Mustard Schools Ministry

We are a Christian ministry that exists to empower students to lead students to Jesus in schools.

“The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.” – Matthew 13:31-32

Mustard’s Student Movement ministry equips students to be leaders for Jesus in their schools, where they lead Lunchtime Groups and live out their faith to multiply disciples of Jesus. We provide leadership training, mentoring and resources for our student leaders.
We pray for them and with them, and ensure they have the support of their school community. These steps equip them to be effective in their roles.

Mustard’s student-led Lunchtime Groups are open to students from Christian and other faith backgrounds, along with those who have no faith but lots of questions. The central point of reference for the group as they explore the Christian faith is the Bible.

Claire’s Story – discovering Jesus for the first time


…Claire then became a Christian through her school’s Mustard group! Click to see the full story and hear how she’s now a Chaplain back at the school where her journey started.

Lunchtime Groups – short testimonies from student leaders


Our Schools Programs seek to start conversations about Jesus and the big questions of life through creative, well-researched and emotionally connected big group presentations. We offer a unique presentation model where student leaders get to be involved in creative content, delivery, follow-up impact projects and more.

Check out our recent SEED magazine to see what we have been doing over the past 12 months!

Then take a listen to our interview with LightFM below to find out what Mustard is about and meet our team below!

Meet the Team

Our in-office team are a bunch of all-stars.
Comprised of paid & volunteer staff, each member brings their own unique talents, training and touch to everything Mustard does.


Lara Ruddle

Our amazing leader who heads up all things Mustard!


Nicole Mayall
Tasmanian Director

With a wealth of experience co-ordinating Christian camps for schools and churches, Nicole has the ideal passion and energy to pioneer Mustard in Tasmania!


Sharon Cunliffe
Schools Programs and Creative Director

An experienced presenter of schools programs and a fabulous food photographer in her spare time!


Natalie Miller
Relationships and Engagement Director

Natalie’s career in marketing, accounts and office management is as varied as her hobbies of escapism reading, baking and house design!


Brittany Spencer
Digital Communications & Creative Coordinator

If her role at Mustard was a venn diagram, Brittany’s key focuses are graphic design, social media and managing our Make a Ripple (of kindness) campaign!


Jacqui Maynard
South Australian Director

Jacqui is currently working as a Chaplain and has had extensive experience in a vast array of Christian Ministries. She has a unique passion and extraordinary gifting to lead Mustard in South Australia!


Yiqian Chua
Student Movement Director

“A million dreams are keeping me awake,” he says.


Ella Tregale
Student Movement Support Coordinator

Ella was one of our amazing student leaders in the past, and she’s now volunteering with us to support a new generation of students.

Our Board

Our amazing board members look after the health of our organisation.
Everything from governance, policies to risks and finances, our board ensures that Mustard is operating at its best so our team can continue the work that they do.

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Neale Meredith

Neale is the Vice President and Dean of Students at the Australian College of Ministries, and has previously served in ministry through local church, state and national leadership roles. Neale also has substantial experience as a senior executive and is a veteran in the Australian youth ministry sector – a rare and valuable combination that serves the governance of Mustard well.


Janelle Brooks

Janelle has quite a varied background from administration to governance and is keen to use her skills in support of Mustard. She is currently a Practice Manager in a counselling centre and has qualifications in HR, business admin and pastoral care. When she is not busy with work and study, she is hanging out with her husband and two teenage daughters.

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Sam Starkins
Board Member

Sam is the Business Operations Manager for Krash Industries, a graduate of Melbourne University Business School, and certainly no stranger to the Mustard community. As both an inspiring Lunchtime Group leader and Mustard Schools’ Program volunteer over the years, Sam is still highly sought after as an engaging speaker for students at his old school.

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Tim Clare

Tim is the Head of Media for Disruptions at the Victorian Department of Transport (so spare a thought for him the next time your train is late!) and was a previous director of Mustard, holding that title for almost a decade. Tim’s work as both a director and board member has played a huge role in shaping the ministry of Mustard as it is today. 


John Arbuckle
Board Member

John has been a school teacher for 28 years and is currently teaching part time at two schools. While John has taught a number of school subjects, he says his enduring passion is teaching Religious Education and inspiring youth to follow Jesus in their own lives. For John, Mustard’s ministry is consistent with that passion. 

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Elida Brereton
Board Member

Elida is a long serving board member of Mustard. She has had an impressive career as a teacher and principal, as well as a famed acting cameo role as the fictional principal of Summer Heights High (it’s true!). Elida continues to serve in school leadership on the board of Methodist Ladies’ College and numerous other organisations.