Philip Townsend



Philip has been appointed to the position of Director of the Australia Timor Group (ATG) and took up the role in February 2021. The ATG supports communities as they use their languages in oral, written and artistic forms. This happens through linguistic research; translation of educational, health and religious materials; training of local people; as well as production of resources.

Philip has three main responsibilities: pastoral care of ATG members; liaison with partners and stakeholders; administration and strategy. He is convinced that if the Bible is accessible in a group’s own language then those people are more likely to clearly hear God’s voice.

Over many years, Philip had extensive cross-cultural experience in remote, bilingual contexts. He lived and worked alongside Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as well as with Melanesian peoples in Papua New Guinea. Philip and his wife, Lesli, are now based in Adelaide. They have four adult children who grew up in Papua New Guinea.

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Latest Updates from Philip Townsend

27 July 2022

I’ve spent quite a bit of time recently assisting my parents (97 & 92 years old) who have been sick and now moved to an Aged Care facility. Pray that they, my sisters and I can get help for the necessary paperwork, legal and financial matters. Pray that my parents will sense God’s love and care as they adjust to this major change in their lives.

Please pray for me as I participate in a full week of meetings 25-29 July with leaders and some staff across SIL Pacific Area, to focus on changing mental models of the organisation and its practices that are no longer applicable. Pray too that we can develop practical ways to implement priorities in localisation, relationship with the church and new forms of resourcing.

Thanks for your patience...

Waiting is hard, isn't it. But imagine waiting 2000 years for Scripture in your language! Thanks for your patience. And thanks for your generous support which will help bring the long wait to an end...