Dr Elizabeth de Réland

DR. ELIZABETH DE RÉLAND is the historian-in-residence for Parramatta Mission of the Uniting Church in Australia and historian-archivist for Leigh Memorial Church. Elizabeth’s PhD thesis, Holiness and Hard Work: A History of Parramatta Mission, 1815–2015 (2018), explored themes of connection, mutuality and divergence between the Mission and the civic sphere of Parramatta and its surrounding region during 200 years of immense change. The study examined the Mission’s commitment to social activism and community care stemming from its Wesleyan-Methodist roots – and the variable relationship between church and civic authorities as both sought the ‘common good’ in one of Australia’s oldest settlements. Elizabeth is a member of Parramatta Mission, the descendant of three Parramatta convicts and an advocate for the heritage of Western Sydney and its preservation. She is a member of the Uniting Church National History Society and the Australian Historical Association. Her research seeks to identify and share the Mission’s history on a broader scale and in the context of its inclusive community values and location at the heart of a rapidly expanding city.


  • Elizabeth Lawry: Little Babe,” St. John’s Cemetery Project, (2020).
  • Catherine Leigh: Faithful Coadjutor,” St. John’s Cemetery Project, (2019).
  • Luminous: The Stained-Glass History of Leigh Memorial Church, Parramatta (2019).
  • Samuel Leigh: First Wesleyan Missionary to Australia and New Zealand (2019).
  • Lawry (Revised Edition) – 200th Anniversary: Rev. Walter Lawry at Parramatta Mission (Parramatta Mission, 2018).
  • Lawry – Celebrating the 200th Anniversary of Rev. Walter Lawry’s arrival as the second Wesleyan Methodist missionary in Parramatta in 1818 (Parramatta Mission, 2018).
  • Pilgrim People – 40 Years of the Uniting Church in Australia: A Parramatta Mission Reflection (ed.) (Parramatta Mission, 2017).
  • Kindled by a Spark of Grace – The Gloster Udy Story (Parramatta Mission, 2016).
  • Samuel Leigh, Parramatta Mission Pioneer (ed.) (Parramatta Mission, 2015).
  • We Will Remember Them (ANZAC centenary) (ed.) (Parramatta Mission, 2015).
  • The Sprouting Coconut, Sa Kadre na Niu, Tabacakacaka Ermington/Parramatta, Celebrating 20 years, 1991–2011 (Editorial advisor) (Parramatta Mission, 2011).
  • The Westmead Story, Celebrating 20 years of the Westmead Congregation at Queens Road, 1991–2011 (Editorial advisor) (Parramatta Mission, 2011).
  • Our Church – An Historical Sketch of Leigh Memorial Church in its 125th Anniversary Year & of the Westmead and Fijian Congregations of Parramatta Mission (ed.) (Parramatta Mission, 2010).


  • PhD (Church History) Charles Sturt University (2018)
  • MA (Modern History) Macquarie University (2007)
  • Cert Arts (Art History) Curtin University (2004)
  • BA (Hons) (English Literature) University of Sydney (1986)