AM for Stephen Judd, builder of HammondCare

PLUS: Other Christians on the 2021 Australia Day Honours List

If you were a bright spark in one of the campus Christian groups around Sydney in the last while, especially Sydney Uni, you may well have been tapped on the shoulder by Stephen Judd, who was building up HammondCare into a powerful welfare presence.

“They are the gold standard in dementia care” the CEO of another large welfare organisation once told me.

In fact, HammondCare is recognised as an international frontrunner, attracting the support of experts such as Professor John Swinton of the University of Aberdeen, Scotland.

Stephen Judd has been awarded a Member of the Order of Australia in the 2021 Australia Day Honours List, “for significant service to older persons living with dementia”. See below for fellow Christians who also are among the 845 Australians honoured today.

After Judd completed his history doctorate, which became the essential reference book Sydney Anglicans, he morphed into a welfare entrepreneur.

His father Bernard Judd had been second-in-charge to Robert Hammond, a hero of the Great Depression whose championing of the unemployed and destitute had been to clothe and house thousands of them, eventually developing a whole suburb (today’s Hammondville).

Eternity needs to note that Arthur Stace, who chalked “eternity” more that 5000,000 in the Sydney streets, was converted as a drunkard at Hammond’s St Barnabas church and was later a manger in a Hammond hotel – a hostel for destitute men.

Stephen set out to build the charity anew, having noticed that Anglicare had allowed the tradename Hammond Social Services to lapse.

From his appointment as CEO in 1995, historians Robert Linder and Stuart Piggin note Judd built HammondCare into “one of the top Christian charities in Australia.”

“The most striking feature of Judd’s leadership of HammondCare was the clarity of purpose and strategic intentionality he bought to the role. One had to learn to work with one’s environment which was shaped by commercial realities and governmental regulations as well as the Gospel imperatives which came with being a Christian organisation. Government policy had long supported a ‘mixed economy of welfare’, the partnership of governments and charities in welfare service delivery.”

“Some charities accepted all government regulations and in that process lost their Christian identity. Others insisted in maintaining their foundation practices, thus becoming indifferent to developments in their industry and vulnerable to collapse. HammondCare sought a third way and flourished. It was determined to remain true to its foundation principles, but to be flexible about practices and programs, depending on changes to human needs and government policies.”

In awarding Judd an AM, the exceptional work of Hammondacre – which has shown that Christians can be caring, innovative ad entrepreneurial all at once – has been recognised.

Other Christians on the Honours List

Other well-known Christians are among the 845 Australians honoured today on the Australia Day 2021 Honours List.

Eternity covered the recognition of tennis great and pastor Margaret Court. who was promoted to Companion of the Order (AC) – the highest level in General Division of the Order of Australia – for “eminent service to tennis as an internationally acclaimed player and record-holding grand slam champion, and as a mentor of young sportspersons.”

Charles Clark has been appointed Officer in the Order of Australia (AO) – the second highest level – for “distinguished service to the wine industry through leadership roles, to finance and business, to the arts, and to charitable initiatives.” His Christian work centres on the Brotherhood of St Laurence, a significant Victorian charity where he was lay chairman, and occupied many other roles.

Reverend Norah Norris from South Australia has been awarded a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) – the third highest level – for “significant service to the Uniting Church in Australia, to religious education and as a role model”.

Reverend Dr Colleen O’Reilly from Victoria also received an AM for significant service to the Anglican Church of Australia and to religious education. A campaigner for the ordination of women in the Anglican Church from the 1970s on, O’Reilly was co-author (with Suzanne Parks) of “Women and Ordination in the Anglican Church of Australia: A Discussion Paper”, published by the Movement for the Ordination of Women. With fellow members of the movement, she envisioned Christianity and feminism as compatible, and so campaigned to have ministerial offices open to women.

O’Reilly also played a key role in the campaign to have women Anglican bishops in Australia. The campaign, she explained, (according to her entry in the Encyclopaedia Of Women and Leadership In Twentieth Century Australia) was “about women, not about me … I want to see women become bishops and I want to experience women bishops myself. I want to see that happening in my church” [Sydney Morning Herald, 29 September, 2007]. “Priests like me need women bishops, and the whole church needs women at the highest level” [The Age, 5 July, 2003].

Principal chaplain for the Royal Australian Navy Collin Greg Acton was honoured with a Medal of the Order (OAM) – the fourth highest level – for his service.

His mention in the Honours List states: “Principal Chaplain Acton led the reinvigoration and contemporising of the Navy Chaplaincy Branch and established a modern capability that will benefit Navy well into the future. Throughout his career, he has provided expert pastoral care and spiritual support to Navy people in extraordinary circumstances, enabling Navy’s preparedness.”

In the Military Division, Police Chaplain Keith Carmody was awarded a Public Service Medal (PSM) for “outstanding public service to the Western Australia Police Forces through chaplaincy roles”. Carmody was praised for providing “pastoral care for families in need”, in addition to his roles as pastor at Calvary Chapel church in Secret Harbour, and as chaplain for the Fremantle Dockers Football Club.

Singing the unsung heroes

In addition to these public figures, the Honours List is also studded with other Christians whose work is an expression of their faith. Some of them include:

Member of the Order of Australia (AM)

Those appointed as AMs include William Reginald D’Apice from NSW for “significant service to the law, to the legal profession, and to the Catholic Church of Australia.”

