Aussie Christians worth reading about – part two

Eternity has reported on countless Christian leaders over the past 14 years. Here are just a handful of some of the faith-filled people who have shared their stories with you through Eternity.

Tim Costello

One of Australia’s most admired “public Christians”, Tim Costello, joined the Centre for Public Christianity (CPX) as a Senior Fellow in July 2019. The new role, coming on the heels of his position as Chief Advocate at World Vision Australia, served to cement his influence as an advocate and activist by engaging in productive conversations about the core of the Christian faith. Tim’s memoir A Little With a Lot, released soon after his appointment at CPX, gives insight into his spiritual formation.

Read the story: Is Tim Costello Australia’s most misunderstood Christian?

Andrew Scipione AO APM

As Police Commissioner for New South Wales from 2007 to his retirement in 2017, Andrew Scipione modelled his leadership style on that of  Jesus Christ. In a wide-ranging interview with Eternity on the eve of his retirement, Scipione said he had “a million” leadership books in his library at home, “but the one that’s most important is the one that sits next to my bed every day and it’s my Bible.”

Read the story: NSW Police Commissioner Scipione: family and Jesus ‘matter most’

Ken Duncan

Ken Duncan, OAM (born 20 December 1954) is one of Australia’s most acclaimed landscape photographers, gaining prominence for his pioneering panoramic landscapes of God’s creation.  These days, Duncan is almost as well known for his Christian charity work among Indigenous people through his charity, Walk a While, and especially for his championing of the construction of a massive cross on top of Memory Mountain near Alice Springs, at the prompting of the local Aboriginal community. After years of grappling with council approvals and engineering logistics, the cross was officially launched amid great celebrations at Easter 2023.

Read the story: The cross at the heart of Australia needs you

Steve and Naomi Chong

Twenty years after founding the RICE movement to mobilise the next generation in evangelism and church building, Steve joined forces with his wife Naomi to recast a new direction to become more effective in kingdom-building in Australia and throughout Asia. Instead of focusing on big rallies to bring young people to Jesus, the emphasis moved to finding and empowering young people for evangelism and kingdom mission. And while Steve powered the movement for its first 20 years, his wife Naomi came on board as Global Director, steering the strategy into the long term.

Read the story: RICE movement ready to grow new harvest in Asia

Tom Little

Tom Little Nyoongar

Musician and Bible translator Tom Little remembers as a child being caned at school for trying to speak his traditional language, Noongar. “You’ve got to remember that’s within one lifetime, that’s only 50 years ago,” he says. He believes Aboriginal languages were suppressed back then as a way of suppressing Indigenous culture and to “demonise us as human beings”. Since then, attitudes have changed and Little became a key driver in Bible translation in his Noongar language. The Noongar translation of the Gospel of Luke was the single longest translation of any literature to the language.

Read the story: From the cane to acclaim: Tom Little’s journey of redemption

Wayne Alcorn

Wayne Alcorn

After decades of ministering to youth and men, here is pastor Wayne Alcorn’s sad conclusion: many men in churches can’t relate to God as Father or embrace his love because of troubles with their earthly fathers. What would it look like for these emotionally damaged men to heal and flourish?’

Read the story: Healing the scars of a fatherless life

Naomi Reed

Naomi Reed

Naomi Reed began her writing career with an award-winning autobiographical series about her 13 years as a missionary physiotherapist in Nepal – My Seventh Monsoon and No Ordinary View. After returning home to Australia from Nepal, she kept writing books and speaking at women’s groups and conferences until she had no time to be a physio anymore. In more recent years, she tells Eternity podcast Run Like a Woman, her focus has been on telling other people’s stories. Many have been women. And the type of stories she is most interested in are like her own – stories that wrestle with faith in the face of hardship.

Read the stories: Naomi Reed on the privilege of telling hard stories
‘God is at work, and our stories are not over yet’

Jenny Morrison

Jenny Morrison – wife of our former Prime Minister, Scott Morrison – has a warmth and ease with people that make it obvious why she was well-known in her local community long before her husband stepped into local or national politics. Her family and friends marvel at how many people in their local community know her not only as “Scott’s wife” but just as Jenny.

Read the story: ‘I might be the wife of a former Prime Minister, but I am my own person.’

John Dickson

Historian, author and podcaster John Dickson tells Anne Lim how he came to Christ as a 16-year-old smart alec. With his band In the Silence, he performed at churches, schools, jails and communities across Australia in the 1980s. “I came to Christ through a personally compelling, but not at all pushy, volunteer Scripture teacher at Mosman High School. Glenda Wheldon was just utterly compelling and funny and had answers to all my smart-alec questions. And I’d never met a Christian like that.” Long after he became a Christian, he met an elderly woman, Elsie Faithhorn, who had been his babysitter after his dad died and taught him the Lord’s Prayer. “So, I owe my faith to two unreal women,” said John.

Read the story: Musician turned historian owes his faith to two women

Kanishka Raffel

The Anglican Archbishop of Sydney, Kanishka Raffel, describes how he abandoned Buddhism to follow Jesus Christ. He was shocked when a friend told him being a Christian meant he’d “lost control of his life to Jesus Christ”. “Remember, I had devoted the year to serious study of Buddhism and was trying to develop, especially through meditation, control of my emotions and my ambitions and my desires, in order to be released from them. And here was my friend, who I respected, who said he’d lost control of his life to somebody who lived 2000 years ago!” When as he read through John’s Gospel, “God, in his kindness, convicted me, first of all, that I wasn’t reading a fairytale but that I was reading history. And he allowed me to see the vitality, the beauty, the majesty of Jesus Christ.”

Read the story: Why Kanishka Raffel abandoned Buddhism to follow Jesus Christ