12 months ago I stepped away from many of the portfolio ministries after a fall and a blackout. I too had to slow down. It is good now to look back since Well-Being Australia was initiated in 2000. Prior to that we had established the Sports and Leisure Ministry (now Sports Chaplaincy Australia) placing 150 chaplains into Australia’s professional sports.
In our new mission, Well-Being Australia I retained two specific ministry areas of the sports ministry: the athletes' respite ministry at the Basil Sellers Moruya facility on the New South Wales south coast; and the Australian cricket ministry.
Athlete / Coach Respite
We relocated from Moruya to Tweed Heads to duplicate the respite ministry and Kim and Michelle Gillis took over in Moruya. The 'Basil Sellers Tweed' (Surfing Australia's High Performance Centre's Domain Resort on the beach at Casaurina) provides respite facilities for the six Australian Institute of Sport units based in south east Queensland. In 2007, the facility expanded to include the cricket fraternity.
This included the Olympic ministry initiated in 1984 and in 2000 Kevan Gosper AC sent me to the IOC in Lausanne to assist staff developed a transfer of knowledge for Religious Services from one host city to the next. In 2009 was awarded the Olympic Ministry Medal presented by Carl Lewis the Olympian of the Century.
Australian Cricket Ministry
In 2001, after discussions with both the Australian Cricketers Association and the Australian Cricket Board, Mark Tronson moved sideways from the chaplaincy of the Australian Cricket team to provide a ministry called 'Life After Cricket'
Coinciding with this initiative, on 30 November 2000, was the release of the initial 'Retired Australian Cricketers Bi-Annual Newsletter' (published 30 March and 30 November each year since). Its editorial team Allan Border (Qld), Greg Chappell (SA), David Boon (TAS), Kim Hughes (WA), Phil Emery (NSW), Jasson Baker and Shaun Graf (VIC).
In 2007 the Cricket Ministry developed 'Cricket Family Respite' by inviting the cricket fraternity to make use of the Basil Sellers Tweed facility. This newsletter concluded in November 2018, eighteen years.
As I required respite after 18 years of national leadership of the Sports and Leisure Ministry, I took up art as a form of personal respite and this eventually developed into an art ministry. Mr Basil Sellers supported the construction in Moruya of the Basil Sellers Art Centre in 2003 and a year later the launch of the Basil Sellers $15,000 Art Prize, a bi-annual event now co-ordinated by the Eurobodalla Shire.
The Art Ministry developed a number of community programs which included art classes for young people, a monthly cheese and wine evening for the local arts community and an exhibition program for local artists.
When we relocated to the Tweed in 2006, the Basil Sellers Tweed Fine Arts Studio was opened in 2007. The Gold Coast Visitors Guide sponsored the Art Ministry with a half page advertisement, and Mark's art became part of his ministry utilising his philosophical art. In addition he started to exhibit through local restaurants and resorts.
I paint under my ancestral name of Tronson du Coudray - the missionary painter.
Press Service International (PSI)
As another part of my respite program was developing PSI. In 2008 the Christian Today editor rang me to write a daily column. I’d been writing five Australian Christian news articles world wide, each Wednesday, under the PSI banner as well as a with a daily media article to Australian Christian media.
A fresh editor in 2009 asked me to add a daily sports article and that was expanded by inviting 5 young people to write Sport. That then grew into other areas with 105 young people today writing a column once every 5 weeks in Christian Today. This has become a hallmark in ministry.
Australasian Religious Press Association presented in 2019 its annual premier award The Gutenberg to our PSI ministry – a wonderful recognition.
Laguna Quays Respite
Opened in February 2011 on the Whitsundays it is a beach house for missionaries, school chaplains, ministers and the like, to take recuperation and respite. It has been a remarkable success and as a result our major sponsor Mr Basil Sellers AM has bought a house at Aldinga Beach 1 hour from Adelaide in which MissionsInterlink are coordinating.
There are numerous volunteers across Australia who assist us in this Mission, and some have developed their own interests. Steve Suba in Tasmania assists with international liaison, and have initiated a missions respite house on Bass Straight. We have five praying ladies who pray daily for us and our ministry every day.
The people who give financially so graciously and lovingly are also a vital part of this volunteer team, along with those who us as consults.
Well-Being Australia has been inspiring as to how the Lord has overseen these developing ministries to His Glory. At the inaugural Around the Tables (ATT) in 2002, WBA received its mantra from visiting speaker the Reverend Harry Munro, "Don't touch the Glory, it belongs exclusively to Him".
To contact us - firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He mentors young writers and has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children. Dr Tronson writes a daily article for Christian Today Australia (since 2008) and in November 2016 established Christian Today New Zealand. Dr Mark Tronson’s Press Service International in 2019 was awarded the Australasian Religious Press Association’s premier award, The Gutenberg.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html