Dr Denise Chasmar Fleming, also from NSW, was honoured for significant service to women in business through a range of roles, including as a board member of Sydney Church of England Girls Grammar School Darlinghurst, 1976-1985.

Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM)

Many Christians received OAMs for their service to the community and in the church.

They include Ross Warwick Alexander from Northbridge, NSW, awarded for community fundraising while director and board member of Shore Foundation, the charitable arm of Sydney Church of England Grammar School.

Robert William Bagnall from Mosman, NSW, was honoured for community service through the Salvation Army Red Shield Appeal.

The late Denise Merle Bannon, formerly minister’s warden at St Marks Anglican Church, Revesby, was also commended for community service, particularly to youth and Indigenous people.

Keith Hamilton Barber, an elder at St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church Corowa, NSW, was awarded for service to his local community.

Leader in the Serbian Orthodox Church in Sydney, Dragoljub Brkljac, was recognised for service to youth and to the community.

Norman Samuel Burton from East Maitland, NSW, was recognised for service to the community through a range of charitable organisations, including as a philanthropic supporter of St Peter’s Anglican Christmas carols.

Bairnsdale Uniting Church (Victoria) council member and former chairperson Andrew John Butler, and elder in the House of Praise Christian Church, West Gosford (NSW) Stephen John Clarke, both received OAMs for service to their local communities.

Pastor Robert John Cotton, senior minister of Maitland Christian Church, NSW, was recognised for service to the community as an advocate for child protection legislation.

Also recognised for community service are Norma Catherine Cowper, former member of ‘Angels Group’ at Port Macquarie Uniting Church, and Graeme Phillip Crofts, who has volunteered at the Coffs Harbour Uniting Church soup kitchen since 2006.

The late Gordon Carlyle Dendle of Leopold, Victoria, was awarded an OAM for service to the community through his roles in the Anglican church in Melbourne.

Volunteer at Griffith Uniting Church, Gordon Raymond Druitt has been honoured for service to the rice-growing sector and to the community.

Member and elder of Stansbury Uniting Church, South Australia, for the past 30 years, Ronald Peter Duncan has been recognised for service to the local community.

Uniting Church member Eric Easterbrook from Emu Plains in NSW received an OAM for “service to the community, particularly to war widows and their families.”

Christine Susan Fairbrother in Yungaburra, Queensland, has been honoured for service to children and to the community through her roles as a chaplain with Prison Fellowship Australia and coordinator of Angel Tree Program in far north Queensland – which provides Christmas gifts to children of prisoners.

Conductor and musical director at Killara Uniting Church (NSW), Aldo Fedel has been honoured for his service to choral music.

Reverend Bryan Leslie Gilmour has been honoured for his service to the Uniting Church in Australia, as a police chaplain and a Moderator of the Uniting Church of Queensland, among other roles.

Member of Adamstown Uniting Church (NSW) Laurence Geoffrey Graham received an OAM for “service to surf lifesaving and to the community”, particularly as a volunteer for Meals on Wheels.

Christine Joan Halbert from Rose Park in SA received an unusual mix of honours for her “service to the history of Australian rules football, and to music”. Halbert is currently the choir librarian and chorister at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Adelaide, and was coordinator of music for the Lutheran 150th anniversary performance at Adelaide Entertainment Centre in 2015.

Robert John Hale from Gray in the Northern Territory was commended for service to education and to the community. Hale served as a volunteer at St Martin de Porres Catholic Aboriginal Community for over 25 years.

Awarded for “service to people with a disability and to the community” is board member of C3 Church Ballina (NSW) Anders Sydney Halvorsen.

Janet Dorothy Kneeshaw, from Pymble NSW, was honoured for service to the performing arts and to the community, as a member of “The Cathedral Singers”, and a volunteer for fundraising events for St John’s Anglican Church, Gordon.

Lynn McCrindle from Pennant Hills, NSW, received an OAM for service to children and to education, through teaching and tutoring at Pacific Hills Christian School. McCrindle was also a volunteer with Christian Mission International Aid and taught English for more than 50 years at West Pennant Hills Community Church.

Honoured for service to the Uniting Church in Australia and to the trade union movement, is Catherine McKechnie, from Greenwith, SA. She served as convenor for the church’s Women’s Fellowship, and former chairperson and current secretary/treasurer of Golden Grove Uniting Church.

Also honoured for his service to the Uniting Church in Australia and to education is Reverend Dr John Alexander Pender, Berry, NSW. Pender was formerly minister at Pymble, as well as Dean of Students at Sydney’s United Theological College and Deputy Chair at Newington College, Sydney.

Described as a “humble intellectual” by the Catholic Weekly, the late Reverend Father Paul Francis Stenhouse edited Annals – a significant Catholic magazine from 1966 – until his death last year. At its height, Annals’ outsold The Bulletin which was Australia’s leading news weekly at the time.

Other honours in the Military Division

The Conspicuous Service Medal (CSM) of the Australian Army has been awarded to chaplain Jui-Hsiang Su, “for meritorious achievement in leadership, pastoral support and welfare management within the Australian Army”.

The citation reads: “Chaplain Su is an exceptional officer who made a conspicuous contribution to the welfare of members of the Australian Army. He has a work ethic beyond reproach, consistently making self-sacrifices to ensure the wellbeing of others, leading to substantial increases in individual and collective resilience within the 5th Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment. His support to the families of deployed soldiers was extraordinary, providing care and support to the broader 5th Battalion family and directly enhancing the reputation of the Australian Army within the community.”