Pass the plate: Presbyterian Church has run out of cash, calls in receivers

The Presbyterian Church of Queensland has gone into receivership, raising questions about the fate of its aged-care facilities, schools and other operations, including the prestigious Fairholme College in Toowoomba.

May 13, 2021, updated May 13, 2021

Receivers PwC Australia intend to continue operations while it carries out a sweeping review of the church’s activities and financial position.

Reverend Dr Philip Strong, PCQ’s moderator, said the decision to enter receivership was “regrettable but necessary” to ensure the church’s legal entity, PCQ, can continue serving the community.

PCQ’s current operations include PresCare, a provider of residential aged care and Presbyterian ministry services, the Queensland Theological College in Brisbane, and Fairholme, a P-12 boarding and day student girls school in Toowoomba.

Fairholme has built a reputation for educating and training some of the nation’s best athletes. Alumni include Olympians Cathy Freeman, Emilee Cherry and Sally Kehoe.

“While our team has worked hard for more than a year to restructure the operations, historical contractual arrangements have made this extremely challenging,” Strong said.

“I know that today’s announcement will be unexpected for our congregations, employees, residents, students and the community. Our priority has always been and will continue to be their wellbeing.”

Michael Owen and Phil Carter from PwC Australia said they would work closely with stakeholders while the entity’s affairs were examined.

“We plan to continue to operate the services that PCQ provides across the community on a ‘business as usual’ basis while we conduct this review, and we will update stakeholders further once this initial assessment has been completed,” they said in a statement.

Prescare operates six aged care and retirement homes across Queensland and also provides home aged care services.





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