bringing change and understanding

bringing change and understanding

Joyce Poulson

One of Australia’s First Women Priests Celebrates 60 Years of Ministry

 29 May 2015 

A very special event was held at St Mary’s Anglican Girls’ School recently, celebrating Reverend Joyce Polson’s sixty years of ministry in the Anglican Church. Reverend Joyce is one of Australia’s first women priests.

The Archbishop, the Most Reverend Roger Herft AM, presided and the Reverend Joyce Polson preached at the recent service, which was attended by the wider community, as well as staff and students past and present from St Mary’s Anglican Girls’ School, where Reverend Joyce served as Chaplain from 1986 to 1994.

Reverend Joyce was admitted to the Order of Deaconesses in 1955, the only ministry open to women at that time. She was made deacon in 1986 and ordained priest in 1992, with the first group of women to be ordained as priests in Australia.  She has made significant contributions to ministry in the Diocese of Perth, including the Parish of Applecross, Diocesan Board of Religious Education, St George’s Cathedral, and the Parish of Yanchep as well as St Mary’s.

In 1999, Reverend Joyce was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia, for service to the community through the Anglican Church.  She also received the Enduring Service Award from the Australian Association of Religious Educators (AARE) in 2013, for her length of service in ministry in the Anglican Church.

Since 2010, Reverend Joyce has been helping the current Chaplain of St Mary’s Anglican Girls’ School, the Reverend Geraldine Nixon.

“There is never a dull moment when Joyce is at school as she has a wicked sense of humour!  I now consider her my confidant and close friend,” says the Reverend Geraldine Nixon

In 2010, the St Mary’s Old Girls’ Association made Joyce an honorary member of The Association and she has served on their committee since 2011.

Jane Gillon, an Old Girl from the Class of 1970 and past president of The Old Girls’ Association, said, “Reverend Joyce is a treasured friend, chaplain, and confidante who holds a special place in my life and in the lives of so many Old Girls of St Mary’s.”

Women in Ministry

Blessing, Forgiving, Preaching: Australian Anglicans Celebrate Thirty Years of Women Priests

In 2022, the Rev’d Dr Lesley McLean, President of MOW, noted that, all over Australia dioceses, parishes, small groups and…

Read More

The Rev Alison Cheek

The Rev. Alison Cheek, one of the first female priests in The Episcopal Church and the first to publicly celebrate…

Read More

Sarah MacNeil

Rain welcomes new bishop at her consecration THE heavens opened up as worshippers spilled out of the Christ Church Cathedral…

Read More

Cedar Prest Windows

  A St Peter’s Cathedral Adelaide Tour Guide presents a talk about one of its stained glass windows. This is…

Read More

St Hilda of Whitby

St Peter’s Cathedral Adelaide presents a talk about one of its stained glass windows. This is one of a series…

Read More

Angela Burdett-Coutts

St Peter’s Cathedral Adelaide presents a talk about one of its stained glass windows. T his is one of a…

Read More

Julia Farr and the Melanesian Mission

“Unpretending labours”: Julia Farr and the Melanesian Mission: Paper by Janet Crawford presented at the First Biennial TransTasman Conference ANZ Missionaries,…

Read More

Jan Malpas

Jan retired from the MOW Board at the 2020 AGM. Here is what she wrote about her involvement in the…

Read More

Kay Goldsworthy Archbishop of Perth

A TRAILBLAZER for three decades, Bishop Kay Goldsworthy is accustomed to “firsts” and smashing through the “stained glass ceiling”. She…

Read More

‘Behold I Make All Things New’

Sydney MOW  hosted a public lecture by Rt Rev Genieve Blackwell, with the theme “Behold, I Make All Things New!”….

Read More


President: Elaine Lindsay
Vice-President(s): Ann Edwards
Collen O'Reilly AM
Secretary: Sandra Kjellgren
Treasurer: Kathleen Toal
General Representative(s): Danni Clark, Melissa Conway, Tanja Hagedorn, Karen Terpstra
Sydney MOW Convenor: Ruth Champion