Faith in Public Office

Conference — Thursday 3 September 2015

Faith in Public Office guest speakers

(back row, l-r) Stewart Gill (Emmanuel College Principal), John Anderson AO, Michael Cooney, Mark Sneddon, Nicholas Aroney, Leigh Trevaskis (CSSRS Director) (front row, l-r) Fiona Simpson, Joel Harrison, John Sanderson AC, Scott Stephens

To what extent should the duties expected of people who hold high public office constrain the expression of their personal faith? To what extent should their personal faith influence the performance of their public duties?

While there has been much discussion of the relationship between faith and politics, less consideration has been given to the issues that arise when a person holds an official position that imposes special public duties that constrain the operation of his or her private convictions.

The Faith in Public Office conference addressed these questions from the perspectives of individuals who have held high public office and of prominent academic specialists in political philosophy, law and theology.

By bringing together practitioners and academics, the conference investigated, in a fresh way, the unique and important questions that arise when people of faith hold positions of high public office. #F_PO
Speakers included:

    • The Hon John Anderson AO, former Deputy Prime Minister of Australia and Chair of Overseas Council Australia
    • Dr Scott Stephens, specialist commentator on religion and ethics for ABC radio and television and co-presenter of RN’s The Minefield
    • Lieutenant General, The Hon, John Murray Sanderson AC, former Governor of WA and Chief of the Australian Army
    • Fiona Simpson MP, LNP Member for Maroochydore, former Parliamentary Speaker
    • Michael Cooney, Executive Director of the Chifley Research Centre and former speechwriter for Prime Minister The Hon Julia Gillard MP
    • Professor Nicholas Aroney (Ph.D), Professor of Constitutional Law, The University of Queensland
    • Joel Harrison (Ph.D), Lecturer in Law, Macquarie University.

Read the speakers bios.

Co-sponsored by Emmanuel College and the TC Beirne School of Law, The University of Queensland