We, the Uniting Church Social Justice Commission, pay tribute to Glen Banks who was a compassionate and active member of the commission for many years, serving for several of them as Chairperson.
This was one of many avenues in which Glen lived out her Christian faith; because of her love for God she lived generously and selflessly, working with many different groups in caring for people. She was an integral member of Carramar Uniting Church and loved by all whose lives were intertwined with hers. For many years, she was involved with the Guiding movement, with the Emmaus Walks movement and with Kairos Outside. Glen Banks passed away suddenly in August.
Glen was fully involved in the large variety of work which engages the Social Justice Commission: work for peace, justice for First Peoples, the environment, poverty relief and so on. But she made an especially strong contribution to justice for those imprisoned or detained.
She deeply felt the pain others endure, and thoughtfully integrated advocacy and practical kindness. She visited refugees and asylum seekers in detention centres; through Kairos she cared practically for women whose lives were affected by the prison system; and through the Social Justice Commission she advocated for better governmental corrective services policies.
She could see the need to change the popularist slogan ‘Tough on Crime’ to ‘Smart on Crime, so as well as helping to update the congregation study resource for the Build Communities Not Prisons campaign, she visited congregations to encourage them in using the study material. She was passionate about changing unjust structures while caring for those impacted by them.
Glen’s gentle manner belied a direct, courageous persistence which achieved much. Along with her considerable contribution to the work of social justice, we will miss her company and warm friendship.
Top image: Glen Banks (centre) was fully involved in many social justice issues