OCF Australia is composed of multiple independent “centres“. Each “centre” is essentially a group/society in a university. While each centre is independent, and is led by their own “local committee”, all centres are united in faith under one vision – the OCF vision to reach out, build up and send back. In total, we have over 400 members across 15 university campuses throughout Australia.
Our student-led and student-run nature is one of the unique characteristics of the OCF ministry in comparison to other parachurch on-campus ministries. In short, being student-led and student-run means that students take the primary responsibility of running day-to-day tasks, giving direction to the ministry and planning strategically for the future. We believe that one of the greatest benefits of this is that students who learn to take ownership of their faith and the ministry. Throughout our history, we have seen that student leadership produces individual who understand deeply what being a disciple-maker and labouring for the sake of the Gospel means. As their faith gets refined through the process, we believe that students are being ‘built up’ and thoroughly equipped to be ‘sent back’ home as disciple-makers who will bless their respective communities richly.
Of note, being student-led and student-run does not mean that students endeavour to do everything on their own. We acknowledge that our members (university students) are mostly relatively young and may not be fully equipped to fulfill these tasks on their own. OCF invites advisors – trusted individuals who are typically older and more experienced in ministry work – to collaborate with us [students] to realise the vision of OCF through providing sound Biblical advice and help along the way. Our advisors are commonly alumni (previous OCFers) who desire to continue sowing into this ministry even upon graduation. Our advisors are a diverse group, including individuals whose ages range from the 30s-70s, pastors of local church where OCFers are congregants and working adults (e.g. accountants, engineers, doctors).
Additionally, we regularly partner with local churches and external organisations to receive help in realising our vision. For instance, inviting speakers to run workshops on studying the Bible (‘build up’) or graduating and transitioning to becoming a working adult (‘send back’).
The leadership structure of OCF Australia may be summarised in the diagram above. In short, OCF can be thought of as being organised into Student-led bodies and Advisory bodies.
Current students are active members of OCF Australia. Every student (member) is part of an OCF centre, and each OCF centre is led by a Local Centre Committee whose role is to run the day-to-day tasks of the centre. Additionally, in Australian states where there are multiple centres there typically exists a State Committee which is formed by the Chairpersons of the state’s constituent centres in order to coordinate state-wide inter-centre activities. Finally, the Executive Committee (EXCO) oversees, guides and supports the various centres as they endeavour to realise the OCF vision in each of their university campuses.
The General Committee (GC) is the governing body of OCF Australia. It is tasked with steering the direction of the ministry and making decisions on pertinent issues. The GC is composed of the EXCO and Chairpersons of every centre. The GC meets annually in-person at the end-of-year Annual General Meeting while also communicating regularly throughout the year via various channels.
Advisors are volunteers who collaborate with students as co-labourers to help OCF realise its vision. There are advisors corresponding to each level of student leadership. For instance, Local Centre Advisors work closely with Local Centre Committees to provide guidance in realising the OCF vision and practical support (e.g. mentoring leaders, proofreading Bible Study content). Each centre and state has a Local Centre and State Advisor, respectively.
The Board of Advisors (BOA) is comprised of the National Advisor(s) and one State Advisor of each Australian state. They convene regularly to discuss matters pertinent to the Fellowship, and provide advice to the GC as a collective whole.