you explained, a world that was creative and beautiful and had a God part in it that I hadn’t understood before and not only was it a big God, but it was a personal God as well. And so as I look back on my life, I realise that I had been trying to save myself, be the best I could be, do good, really make everyone proud, not do the wrong thing and that’s exhausting and tiring and sooner or later it will unravel. But He was a God who wanted to meet you, who knew you intimately, knew all the times that you were just a false pretense. And He was saying, “It’s okay because I’ve died on the cross for that and you don’t need to save yourself anymore.” And that for me, was just extraordinary. And so I love how big and creative our God is, but I think for me, it was that personal understanding that I no longer had to save myself.

Brendan Corr
A combination of finally getting to understand who this magnificent creative God was, who formed a world that you were discovering and responding to, that in of itself, but there was something intimate that drew your own heart and your own loyalty and devotion?

Clare Steele
Yeah, and looking back, you can say the Holy Spirit was working, but at that time I had none of that language.

Brendan Corr
So tell me, how did faith grow for you? You had this moment, this dear friend Sally, I assume she’s your friend, became a dear friend, what she was able to do for you I suppose, you came to this sense of faith, you’re at university. What did you do with that new faith?

Clare Steele
It’s funny that you should actually mention Sally because she left New South Wales uni after six months and I have not seen her since, but I’m deeply thankful for her. So what I had, what was a great blessing, is I lived in the Blue Mountains and so I was travelling to New South Wales University on the train. So I just began reading the Bible from Genesis, which I wouldn’t recommend, but I just read the Bible from Genesis, all the way through and then started attending a Bible study at lunchtime. And through that, I mean, the Bible is extraordinary and for someone who likes to read, it just was this, I mean, confusing sometimes, but this new world of poetry, of story, of logic, I mean, it just blew my mind. And so gradually that began to just fill my head and my heart. And then I actually moved from New South Wales uni and went to a different university, studying mechatronics. And there, I joined the Christian group and started to go to church. And again, God just works through those ministries in my life.

Brendan Corr
Let me ask you what it was like, as somebody who, as you said, enjoyed reading and enjoyed fiction and fantasy, but also had this deep desire to solve problems and find the answers to things. What did the Bible, how did you square the corners of being either not just fanciful fictional stories, but neither a manual for this is how things are going to work day by day?

Clare Steele
I’m going to answer 20 years on and I’m pretty sure if you asked me that question when I became a Christian, I would not have this answer. But what I love about the Bible is it is one story and it’s one God, and you meet the same God on every page. And so my love of logic, the Bible plays that out. You see Jesus as a total fulfillment of everything through the Old Testament and not only the fulfillment, but fulfillment in a way that blows your mind in such a bigger way than you would have thought as you read those Old Testament stories and prophecies. And so there’s just such a rigour of the Bible and that really filled my mathematical logic love and then there’s such a beauty in the Bible in some of the Psalms, which I’ve really grown to love in the last few years. But even as you start in Genesis 1, the beauty of that creation story, it just draws you in, you want to meet that God. So there really were those two sides playing off together.

Brendan Corr
That’s wonderful. And clearly you have continued to find that the bubble has been opened to you as a living expression of that living God?

Clare Steele
Definitely. I learn more every day. I’m reading Ecclesiastes at the moment, which I just think is an extraordinary book. It feels like it could have been written during a COVID pandemic, it’s so relevant. It continues to be alive and relevant and just, you go deeper and deeper into knowing God as you read.

Brendan Corr
Fantastic. So you’ve come to faith, you’ve advanced your studies, you’ve gone off into your consulting world, you’ve had this moment where you’ve questioned is my life fulfilling all that I hold now to be most important because of my relationship with Jesus, for both good reasons and maybe questionable reasons, you find yourself a children’s minister. What a change in the height of either academia or around business, down to working with kids. What did you learn from that experience Clare?

Clare Steele
That working with kids is probably harder than working with computers.

Brendan Corr
You can’t programme them, can you?

Clare Steele
You can’t tell them to stop when you want to. I think I learned to be able to tell my faith simply, which is not an easy thing to do and to be able to share it well, but also just the joy of seeing children grow in their love and their knowledge and their desire to know Jesus. I got to work in that position over five years and four of those, I was job sharing with my husband, we were children’s and youth workers together. And I still see some of the children around the streets, not children anymore, they’ve grown up and they’ve been married and I just am so thankful for that tiny part that you get to be in their lives and seeing them grow and develop. It’s funny, some of the skills I learned consulting and in the finance world, were fantastic, how to be organised, how to get things done, they help no end, but that how to communicate simply was something that I really did learn during those years.

