Special Feature: God Bless You, Karen!

Our Time With Karen …

“Good morning, The Australian Navigators. Karen speaking!”

For the last 35 years, Karen Woolley has been the face and the voice of The Australian Navigators. Like the Queen of England who has seen her nation through many Prime Ministers, Karen has worked with multiple National Directors. She faithfully served with them in multiple locations, with diligence, patience and grace, as captured in the reflections of three of those directors below:

Karen has served and moved with these Directors over the years!


Doug Utley, 1986 – 2001:

Karen’s bright smile and cheery greeting always made a visit to the Nav Office a pleasant experience. As well as attending to her financial  responsibilities, she has a passion for good Christian books and so eagerly recommended the latest publications. She believes in prayer and produced the Daily Prayer Guide with diligence and patience. Her hospitality made every guest feel at home. Well done, Karen!

Mike Johnson, 2001 – 2008:

For Karen, working with the Navigators was no mere office job – it was a calling from the Lord. She has been faithful, persevering and diligent in this calling through many years, under various National Leaders and through many shifts of location. I observed first-hand her godly character, her gracious communication with the public and staff, and her heart for God. She has made many friends along the way and will be greatly missed.

Grant Dibden, 2009 – present:

Karen has worked in our Nav Office for 35 years. She is one committed Navigator! She has willingly moved with the office to Sydney, Melbourne, and Canberra. Her voice greeted you when you rang the office. She got to know all our regular giving partners whom she values greatly, loving and praying for them. We are so glad she will continue to come in a couple of days a month, not just for her knowledge but for her encouraging and uplifting disposition.

Get To Know Karen Woolley:

“Me and The Navigators”

Growing up, we had a carpool with our neighbours to get all of us to Sunday School. One day, my parents bought a couple of books about Jesus from a door-to-door salesman. My attention was taken by one page: it showed Jesus in a long white garment and a beard, knocking on a big front door with the caption, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears my voice and opens the door I will come in to him and eat with him and he with me.” But I couldn’t find anyone who could explain what it meant.

Years later, some of my co-workers decided I should learn to play golf. One day, the Golf Pro shared the Gospel using a simple tract. God opened my eyes and my heart to Jesus.

Margie introduced me to the Navigators. She asked if I wanted help to grow as a Christian. I told her I was struggling and didn’t think I was the ideal person for it. Fortunately, that didn’t put her off!

Life became very full and interesting after that. I learned so many skills; more importantly, God became more real and personal. I met others seeking to share Christ and His Kingdom with ordinary people. I was hungry to be involved with Him in every area of my life. Philippians 3:10 really spoke to my heart.

Secretarial work was a skill I could use for the Lord anywhere. So, I took a 12-month course. At the same time, I moved into a ministry home which was centred on discipleship and outreach to university students and nurses.

Soon after my course finished, I was asked to work in the Navigators office in Sydney which led to becoming their full-time receptionist. The rest is history!

Thirty-five years later, God is still at work in me, loving, healing, directing and correcting, and showing me His beauty and radiance. I still have a desire to be used by Him with the whole of my life. And I am looking forward to sharing Him in all my relationships and endeavours during my senior years.

God Bless You, Karen!

A reflection from Ashley Prinable

L-R: Karen, Ashley and Rosemary

Karen, Rosemary and I lived in a 3-bedroom apartment on Mowbray Road, Chatswood, for about a year from 1979 to 1980. I had just become a new believer through the Billy Graham Crusade (May 1979); and Karen and Ro helped me come to terms with being a follower of Jesus. I got married to Barry Prinable in November 1980, bringing an end to our mostly ‘happy threesome’!

Karen was the neat one! Punctual, fastidious in her habits, and always tried to be encouraging and helpful.

She was very disciplined with the morning routine; one of us getting tea for the other and setting time for Quiet Times first thing! Karen took most things in her stride with a quirky sense of humour and sometimes a look that said everything! A very forgiving roommate, she needed to be with her two more crazy roomies! It was special to have her loving, quiet, gentle, godly ways to give stability (and fun) to our home. We also shared in the Navigators studies when we were there together, during which we had some good laughs and interesting times! It has been good to re-connect – again mostly through Navigators.

Thank you, Karen, for all your help with our book orders and other things. We will miss your cheerful voice on the phone and catching up with news. Keep up with your verses and stay in touch!

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