Ken Schmidt Biography

3Clinical Counsellor – 37 years in mental health

Qualifications: Chaplain/Counsellor


Ken was born the 5th of eight children, to poor farming parents, on a small mixed dairy farm, along the Murray River in South Australia. He was educated at the local school and went to Immanuel College in Adelaide to finish secondary education. Ken was then was accepted into a seven (7) year theological degree at Luther Seminary in North Adelaide. He graduated and was ordained into Holy Ministry in Dec 1979.

Employment Experience:

The Lutheran Church of Australia employed Ken as a Parish Pastor first in outback Western Australia, amongst very isolated and struggling rural people, in towns, farms, stations, islands, and mining regions. After seven (7) years, Ken was transferred by the Church, to rural Queensland and served a large busy inland parish, where one of his responsibilities was to care for the Qld Premier and his family, through some difficult and turbulent times, as well as the wider community.

Ken’s next Parish was a significant change as it was a busy inner-city Sydney ministry, where he took up work at Epping, the largest Lutheran Church in Sydney. Members were from very diverse cultural, social, educational, financial and ethnic backgrounds, and came from across 90 different suburbs of Sydney. This helped diversify his knowledge and experience with a broad spectrum of personal issues and experiences from people of so many different backgrounds.

In 1994 Ken was challenged to enter a specialised area of personal focus, and that was as a Chaplain/Counsellor to a large state-of-the-art Nursing Home and Retirement Village on the Sunshine Coast in Qld. Here he also studied and gained a post-graduate degree in Counselling, to further assist with the care for all residents, staff, volunteers and families. It was a large, diverse, busy community, where ageing, isolation, loneliness, death, loss, grief, bereavement, trauma, palliative care, separation from loved ones, and a raft of other issues, was his daily focus. Ken worked and served full-time in this environment for Lutheran Community Services for 12 years.

In 2006, after having also served part-time as an Australian Army Reserve Chaplain for twenty-four (24) years
(much of the time in Infantry Battalions), Ken decided to enter full-time Army Chaplaincy with the Australian Regular Army and Department of Defence. Here Ken served for fourteen (14) years, and deployed with soldiers on Operations into East Timor, Afghanistan and Iraq. Ken also visited PNG, Malaysia, France and Belgium. In total Ken has served for thirty-eight (38) years with our great Australian Army soldiers, amidst all their personal sufferings, separations, struggles, stress, trauma, challenges, isolation, griefs, losses, bereavements, as well as their many triumphs, joys and successes.

Trauma Specific Training/Experience

  • Level 4 EMIT/EMDR  Practitioner and  Trainer


  • B Theology;
  • B Counselling;
  • Dip Industrial and Operational Chaplaincy
  • Member: Australian Counselling Association
  • Member: Australian College of Supervisors
  • Member: Australian College of Counsellors
  • Member: Australian College of Christian Counsellors

Military Awards (Army):

  • Australian Active Service Medal
  • Afghanistan Medal
  • Australian Service Medal
  • Operational Service Medal
  • Reserve Forces Decoration
  • Australian Defence Medal
  • UN ISAF Medal

Areas of Counselling Specialties:

Life changes, Loss, Grief, Bereavement, Meaning and Purpose, Beliefs, Faith, Values, Challenges, Opportunities, Life in the Military, Life after the Military, Palliative Care, Aged Care, Rural Life, Traumas.

Other team member profiles:
Cath Edwards
David G Broadbent
Grahame Smith
Judy Reader
Linda Elsey