Brendan Corr
Stood you in good stead in a different sphere of life, being able to boil things down to the essence, key details…

Clare Steele
Definitely has. I think it helps you communicate with all types of people, especially becoming a parent, helps you try and communicate with your own children.

Brendan Corr
Sometimes it’s easier to communicate with somebody else’s than with your own. I don’t know whether you find that?

Clare Steele
That’s for sure.

Brendan Corr
Things can get in the way there. Five years as children’s minister, tell us, how did you end up now in your current role as CEO of Compassion?

Clare Steele
So we worked there for five years, then my husband returned to college so he could be an ordained Anglican minister. And so we stepped down from our roles and at that time we had three young children, so I stopped working at that time. In hindsight, that was not the best decision for me, I thrive on doing things. But you make decisions and then you realise in hindsight, you should’ve made others. But I was then offered by our senior minister, a role at a local preschool, at preschool the church-owned actually, the state government had changed everything and so there’s a lot of regulations and new ways of working. And he just offered me a part-time role, six hours a week, to kind of put those regulations and new ways of working into the preschool. And so that began my accidental career as a childcare director, a field I had not trained in, but I feel like I had been prepared as a children’s worker and then organisationally, from my finance background, and really that evolved over a number of years into running preschools for the Presbyterian church in New South Wales and just again, that great delight in seeing children grow, in working with families to bring families, local families into the community of grace. That was always our desire and such a wonderful thing. And over that time, the roles morphed, but the same goals were there. And then I had the great privilege of working with Anglican Deaconess Ministries as their chief operating officer, an organisation that looks to enable women to use their gifts to serve God. While I was there, we went on a personal journey with the work of Compassion, my husband went overseas on a minister’s trip to the Philippines with Compassion. I was on the other side of the phone, which is a funny way to experience extreme poverty for the first time. And just hearing Matt go through the ups and downs of seeing where these children that we knew about, lived, their communities, their lack of hope, their lack of access to food and health. That was really hard on the other side of the phone, because I could see that his heart was breaking, but then God gradually put that back together throughout the week. And he came back just saying, “I can’t imagine anything better to do in our lives then to give our resources and our time, to help Compassion to do this work.” And so meant that we went back as the family and a church, we took a church team there about two years ago. And I went through the same experience where your heart breaks with the desperation of the poverty that you see and then God continues to put it back together. And for me, there was a moment where five women stood on the stage and they’d been part of a playgroup with a Compassion project. And the five women stood on the stage and they held up signs of how they used to describe themselves, words like, unforgiven, forgotten, abandoned, not wanted, wretched. And I mean, my heart broke, just the vulnerability of standing on the stage, but then also that those words could ever describe a woman. It was horrible. And then they flipped them over and words like redeemed, loved, sanctified, forgiven. They were the words that were on these new pieces of paper because the gospel had just changed their lives. I think for me, that was one of the most powerful moments that I’ve seen the Gospel at work in my life and came back just agreeing with my husband. Compassion, we want to support that with all that we can. And that was the beginning. We continue to partnership with our church and Compassion. And then when I saw the Tim Hannah, the old CEO retire, my husband said to me, “Do you think you should apply for the role?” I was like, “No, I don’t think so.” But that began the process of us praying and working out whether it was time to leave our current church where Matt had been serving for 10 years and take up a new role. And so we went through that journey and it was about a year ago this time actually, that we knew that I was given the role and that our life would begin to change and it very much has.

Brendan Corr
What have been the changes as you stepped into your senior role for a major charity, what’s been the impact for you?

Clare Steele
The very personal impact was moving from Sydney to Newcastle and bringing three children along with us and we’re just thankful for God for how well he’s made that transition. And then my husband has stepped down from his full-time ministry and at the moment is looking after the house. So we’ve actually totally swapped roles, which has been another big change. And then for me, just learning to lead a team well of 150 people, and then the added bonus of leading a team well in a global pandemic.

Brendan Corr
A really interesting time, all leaders, I think, have been, “Really, right now?” So in a practical sense, what has it meant for your team, this season of shutdown?

