Dr John Maxwell said, “Everything rises or falls on leadership”. To a great extent, what he says is true of the success of the nation of Australia, one of the most stable and successful democracies in the world. Australia is number two to Switzerland as longstanding democracy free from invasion. It is also in the top ten for the World Democratic Index.
Not only that, but Australia is the #1 country in the world for having the highest median wealth per adult. According to the Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report, the typical Australian is richer than the typical person in other countries of the world.
Why has Australia been so successful as a nation? The answer can be found in the simple fact that Australia has strong Judeo-Christian Christian foundations as exemplified in the Canberra Declaration. Where did these foundations come from? They came from Christian men and women of faith who led our nation as true servant leaders.
Governor Arthur Phillip declared Australia to be a slave free zone when he arrived in Sydney cove. Slavery was only abolished in the British Empire in 1833, but Captain Arthur Phillip, in 1788, was 50 years ahead of his time. When he was speared in the shoulder by Aboriginal warriors, he gave orders for no retaliation.
Such an order in his day would have been seen as a weakness, but according to the book that Capt Arthur Phillip lived by it was, “the strength of forgiveness as found in James 2:13, “mercy triumphs over judgement”.
Caroline Chisholm was another example of a great servant leader who changed history because of her faith in God. She was brought up in an evangelical Methodist home and was heavily influenced by William Wilberforce ground-breaking work against slavery. In later years she converted to become a Catholic because of her marriage to her Catholic husband, an officer in the army.
She fought for the rights of women, long before it was fashionable, helped untold thousands of women in NSW and was known as ‘the immigrants’ friend’. Of course, we all see her everyday on the back of the AUD $5 note.
The strong Christian ethos of self-sacrificial servant leadership by hundreds of Australia’s early pioneers and leaders is summed up in the words of our constitution, written in 1901. Australia “humbly relies on the blessings of Almighty God”.
This Christian ethos is under attack like never before in our history. That is why the Canberra Declaration exists. We are losing our Christian foundations due to the march of aggressive political correctness and totalitarian identity politics.
What is the answer?
We have to go back to Dr John Maxwell’s words, “Everything rises or falls on leadership”.
For this reason, the Canberra Declaration is committed to raising up Christlike servant leaders who can make a difference in our nation.
Whilst democracy was invented by the Greeks, it failed because of self-interest and greed. Democracy has only functioned properly, for long periods of time, in countries that possess strong Judeo-Christian foundations. It is imperative for the Canberra Declaration to make a stand for Aussie values.