Dr Prasantha Jayawardhana (PJ) – Chairman of the Board
Dr. Prasantha Jayawardhana, also known as PJ, has a real desire to help people grow and develop their knowledge, understanding, and application of the Biblical perspective on managing money and finance. His ongoing goal is to build an inter-generational board that will guide Compass into the future.
PJ was born in Colombo, Sri Lanka, but has lived in Australia since 1972. He graduated from The University of Queensland with a Bachelor of Agricultural Science (First Class Honours) in 1988. Five years later, he went on to complete a PhD in Spatial Modelling, a discipline that he applied over the next 10 years working in the mining industry, and setting up geographical information systems (GIS) for mineral exploration and environmental management. From 2003, he worked as a consultant to the mining industry, both in Australia and overseas, to help train mine staff on the implementation and use of GIS. In 2013, he returned home to run the family business.
In 2008, PJ had a born-again experience of Christ, which changed the direction of his life. He became the chair of the Aspley East State School Chaplaincy Committee, and began teaching Religious Instruction. He also served as chair of Grace Lutheran College Parents & Friends Association, Rothwell. He was on the board of Crown Financial Ministries before transitioning to Compass in 2015.
PJ is happily married to Gwenda and they have three young adult children.
Mr Ian Charlesworth – Company Secretary and Board Member
Our company secretary, Mr. Ian Charlesworth, comes to Compass with a long involvement in youth ministry. Originally from Melbourne, he became a Christian in 1987 at the National Christian Youth Convention, run by the Uniting Church. He gained youth work experience in the Uniting Church and with the Anglicans, and studied at Ridley College, before taking a staff position at St. Hilary’s Anglican Church in Kew as a Schools Worker.
Ian moved to Brisbane in 1994, where he undertook further theological studies at the Bible College of Queensland, studied Business Management at TAFE, and completed a Diploma of Youth Work through SU QLD. In 1998, Ian successfully applied to be the inaugural chaplain at Kedron State High School. He held this position for fifteen years, providing pastoral care, teaching religious education, directing 20 SU QLD camps, and establishing a Friday-night youth group within the school that operated for ten years.
Since 2014, Ian has continued to engage with the local community. For four years, he was a director of Cup From Above, a community café in Aspley. For three years, he was on the Executive of the Aspley Scout Group Committee. Currently, at Aspley State High School, he is on School Council and secretary of the Chaplaincy Committee.
Ian was a long-term member at Albion Baptist Church, where he met his wife, Deanne. They now live in Aspley,have three children, and attend Bridgeman Baptist Community Church.
Pastor Gwenda Jayawardhana – Board Member
Gwenda Jayawardhana has a background in accountancy and theological studies. She is happily married to Prasantha Jayawardhana (PJ) and together they have three young adult children. Gwenda completed a CPA qualification and worked as a Management Accounting for an engineering company during her early years of married life prior to completing a Master of Divinity (MDiv) and taking up the call to vocational ministry in early 2020. Gwenda is the Associate Pastor for Connect Groups and Teaching at North-East Baptist Church in Nundah. She is passionate about encouraging people to grow deeper in their faith and their relationship with God and others through offering solid biblical teaching and encouraging relational community. She has participated in and facilitated a number of Compass courses and has witnessed firsthand the positive difference they can make to a person’s life as they learn how to steward God’s resources faithfully.