Meet our chaplains
- BHealthSc(Hons), DrTCM(Acup), CMRB, GradDipFamTherapy, DipCouns, BArch(Hons)
Seikan Čech is a Zen monk who supports the simple meditation practice "just sitting", free from beliefs and expectations. His primary interest lies with engaging people, being present, and reconnecting with our inherent wellness whatever our circumstances.
Seikan's professional background includes clinician, psychotherapist, acupuncturist and educator. He is the founder and director of the Melbourne Zen Centre and Melbourne Zen Hospice.
To connect with Seikan please contact the Chaplaincy office.
The Rev’d Dr Hugh Kempster - Senior Chaplain
Fr Hugh is the Senior Chaplain, working with a team of inter-faith Chaplains and other key Staff to deliver the RMIT Chaplaincy Program.
An ordained Anglican Priest, he is Vicar of St Peter’s Eastern Hill, a leading Anglo-Catholic Parish and one of the earliest churches built in Melbourne.
Fr Hugh is a Director of the Brotherhood of St Laurence, honorary Chaplain to State Parliament, and an adjunct lecturer at Trinity College Theological School, with the University of Divinity. Originally trained as an Electronic Engineer, Fr Hugh has a PhD in Medieval Studies, and loves hiking and visiting his four grandchildren on the family farm in New Zealand whenever he can.
Phone: +61 3 9925 2043
0488 960 022
Pastor Nelson Pervaz
Pastor Nelson Pervaz is a missionary, evangelist and a Bible teacher and is engaged in several ministries around the world. He speaks English, Urdu, Punjabi (written and spoken), Arabic and Pharsi (written), and Hindi (spoken).
Prior to migrating to Australia, he was a supervisor of many home-based Bible teaching movements, and a member of the Baptist World Alliance.
Pastor Nelson holds master degrees in Panjabi and Urudu languages from the University of Punjab, and a Certificate in Christian Leadership from the Haggai Institute Singapore. He also has qualifications in Bible preaching, evangelism and counselling, and has had training in peace building. Moreover, he studied Religion as a Resource for peace-building.
Pastor Nelson Pervaz has several ongoing ministries in Melbourne, as well as a Gospel Distribution Ministry in the city. Besides that, he runs a weekly Bible study group and regularly preaches via telephone to the Home Church Pakistan and the Pakistani Christian Diaspora in many countries, including the UAE and the UK. He believes in the Ministry of Reconciliation and preaches inter-denominationally.
To connect with Pastor Nelson please contact the Chaplaincy office.
Rev Sandy Solomon - Chaplain RMIT Bundoora Campus
- BSc., Grad Dip Ed., MDiv., Grad Dip Div.
Rev Sandy Solomon is an Anglican priest with a background in Senior Chemistry and Maths/Science Teaching, Student Welfare Coordination/Programs and Student Management roles in Secondary Schools. She has significant experience in education and pastoral work, and is an accredited chaplain with the Council for Chaplains in Tertiary Institutions (CCTI).
She is currently also licensed as a priest in the parish of St Matthias Anglican church in Mernda/Doreen [Plentylife] with a church planting role in Mill Park. Prior to this appointment she was Assistant Curate in the parish of All Saints Clayton with a role of ministry to Youth and Young adults including pastoral connections with students at Monash University. Sandy strives to facilitate insight of personal, spiritual and vocational directions and goals. She is an accomplished student of the holy scriptures and welcomes discussion and study of the sacred text. She is always happy to lend a listening ear over a cup or tea or coffee and/or to pray with students or staff at the RMIT Bundoora Campus [East and West].
Phone: + 61 3 9925 2317
Sr Maureen Merlo
Maureen grew up in Melbourne and after becoming a primary teacher, entered the Society of the Sisters, Faithful Companions of Jesus (FCJ). During the following years, Maureen taught in primary and secondary schools as well as in a Pastoral role especially to migrants, refugees, international students and country students. Recently, Maureen lived and worked for two years in Yogyakarta (Indonesia) and one year in the Philippines. In both of these countries there are FCJ communities.
Maureen hosts a Taizé and meditation group every second and fourth Thursday of the month.
To connect with Sister Maureen please contact the Chaplaincy office.
Costa has been an academic for almost 40 years, teaching accounting and finance at various universities (RMIT, Melbourne Uni, La Trobe Uni, and others).
Whilst teaching for 18 years at RMIT Business, he ran weekend orientation camps for local and international students, developed student mentor programs and founded SLAMS (Student Learning Advisor Mentors).
His passion in life is to love God and to demonstrate that by loving and serving people. In particular that means helping to meet the needs of students – the “whole person” – academic, personal, practical, emotional, and spiritual.
Costa has served with a number of Christian bodies over the years (Presbyterian church, Brethren church, The Navigators, and Christian Union), but the “denominational tag” is not important to him since he calls himself a CHRISTian not a CHURCHian.
