James O’Callaghan meets one of the 2021 Moderator’s Medal recipients, Krishna Buhler.
For Krishna Buhler of Kuranda, near Cairns, volunteering is in her DNA.
The Uniting Church has been the beneficiary of Krishna’s years of service, for which she was recognised last month with a Moderator’s Medal.
Krishna has provided the local Lifeline with 22 years of service, but she has also done a number of other things for the church.
Before she started volunteering at Lifeline, Krishna used her diploma of theology to support and train local hospital chaplains. During those years she also volunteered as a Religious Instruction teacher, visited residents of the local Blue Care respite centre and more recently led a faith community for around five years when the local church congregation closed.
When asked where her passion for volunteering has stemmed from, Krishna cites her Catholic aunts and mother who were actively involved in a local neighbourhood centre.
“I’ve always had a love of music, capable of public speaking and leading, so when I joined the church and studied theology in my late twenties, some of my talents and abilities were recognised,” says Krishna. “I’ve also had the benefit of running a business with my husband which has enabled me to volunteer when time permitted.”
Krishna’s volunteering has extended beyond the Uniting Church, having been instrumental in the establishment of The Kuranda Paper in 1991, which is still published some 30 years later.
Looking after oneself is something that Krishna advocates strongly, which has enabled her to be actively compassionate.
“When I was training in pastoral care, which is what I specialised in, we would have to study self-care and attend TAFE courses,” says Krishna.
“It is incredibly important that those in church ministry are taught self-care, in order to follow Jesus’ words, know who Jesus’ father was and do as Jesus did. By seeking active compassion to myself in turn means I am more able to care for others.”