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The Crusader Union of Australia, known as Crusaders, is a Bible-based, interdenominational Christian youth organisation based in Australia that teaches the Gospel of Jesus Christ to independent school students in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory.
The Crusader Union was founded in 1930 by the Rev. Dr Howard Guinness in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and South Australia. In that year the first Crusader Camp was held. In 1934 Crusaders was founded in Western Australia. A prayer group, The Crusader Women’s Fellowship, began meeting in Roseville Park in 1939. The land for the Crusader campsite at at Lake Macquarie, New South Wales was donated by Dr Leslie Parr in the 1940s and in the 1950s Dr Paul White mortgaged his home to buy land at Galston Gorge for £600. In 1955 Crusaders merged with the Scripture Union in all states except NSW. During the 1960s Crusaders became a Registered Company Limited by Guarantee to meet legal requirements. The first office had been in the city but moved to Strathfield in 1988 and then to Eastwood in 1993. The Crusader Union of NSW became the Crusader Union of Australia on 23rd May 1990 and the current Crusader ‘eagle’ logo was introduced in 1997. Crusaders celebrated its 80th anniversary in September 2010.
Crusaders has three key ministry areas:
- Holiday Camps - Over 50 camps are run during the school holidays for children aged between eight and 18 and are run mostly by volunteer leadership teams offering activities including sailing, horse riding, dirt-bike riding, skiing.
- Educational Camps - 15 Higher School Certificate study camps each year for Year 12 students.
- Schools Ministry - 6 full time staff address over 45,000 students every year in 185 independent schools across NSW and the ACT.
These ministries are supported by two campsites; Galston Gorge Conference & Recreation Centre and Lake Macquarie Outdoor Recreation Centre with water-based activities and a own sailing fleet.
- President - The Most Rev Dr Peter Jensen
- Chairman - Philip Bell
- Deputy Chairman - Jennie Ford
- Secretary - Simon Corbridge
- Treasurer - Santino Dimarco
- Council Members - Alan Barnwell, Patrick Benn, Helen Burgess, Catherine Forbes, Clare Pendlebury, Mark Rundle, James Ward, Annette Ware, Tim Wright.
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