Is Australia A Good Neighbour?
In a time of global suffering and political unrest, how can Australia best serve its global neighbours? As the nation approaches a federal election, how can Christians think biblically about engagement in politics?
Micah Australia and Anglican Deaconess Ministries (ADM) will explore questions regarding Australia’s aid program in an evening of public discussion with Christian thought-leaders and elected representatives, including Dr John Dickson, Senator Jenny McAllister and Dr Kate Harrison Brennan.
Libby Sanders is ADM Program Manager of Mercy and Justice.
“We are blessed and privileged to live in Australia, but this comes with a responsibility to prayerfully consider, and actively engage, how we want to shape our nation’s future,” Ms Sanders said.
“We have an incredible opportunity to be a nation known for compassion and leadership as a good global neighbour.
“As Christians, this should excite and compel us to participate prayerfully in discussions such as this.”
Dr John Dickson is the founding director of the Centre for Public Christianity. He will kick off the event with reflections of a recent trip with Australian Aid supporting Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon.
Dr Kate Harrison Brennan is ADM’s CEO and a former advisor to Prime Minister Julia Gillard. Dr Harrison will moderate a discussion with Senator Jenny McAllister and a representative from the Liberal Party.
ADM and Micah Australia will announce shortly the Liberal representative shortly. Both will give brief presentations of their respective party’s foreign policy positions before discussing Australia’s role and position as a Global neighbour. Senator Jenny McAllister is an Australian Labor Party Senator for the state of New South Wales, and the Shadow Assistant Minister for Families and Communities.
“This is an important moment for Christians to consider our responsibilities to the poor and the vulnerable who are on our doorstep as a nation,” said Matt Darvas, Micah’s Campaign Director.
“Even as we near an election that will be focused on domestic issues, this will be a night to talk about those who don’t have a vote in this election and what our responsibility is to them.”
Australia’s aid budget is currently at its lowest level as a portion of overall spending. The government has previously said that it would increase once the budget returns to surplus.
Tickets and more information are available here.
Australia: The Good Neighbour, A Conversation on Our Foreign Policy Trajectory will take place Wednesday, 27th March 2019, at ADM’s office, Level 1, St Andrew’s House, 464-480 Kent Street, Sydney. Refreshments begin at 5.30pm, with a 6.00pm panel start.
Jonathan Foye is Insights’ Editor