Australian Capital Territory
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Welcome to the ACT pages.

The ACT GFA community is a small but vibrant one, with 2 GEMS groups and several GFA courses run each year. We also have our landmark GFA ACT Day Camp each March or April, which has been a great success each year.

Upcoming Events

2012 is well and truly up and running, see our courses list for more courses and we'll be running our Marriage Dinner in October again. More information closer to the time.


If you would like to receive the newsletters via e-mail, please follow the steps below to register on the website.

1. Click on the link here to register. You will receive a confirmation email. Follow the instructions.

2.  Log onto the website here using your new password.

3.  Go to your profile and click on the newsletter you would like to receive.

Have a look at the ACT Newsletters

Latest State News

Dear GFA Families,

We trust that you are all well and are enjoying the beautiful autumn weather that we have recently been blessed with.

Three families from the ACT attended the GFA National Conference at Phillip Island Victoria in January 2012.  It was a great time of hearing encouraging talks for parents, of meeting families from around our nation and from overseas and of fun and friendships for the children and teens.  Around 450 attended.  The next GFA National Conference is only two years away in April 2014 and will be on the Sunshine Coast with the theme of “Parenting with Purpose.”  Why not put that date in the diary now and plan a holiday around it?  GFA National Conferences are open to everyone and you will not be disappointed!

At the 2012 GFA National Conference, after 22 years at the helm, our National Directors Bill and Joan Grosser, who are both in their 70s, stepped down from the position of National Directors of GFA.  They have done a wonderful job of starting and persevering with GFA parenting courses in Australia, and building around them a wonderful team of enthusiastic State Team Leader couples in each of our States and Territories.  While we wait on God to raise up new National Directors for Australia, three of these State Team Leader couples have stepped up to the task of being the “National Overseeing Team.”  The Handorfs (SA), the Bongers (Qld) and the Footes (NSW).  As you are on our ACT database, you should be receiving the GFA national newsletters from time to time.

Meanwhile, Bill and Joan are not resting on their laurels but will be continuing with a significant parenting work amongst our indigenous families!!  They with another two couples have been invited by an indigenous community in the Kimberly to come and start parenting classes for families up in northern Western Australia.  Hopefully, we will hear some updates on this work in the GFA national newsletters.

Closer to home, on 24 March 2012 the ACT GFA families had a fantastic day out at Burra Community Hall for our GFA ACT Family Day Camp.  James and Simone Boswell, parents of six, encouraged parents using a boat theme on ‘Persevering in Parenting.’ Preparing the boat, Steering the boat, Maintaining the boat, Sailing in calm seas, Sailing through storms, Sailing on high seas, Boat repairs, Depositing crew members onto their own boats.   We had time for discussion groups to share ideas and encourage each other.  We shared a sausage sizzle lunch and enjoyed some fun games after lunch. The children enjoyed craft, games and the beautiful outdoors in Burra’s picturesque country setting.  Our local committee ,made up of Michael and Andrea Branch, Peter and Cheryl Holberton and ourselves were thankful to God for the lovely sunny weather and for how families were encouraged on the day. 

Later this year we hope to again have a marriage dinner for couples to encourage you in your marriages.  We are aiming for a date in October, so keep an eye out for that and make it a priority. 

Also in this newsletter upcoming courses have been advertised and we have included a little “Hello” from one of our two GEMs leaders (see sections under Northside GEMs).  Maria looks after the Southside mums and Liz looks after the Northside mums.  Thankyou so much ladies for being there each month to facilitate a wonderful evening of encouragement for our GFA mums. If you are not involved in GEMs, Maria and Liz would be very happy to hear from you and to add you to their mailing list and welcome you to their monthly GEMs get togethers.

Do you know that GFA has a magazine that comes out 3 – 4 times a year?  The Editor is a mother of 4 teenage kids, so is full of experience and wise advice.    Visit  to order FACETS and any of the GFA materials, click on the Products link on the left hand menu bar.

