Meet Carin: Riverina Juvenile Justice Centre Chaplain

Carin Cumberlege joins us as Chaplain at the Riverina Juvenile Justice Centre, where she’ll be sharing the hope of Jesus as she pastorally cares for the young people in custody, their families, and the staff she works with.

CARIN - Juvenile Justice Chaplain

"...God was growing a desire in my heart to make Christ known to a world groaning in the shadow of death."


Tell us a bit about yourself and your background:

I’m Carin Cumberlege. My husband Andrew and I have been married for 22 years and have 4 lovely daughters between the ages of 11 and 20. I have lived in regional NSW, in Wagga Wagga since 2005. I worked as a General Practitioner and at Headspace until 2016. Medicine taught me many valuable skills and I am grateful to God for the opportunity to work and learn in the medical field. By God’s grace one of the important things I learned was to really see people’s hurt and needs and have compassion for them. At the same time God was growing a desire in my heart to make Christ known to a world groaning in the shadow of death.

In 2017 I stepped out in faith into a formal ministry position at our local church (St Aidan’s Wagga Wagga) as the Children’s and Families ministry coordinator. St Aidan’s leadership provided an amazingly supportive and caring environment, where I grew in faith and developed skills for ministry. I enjoyed my time in the role tremendously.


What brought you to take up this new role?

I heard about the Chaplaincy role in Youth Justice about 12 months ago. My immediate reaction was: ‘What a fantastic opportunity to share the gospel and care for young people who often experienced little care through their childhood.’ – But I didn’t think I was the right person for the position. The idea of pastoral care for young people however stirred my heart.  Early this year I enrolled for a 2-day introductory course in pastoral care, (little did I know where that would lead). This is where I met Rev. Ian Schoonwater, Senior Presbyterian Chaplain, who encouraged me to give the position at the Juvenile Justice Centre in Riverina some thought. Some weeks later, at Ian’s suggestion, I visited the centre where Rev. Grahame Abrahams has been the Chaplain since mid-2019. I felt very encouraged and excited about the role after my visit and decided to apply for the role.

I have been visiting the centre as a volunteer with Grahame and am thankful for the positive relationships he has built with staff and the faithful work he has done at the centre. I hope that by God’s grace, I am able to build on the foundations he has laid.


How can we pray for you in this ministry?

Give thanks for the opportunity to make Christ known to these young people and for Grahame’s work over the past 12 months.

Pray for smooth transition from Grahame’s care to mine and for settling into the role while continuing to build positive relationships with youth and staff.

Pray that I would love and serve them with God’s love.

Pray that God be glorified and Christ be proclaimed as our only and eternal hope in all I say and do.

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