Simon Schembri and Xenia Schembri - Co-Founders of At The Ark
Simon and Xenia are associate Pastors of United City church on the Gold Coast, they also founded a ministry called At The Ark. This ministry is a charity that has been set up to support families whose children have been sexually abused. Also, to equip organisations such as churches, schools, child care centres and the like, to protect and prevent child abuse. Xenia is an international author of 3 books written to empower families, educators and other professionals to teach self-protective behaviours to this and future generations. She has also written an ebook available free on the website www.attheark.org.au which gives advice and instructions on how to protect children. Xenia is also a qualified counsellor. Simon has been in ministry for more than 16 years both here in Australia and in the UK. He has worked in Christian media in both countries.
Simon and Xenia met in an unusual way and if it was not for God they wouldn't be together, one lived in the UK with children and the other in Australia with children. God had a plan and worked it for good. They listened to the will of God, against all odds and believed what He said. They married in 2006 in Australia not knowing how God was going to work this through. But He did work it through in a miraculous way.
At The Ark was set up because one of their children disclosed that they had been sexually abused by her natural father, a man that had been very abusive to Xenia throughout her married life to him. They very quickly discovered that there was little support for the family holistically, and they wanted to support others going through similar circumstances. They realised that they were incredibly blessed to have a faith in a good God who supported them in every situation and provided for them in every way. God's grace through this time was incredible and they knew that they had something special. Did God show up and change what had happened? No, but he did show up and was with them every step of the way.
Now, many years later, their faith journey has been blessed and they have walked into the calling that God has laid for them. Their hearts are for prevention and protection of innocent children around the world who need to know that they are loved and cherished, and to bring healing and hope into an adult's world of brokenness. This will soon culminate into a 10-week adult abuse recovery course which will be set to be launched later in 2018.
To book Simon and Xenia for a speaking engagement or to find out some more information about their One in 5 Child Safety Workshop or seminar email firstname.lastname@example.org. or phone 1300 504 50
Major Andy Cullen (Ret)
Founder PTSD Resurrected
Andy is a veteran of 17 years service in the Australian Army. Retiring as a Major in 2012 having served 6 years as a soldier in the Royal Australian Infantry (RAINF) and later as an Officer in the Royal Australian Engineers (RAE) focusing much of his career in Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD). He was awarded the COMMENDATION FOR DISTINGUISHED SERVICE for operations in Afghanistan.
Zoe grew up in the tranquil hills of Byron Bay living in a mud brick home built by her parents. Zoe has a passion for life, family, travel and after university married into the Army, her own career taking a back seat to Andy's life as a Military Officer.
Andy was diagnosed with PTSD following multiple deployments to Afghanistan. Zoe was forced into the position of the sole parent of their four young children. Andy's condition worsened while he battled with a loss of identity and purpose following his retirement from the Army. He eventually ended up in a mental hospital falling into a dark depression that very nearly cost him his life, leaving Zoe to pick up the pieces of the broken family.
Together they fought their way through the many challenges that living with PTSD brings.
PTSD RESURRECTED Inc gives a unique insight into the realities and sacrifices of service and its effects on individuals marriage and family. Our Goal is to break down stigmas associated with Mental Illness by providing awareness and support to individuals and families impacted by trauma as a result of their service.
We provide tools, resources and community needed to overcome suffering.
Our charity focuses on three key areas of healing; providing hope, healing and purpose to individuals and families in need.
Jen Swenson - Treasurer
With over 25 years experience running a business and 30 years in accounting and bookkeeping, Jen Swenson comes to At The Ark with a wealth of experience in the Not for Profit sector as well. She has a passion for the protection of children.