After 12 years of outstanding service, Tim Stollznow steps down as FRM Board chair.
About 12 years ago the Finke River Mission Board was experiencing a great deal of change and at the same time was needing to fill the chairperson’s role.
We prayed for a person to lead us through challenging times and to embed renewed stability. The Lord provided us with exactly the person we were looking for: Tim Stollznow.
Tim grew up in Papunya, about 250 kilometres northwest of Alice Springs. The son of FRM missionary Max and nurse Rosemary Stollznow, he spent his childhood playing and learning with Indigenous children from the community.
He has an Honours Degree in Engineering (Adelaide University), a Graduate Diploma in Management (Deakin University), and is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Twelve years ago, Tim had recently returned from the USA, after finalising the sale of a successful IT business he had built up in Adelaide. It was then that God called him to the FRM leadership role, which he embraced with enthusiasm and vigour.
Tim saw the role of FRM chairperson as a wonderful opportunity to combine his deep love of the Indigenous Lutheran communities of Central Australia with the skills he had developed in the intervening years. His commercial background, political connections and ‘can do’ entrepreneurial spirit have all come in very handy in his confident steering of our complex and multi-faceted operations.
Tim says that his best experiences as FRM chairperson were visiting the ‘amazing’ Lutheran communities and outback areas. ‘The people, their faith, the country – all are quite incredible’, he says.
Some of his most special memories are the ordination of Ingkarta John West at Kiwirrkurra, an eight-hour drive west of Alice Springs; the ordination of Pastor Paul Traeger at Papunya ‘with my dad’; and attending The Songkeepers premiere in Melbourne with the Central Australian Aboriginal Women’s Choir.
‘Working with diligent and talented FRM board members to navigate the challenges and opportunities created a unique camaraderie, which I enjoyed’, he says. FRM is ‘all about people and Christian service’.
‘Ultimately it is about walking alongside and supporting our Lutheran brothers and sisters in Central Australia. That’s why we are here, that’s why we’ve been here for 140 years, and that’s why Finke River Mission will be here in the years to come.’
The FRM and Yirara board members, management and staff, the Indigenous Lutheran communities in Central Australia, and the leadership of the LCANZ have all benefitted greatly from Tim’s guidance. He leaves us some very big boots to fill, but we wish him well in his new corporate venture as the managing director of MyVenue.
Thank you, Tim. We pray for your success and are sure your involvement with FRM will continue in some way in the future.
Chris Guntner is the acting chairperson of the Finke River Mission Board.