Salvos have new leaders
The Benalla community has welcomed a new family at the helm of the Salvation Army.
Lieutenants Sean and Rachel Attard moved to Benalla last month to take over the position from Peter and Heather Ellis.
‘‘The army is well known for being a good part of the community,’’ Mrs Attard said.
‘‘We are still getting our heads around how this place operates. We have a lot of great people who like to serve in whatever way God’s leading them.
‘‘We are definitely excited to dream about how we can be involved in a positive way in this community.’’
Mrs Attard grew up in the Salvation Army as her parents were officers, but did not envisage joining until she was working as a school teacher and felt the calling to do more.
During high school in NSW, Mr Attard was invited to go along to a meeting with his friends, but he admits he ‘‘only went for the free pizza’’.
‘‘It didn’t take long to realise there were a lot of great people in the organisation who took an interest in me,’’ he said.
‘‘I was just some kid but they’d get me involved in things.
‘‘You can get excited by it and you can be inspired by it.’’
The Attards were living in Castlemaine on their first appointment before moving to Benalla this year.
They will take on a variety of responsibilities including regular church services, and they admitted they felt they had big shoes to fill in replacing Peter and Heather Ellis.
‘‘We know Peter and Heather, they served here for 10 years, did an amazing job, they were from here and they were beloved citizens of the town,’’ Mr Attard said.
‘‘But since we got here it’s been all encouragement and we feel very welcomed. Our fears have been dispelled.
‘‘We know Peter and Heather’s big thing was hope and we sort of inherit that legacy.
‘‘It’s our role now to make sure hope goes out to those who need it most. It’s for anyone who needs hope.’’
The couple met at ministry training in Melbourne and have a three-year-old son Cohen and another child on the way.
‘‘Babies are exciting for everyone in a way,’’ Mr Attard said.
‘‘We can share that with the people here, who describe themselves as a family. It’s nice we can raise a child in that environment.’’
New to town: New Salvation Army Benalla lieutenants Sean and Rachel Attard with their son Cohen.