Clare Steele
It means that like many, we’re all working from home. So it means that you have to connect in different ways, you can’t just walk down the corridors and ask someone how they’re going. You have to be quite really personal about it and deliberate. So for me, I’ve taken to writing handwriting cards because I think that’s a differentiated way of connecting, then an email or a Zoom call. And then we’ve had to work out how we work as a team better and really how can we connect well, and I think we will come out of this as a better team and we’ll come out of this knowing how to work better. So there’s good things as well amidst all the changes.

Brendan Corr
It is a tricky time isn’t it, to find that balance? I guess, part of where your soul is in terms of finding solutions and developing systems, improving systems is part of the intrigue of mapping your way through this?

Clare Steele
I guess so. I think at the moment I love solutions and we’ve used technical solutions, which are beautiful, but my main prayer at the moment is that as a team, we come out together well. I think that has to be our main focus. And then because of the huge impact on poverty overseas, how can we be more efficient to send more where it’s needed, is the other side of that question as well.

Brendan Corr
You’re looking not just at the impact on your operations, the impact on the people that you actually want to make a difference?

Clare Steele
Definitely.

Brendan Corr
That is fantastic that you’re still keeping a perspective that’s at the heart of the organisation of ‘the other’. It’s not just how we’re managing, how is the process managing, how’s the team managing, what’s the impact on the fruitfulness of the people you’re trying to make a difference for. That’s great. Clare, I want to explore a little bit with you about your husband’s response first to the visit and then your vicarious response to the phone call, and then practically when you went and visited on the ground and the strong, emotional response that it brings, compassion itself is an emotion that people feel compassion. How did it work for you and how do you think it worked for other people, for that emotion to turn into action?

Clare Steele
That’s a really good question. Actually, something I’ve been thinking about just the last couple of weeks, because the Greek word, and I’m not going to try and say it because I never can say it well, actually, it’s a really strong emotion. It talks about gut-wrenching, compassion is gut-wrenching and we know what gut feelings are like, the butterflies before you get nervous or that pit of your stomach, we talk about that. So compassion’s a really strong reaction to something and I can relate to that. You could feel that dread and distress coming. But I think what we see from Jesus, because it talks about Jesus having compassion. What we know is for Him to have compassion was costly because the only answer He had to that feeling was to die on the cross. And so what I’m feeling, what I’m discovering at the moment, that it’s not enough to have compassion, you have to work out how you respond to that. As Christians, it’s part of our duty to respond and that will be costly. It can’t not be costly because it’s such a big job that we have to do. And so then you have to work out for yourself what are the actions you want to take and what has God equipped you to do as well?

Brendan Corr
I guess what I’m hearing in some of your comments, Clare, is that if it isn’t intense enough emotion to push you to action, then maybe you haven’t felt it deeply enough?

Clare Steele
That’s a really good comment. And it’s funny, I listened to a talk by a lady called Ann Voskamp, at the beginning of the year and she quoted Bono from U2.) and he said, “Charity is easy, justice is hard, but as Christians, we’re seeking justice.” And so exactly, if you haven’t really got that strong emotion, it’s easy to give out as your surplus. And that might be your time, that might be a prayer, that might be your finances. It might choose your path in life. But if we’re looking for justice, if we’re looking for the justice that God wants, it won’t be just out of surplus, it will be out of all that you have.

Brendan Corr
That’s beautiful and profound and challenging.

Clare Steele
Very challenging.

Brendan Corr
Clare, you’ve also mentioned a couple of times during our conversation, about in hindsight, getting to the point of and in fact, some of your reflections when you’ve been looking back, your comment has been, I might’ve made a different decision, things might’ve been, if I’d know now what I knew then, it might not be … Clearly, there is that aspect of you can see a little bit more clearly. How do you find a sense of God’s direction in your life through those moments when you look back and it could have been different, maybe it should have been different, but it wasn’t. How do you bring that before God?

Clare Steele
I bring that before God for about five years, that same question, why have little children. I found having little children was a really hard time in my life, I’d gone from a world where you make things happen, you do tasks, you get results. Whether it was as an IT person in finance, or even as a children’s worker, you see change. So those who have had little children or will one day have little children, it feels like every day is the same. You feed, you clothe, you play, and you get up the next day and it happens again.

Brendan Corr
Groundhog day.