With our love Geoff and Jennie


GEMS - Godly Encouragements for Mums

The ACT is blessed with 2 vibrant GEMS groups that have been running for many years.

Northside GEMS

If you live on the Northside the GEMS group meets monthly at different venues, please contact LIz see details below.


Liz : rlkirky[at]

Southside GEMS

If you live on the Southside you are welcome to join Southside GEMs for encouragement from likeminded Mums.  GEMs meets monthly on the fourth Tuesday night of the month at 7.30pm, please contact Kathryn or Maria details below for venue locations.


Kathryn Hartley:  kathrynhartley[at]

Maria Aldric:  aldrics[at]

Youth Stuff

There aren't currently any specific GFA based youth events or activites in Canberra


Parenting Course Classes


Course Name Age Range  Date/Time  Facilitators
Growing Kids God's Way 3 - 12 yrs (18 sessions)

Terms 2 and 3

Introductory evening 12th April (compulsory to do the course)

Peter and Cheryl Holberton phone 62910746
Preparation for Parenting newborn - 5 months (5 sessions) Starting mid April on the Northside Geoff and Jennie Purser 0402158728
Toddlerhood Transitions 18 mths - 3 yrs (5 sessions) Southside Starting mid May Geoff and Jennie Purser 0402158728
Babyhood Transitions 5mths - 12 mths (4 sessons) Starting Mid August Geoff and Jennie Purser 0402158728
Prep for Parenting Newborn to 5 months (5 sessions)
Northside For Information : Geoff and Jennie Purser 0402158728
Babyhood Transitions 6 - 12 mths Northside For Information : Geoff and Jennie Purser 0402158728
Prep for Toddler years 12 - 18mths Northside For Information : Geoff and Jennie Purser 0402158728
Toddlerhood Transitions 18 mths - 3 yrs Northside For Information : Geoff and Jennie Purser 0402158728

Contact Mums

Contact Mums for the ACT

The Contact Mums Ministry is a volunteer network of Christian mums available to encourage and support families who desire to implement the principles set forth in the Growing Families International parenting curricula from Preparation for Parenting through the Reaching the Heart of Your Teens, as well as the On Becoming series of books. A Contact Mum understands and experiences the same challenges that come from the responsibility of being a mum and the consistency that biblical training of our children requires.

Please feel free to contact Alicia by email to contact_mums[at] with your Contact Mum questions.

Contact Us

If you have any questions or would like to know more about the Growing Families Ministry in the ACT then please contact us via to following email address.


NOTE: To help combat email spam: Either click on the above email links or if typing the address, please replace the '[at]' with an @ symbol.

State Leaders

The ACT State Committee comprises 3 leadership couples and a supporting cast of helpers.

State Leaders

Geoff and Jennie Purser

Geoff and Jennie Purser have been the ACT State Leaders for 11 years, originally starting in 2000. Geoff and Jennie have 3 grown children, Tim 27, Tara 25 married to Nate and Miriam 23. They have recently been blessed with 1 grandchild, with a second on the way. They have been involved with GFA for 14 years and have facilitated all GFA courses.

Committee Members

Michael and Andrea Branch

Michael and Andrea have been involved in GFA since participating in their first course about a year after the birth of their first child, Lauren. They have 4 children, Lauren 17, Samuel 15, Hannah 10 and Bethany 8. The Branches live on 15 acres just out of Canberra. Michael and Andrea enjoy leading the Prepartion of Adolescence course.

Peter and Cheryl Holberton

Peter and Cheryl have been involved with GFA through courses for 13 years, first doing Growing Kids God's Way in 1998. They, like the Pursers have 3 grown children, Michael 30 married to Jessie, Sarah 27 and Mark 25 and 2 grandchildren, Caleb 9 and Asher 7. Peter and Cheryl run an annual Growing Kids Course in southern Canbera.



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