MEETING THE PRIME MINISTER AT REGENTS PARK CHRISTIAN SCHOOL (COMMUNITY CABINET IN BLAXLAND)
PRIME MINISTER’S COMMUNITY CABINET MEETING
Here is the official transcript of the question that I asked and her response:
QUESTION 11: Hi, my name is Roydon Ng. I’m an ex-student of this school.
PRIME MINISTER: Good.
QUESTION: In fact, my picture is right behind you. It’s the one near – yes.
PRIME MINISTER: You haven’t aged at all.
QUESTION: I’m from last year’s class.
PRIME MINISTER: You know, one day you’re going come back to this school and you will have aged from that photo. I can tell you that for sure, because I get to go back to my high school a bit.
QUESTION: Yes. I’m a Christian, and I highly value the Christian community that this school and the Christian faith has provided me. Prime Minister, you profess no religious affiliation, so I would like to ask you what do you base your decisions on and what’s the ethical basis in the way you make such decisions?
PRIME MINISTER: Okay. That’s a really good question, and I think you and I could have a profound and deep discussion about that. Unfortunately, the format of Community Cabinet isn’t going to enable us to spend the many hours these questions deserve.
But just a snapshot about me. I mean, we’re a migrant family, we’re Welsh migrants. We’re Baptist. I grew up in the Baptist religion, and we were regular churchgoers. I was a regular youth group attender, and all the rest of it. I used to very much enjoy my Bible studies, and I used to win prizes for catechism and things like that.
When I look back on it now, I think it was particularly important for my family and my mother because when you migrate, I think, through the church, whatever religion you are, that’s one of the ways that people find connections and a sense of belonging and new friends when you’ve moved country, and I think that was true for us all those years ago, and I am sure it’s true for people migrating today. We’ve actually had some of those conversations in the lead-up to Community Cabinet.
So I think, having spent all of that time in, Christian teaching, I do take those values with me. I think that there are Christian values which are really universal values about how you treat people. They’re the values that are replicated across the great religions of our world, about how you treat people and how you aspire to be treated yourself.
So I take those values with me, and they still informed my decision making, even though I’m not an active person of faith. But thank you for your question.
NB: I asked this question in light of Australia’s traditional Christian historical developments. I was not in any way instructed to ask such question by any party. Any suggestion that alleges that Regents Park Christian School was involved with the asking of this question is untrue.)
Roydon Ng is a freelance journalist, blogger and web designer based from Sydney, Australia.