Clare Steele
Yeah, exactly, Groundhog day. I struggled hugely. And I cried out to God regularly, “If you’ve made me how you have, why this? And if this is what you want for my life, then just change me. Make me love this. Change me, it’s not fair.” And this was a prayer day and day for many years. And unfortunately, God didn’t change me, I wish He had, but what He did help me understand is that as a Christian, I know for sure what my end is. I know that my story will end with Jesus returning, with a new creation and a new earth. And so actually the way you get there, sometimes is not as important as holding on to that end. The other thing that I learned slowly, is that my identity wasn’t found in what I’m doing today. It was found in Christ and being a child of His, and that’s important because you’re right, looking back, maybe there were decisions I should have made differently, but that would not have changed who I am. And so I think then you can look forward to Him returning, knowing that you will be His child.

Brendan Corr
Does that also give you hope in terms of the big picture of the work you’re doing, for all the desperate poverty that you find in the Philippines and in other parts of the world, ultimately there will be a Kingdom coming?

Clare Steele
It definitely gives me hope. I’m like, “Well, we’ve got to do more because there’s a Kingdom coming and I want more to be part of it.” But I think as I see their hope because they have hope in little else, all they do is hold onto their hope in Christ, my faith grows because I realise that I don’t hold onto that as big as they do.

Brendan Corr
That’s beautiful. Clare, we’re coming to the end of our conversation, but I wanted to take you right back, right at the beginning, the first two sentences about the difference, or I noted the difference between automation and robotics. The last few exchanges we’ve just had, the last few sentences, where you’ve been talking about, it’s not what we do, but what I’m doing right now that is of importance or gives me importance, it’s who I am. And I wonder whether you have any thoughts, having been involved in that sphere of engineering that was about taking things that people would normally do and automating them. And the things, the mechanics, the procedures that could be played in and out between a person and machine. Does that give you a perspective as to the value, the inherent value of a human life, a human person’s identity?

Clare Steele
It’s a very tough question. I think we see, if we go back to Genesis 1, we see a God who created a beautiful world, he gave the order, he gave form and then he created us in His likeness. So no matter what happens, no matter how much automation, how much artificial intelligence, no matter what we create, our creations will never have God’s likeness. And so you can’t take away that special gift that humanity has and create it some other way. And I think everything we create is a poor representation of humanity.

Brendan Corr
That’s great. That’s exactly how I was understanding your life journey actually, as you’ve described it, that this notion that it doesn’t matter what we do because it will be done by something else, an engineered system. And it’s not what we don’t do, if we don’t have the resources or the opportunities because of our social context, we’re not denied value or dignity. We don’t earn it because of what we do and we’re not denied it because of what we can’t do. We have it because of the fact that we are in His image, all of us.

Clare Steele
We just have to sometimes remind people they have it.

Brendan Corr
Amen. What are you hoping for Compassion in the next phase?

Clare Steele
I’m really hoping that the global church will feel the heart of God to serve the vulnerable around the world, that we will really reach out into … I mean, it’s a great injustice that people live in poverty and like you were just saying, they might not understand their own dignity. So I want this to be the mission of the global church, us in Australia, and then working with the local churches throughout the world. So that’s my hope and desire.

Brendan Corr
Clare, that’s a fantastic vision for the CEO of Compassion in your heart and I am hoping that you can show that into the hearts of the members of your team and together, disperse that across the church of God, because I think it is. And as you described the notion of act justly, and it’s not necessarily about law and order, it is about equity and generosity and compassion. Clare, it’s been wonderful to talk with you, I hope God strengthens you for your task.

Clare Steele
Thank you, Brandon. Lovely to talk with you.

About Clare Steele

Originally from the Blue Mountains, Clare studied a Bachelor of Engineering in Mechatronics, Robotics, and Automation Engineering at the University of Western Sydney before also earning her Master of Divinity from Sydney Missionary & Bible College. She had a diverse career working in corporates like Accenture and Macquarie Bank as well as in local preschools and churches before starting as the CEO of Compassion Australia in 2020. Immediately before taking up the position with Compassion, Clare was the Chief Operating Officer of Anglican Deaconess Ministries, a role she held for three and a half years. Clare is married with three children.

Photo of Brendan Corr

About Brendan Corr

Originally a Secondary Science Teacher, Brendan is a graduate of UTS, Deakin and Regent College, Canada. While Deputy Principal at Pacific Hills for 12 years, Brendan also led the NSW Christian Schools Australia registration system. Brendan’s faith is grounded in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and a deep knowledge of God’s Word. Married for over 30 years, Brendan and Kim have 4 adult children. On the weekends, Brendan enjoys cycling (but he enjoys coffee with his mates afterwards slightly more).