To connect with Costa please contact the Chaplaincy office.
Priestmonk Kyril Gavras
- BTh SCD
Priestmonk Kyril is the Orthodox Christian Chaplain to RMIT. He is a tonsured monk and an ordained priest in the Orthodox Christian Church (Australian and New Zealand Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia). One of the primary responsibilities and duties of ordained clergy in the Orthodox Church who are also chaplains is to provide the Holy Sacraments to Orthodox Christians and to give pastoral care through service, encouragement and edification to students and staff from all walks of life.
Orthodox Christian Chaplaincy is therefore a witness to the sharing of our Spiritual Treasures, Divine Truth, Apostolic Light, and Way of Christ, for those who seek it in the academic community.
Chaplaincy remains in many ways, a missionary field. This does not mean an arena for proselytizing rather, reaching out and being a listening presence, praying, serving, liturgising, and sharing the Faith with those in need.
To connect with Father Kyril please contact the Chaplaincy office.
- BA (Psych); Grad Dip Comp Stud; Grad Dip Theol; Grad Cert Indust Ed and Train; Dip Trans Couns; Dip Trans Art Therapy; Dip Proj Mngmnt
As a chaplain, Richard Bull seeks to bring to the individual a deeper understanding of the broader context in which we all find ourselves. This drive has surfaced from his explorations of many spiritual paths – Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, and Islam.
Richard has been a meditator for about 50 years, and is currently exploring the non-dual and Integral Spirituality (Ken Wilber, and others), which deeply explores how the whole person (interior/exterior, individual/social) must be addressed in order to attain an overall balanced well-being. Only in achieving this can each of us be more effective in our chosen roles in the world.
Richard is committed to studying more deeply the aspects of the Integral Approach, which includes the overarching Integral aspects of all world religions and its relationship with the non-dual. His goal is to bring any insights gained into action in the world.
Richard also has a strong caring for the elderly, and loves architecture, art and music as some of the many expressions of human creativity in the world.
To connect with Richard please contact the Chaplaincy office.
Rev Helen Summers
- BA, Grad Dip Ad Ed, Degree in Spiritual Counselling
Rev Helen Summers is an Interfaith Minister who studied in New York and was ordained in 1997. Helen brings many years of experience in education and pastoral care
to the role of chaplain.
As an Interfaith Minister, Helen embraces the deep truths found at the heart of all authentic spiritual traditions that give meaning to life, and the shared wealth of spiritual practices that help us evolve and grow. Helen is deeply respectful of the commitment to common values of peace, compassion, wisdom, service, and above all, love, which is found in all traditions. Interfaith Ministers acknowledge the One Spirit that resides in all.
Previous to her interfaith ministry, Helen taught English for Specific Purposes at RMIT University, the Sydney College of Advanced Education (SCAE) and Bond University where she was an Assistant Professor in the School of Humanities. Helen was Head, Learning Assistance Centre (SCAE) and co-developed courses with the Centre for Aboriginal History and Culture.
On her return to Australia in 1998, Helen founded The Interfaith Centre of Melbourne as an educational and cultural organisation, producing interfaith ceremonies, arts and cultural programs and seminars to promote understanding and respect among people of diverse religions and spiritualities and of no religion.
Helen welcomes staff and students for interfaith/interspiritual discussions and practices and is open to listening to anyone who feels the need.
To connect with Helen please contact the Chaplaincy office.
Rabbi Chaim Herzog
Rabbi Chaim Herzog was born in Melbourne, Australia and attended one of Melbourne's Jewish day schools before being ordained in 2000 as a Rabbi in New York. He has been the Director of Chabadof Melbourne CBD, from 1998 to the present, and acts as the liaison to Jewish community groups.
To connect with Rabbi Chaim Herzog please contact the Chaplaincy office.
Imam Riad Galil
- Certificate in Aged Care Work, Certificate of Marriage Celebrancy, Grad. Dip. ICT, TSTC, BSc
Riad Galil has been serving as the Imam of the West Heidelberg Mosque for the past 15 years. He is an educationalist by profession, working at the secondary and tertiary levels. Interfaith dialogue is so important to him that he is a member of the Jewish Christian Muslim Association (JCMA) and the Knox Multicultural Advisory Committee, Publicity Officer at the Knox Interfaith Network and Executive Member of the Victorian Board of Imams. In 2011 he received a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for services to the Islamic community and the promotion of interfaith relationships.
To connect with Riad Galil please contact the Chaplaincy office.
Talk to our Chaplaincy Assistant; she is often your first point of contact at the Chaplaincy office.
Laura’s experience working in the higher education sector and TAFE spans some 20 years in which time she has worked at Victoria University, Student Administration, for 12 years and more recently at the Sir Zelman Cowen Centre for the past nine years. Her roles were varied and challenging, focused mainly on programme and course coordination, which involved working directly with students as well as a large variety of staff and external clientele.
To connect with Laura please contact the Chaplaincy office.