Ian Randall is an educator, artist and author at Cambridge University Press.
You can view examples of artworks or obtain further information here.


Saturday, May 31, 2014

Teaching Christianly ?

A response to ~ New Perspectives on Anglican Education
Ian Randall  (BArtEd, MVA) 

A teacher’s response on two publications by the Anglican Education Commission.
  • A Vision of Wholeness: Contextualising the Gospel in a Contemporary Anglican School - Cowling, 2012
  • New Perspectives on Anglican Education: Reconsidering Purpose and Plotting a Future Direction – Cainey, Cowling and Jensen, 2011
I am a teacher with 19 years’ experience working within Sydney Anglican schools and Parent Controlled Christian schools, Christian Education National (CEN), I have held leadership positions in both Anglican and CEN schools and have straddled a wide and perilous pedagogical divide between these two “Christian” educational models. I have seen how the different models influence school vision, strategic planning through to the minutia of day to day classroom organisation, extending to budget rationalisation, employment conditions and even student welfare. In recent years it would appear that the Anglican Education Commission (AEC) is moving closer to the approach of CEN. The AEC publications (cited) propose a theoretical move, perhaps unintentionally, towards a CEN model of education putting at risk the very strengths and distinctive qualities of Anglican Schooling. My experience of teaching within a CEN educational framework may provide insight into the theoretical implications and practical ramifications of the AEC doing this. 

The difficulties of defining Anglican Education.
In his Isaac Armitage Lecture at the Shore School in September 2009, Archbishop
Peter Jensen asked whether there was such a thing as Anglican education. (Cowling, 2012)

Archbishop Jensen and the AEC have acknowledged difficulties of defining Anglican Education. It is like a fish attempting to describe what it is to be wet. Working outside of Anglican schools allows for some degree of critical distance so as to see what differentiates and defines Anglican Education. Allow me to offer this description of some key defining characteristics of Anglican Education. 
Anglican Education allows students to engage rigorously and thoroughly in all aspects of school life; including Christian faith, social service, academic subjects, the arts and sports. Anglican schools endeavour to offer students every opportunity to engage in the world to the level that their God given gifts, skills and personal ambitions allow. It is possible for any student to be equipped with the skills, knowledge and support to engage in any school-based discipline and to pursue excellence. Staff are expected to teach to a high standard, share their faith with fellow staff and students, display high levels of personal integrity, develop their own professional skills and to use their own gifts, skills and knowledge in the service of the school. Funding is directed towards creating schools that are well resourced and equipped to deliver a rigorous education.

Sing joyfully to the Lord, you righteous; it is fitting for the upright to praise him.
Praise the Lord with the harp; make music to him on the ten-stringed lyre.
Sing to him a new song; play skilfully, and shout for joy. (Psalm 33:1-3)

Anglican schools seek to do everything with skill and excellence – as to the Lord.  This is a current reality and historical characteristic of Anglican Education and is in line with The Diocesan Policy Statement on Education, which states;

The Diocese of Sydney-
1.1 Supports the provision of quality education. Christians are exhorted to strive for excellence. Since the goal of Christian education is maturity in Christ, the provision of quality education to assist people to reach their full God-given potential is fundamental. 

CEN and AEC: Understanding the distinctions
The question of what is an authentic Christian education dominates the writing of many contemporary Christian educational leaders. Educationalists within both CEN and AEC passionately seek to serve the Lord faithfully in the education of students. Yet these defining characteristics of an Anglican education is not the focus of CEN schools, as the structural and pedagogical focus is not to do education with excellence but ‘Christianly.’ I remember as a young teacher at a CEN school being rather amazed by the hostility towards the pedagogy of the ‘Church’ school ~ read here ‘Anglican’.  CEN schools deliberately and consciously reject the ‘Church’ school model and champion a ‘teaching Christianly’ approach. 

At the heart of CEN educational theory is the term teaching ‘Christianly.’ To teach “Christianly” is to adopt the biblical perspectives of an evangelical mainstream and to apply them to all knowledge, wisdom and truth taught within the classroom. Subjects are to be taught from and through sanctioned bible based Christian worldviews and critical Christian perspectives. CEN schools strive to have Christian teachers teach Christ through their subjects and to teach their subjects through Christ. Teaching ‘Christianly’ is the ‘new perspective’ on Anglican education presented by the AEC and is even used as the motto on their own website, which reads, “doing education Christianly.” 
The study of the Bible as the written word of God, authoritative for all human endeavour, thought and practices; applies biblical teaching to contemporary issues; develops and equips people to live by faith in Jesus Christ. (Cainey, Cowling and Jensen, 2011,  p.40)

The ‘straw man’ in this debate is what is understood as the traditional ‘Church’ school model, criticised by both CEN and the AEC. The fundamental point of concern is the perceived inherent dualism within the ‘Church’ school. Church schools create the hypocrisy and heresy of a secular/sacred divide, since the loving, redemptive, creator God is placed to one side when the secular ‘real’ world is studied. To teach ‘Christianly’ is to not keep God in a box until it’s time for Chapel but to consider Christ’s perspective in all things. A CEN School sees the ‘Church’ school with its divisions of timetabled lessons, divinity lessons, weekly chapels, student individual and academic achievement, teaching and chaplaincy staff as reflecting this dualistic hypocrisy. There is no place for dualism in an authentic Christian education. Thus, the dominant concern of the Anglican Education Commission is to combat Dualism within Anglican Schools. 

Schools should seek to minimise (and over time to eliminate) the false and unhelpful dichotomy between the secular and the sacred domains of school life and create in their place a genuine, coherent and integrated whole. This is to bring about and nurture a culture in which a biblical theology and worldview underpins the purpose and practice of all teaching and learning, pastoral care, leadership and life within the school. (Cowling, 2012, p.15)

Teaching ‘Christianly’
The term ‘Christianly’ is a noun that has been made into an adverb, it is clumsy to say and uncommonly used (just try to type on your keyboard or even comb your hair ‘Christianly’). Perhaps an equivalent is to ‘Christianise’ teaching. However, it is not just the practice of teaching that is being Christianised, but all information, knowledge, wisdom and practices. However, to ‘Christianise’ knowledge is to fall into the very sin of dualism which CEN and AEC are most desperately fleeing. The world is the Lord’s and does not need to be Christianised. A Christianised study of bees implies that the study of bees needs a ‘Christian’ perspective to sanctify it and appropriately repackaging it for a Christian education.  Thus un-Christianised subjects like economics or science is overloaded with fear and potential threats to faith and belief. 

The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it. Psalm 24:1

Psalm 24:1 is quoted by the Apostle Paul in his letter to the Corinthians. In the context of eating meat sacrificed on the fires of pagan barbecues, Paul explains that there is nothing to fear in eating ‘paganised’ meat. Paul does not even recommend the ‘Christianisation’ of the meat or even to eat it ‘Christianly.’ To extrapolate, there is then nothing to fear in the knowledge, wisdom and truth written by the hand of an atheist. So there is no need for God’s world to be Christianised by the Christian teacher to be made suitable for Christian children of Christian families attending a Christian school. Such knowledge, wisdom and truth does not need to be Christianised as all truth is God’s truth, all wisdom is God’s wisdom, and all knowledge is God’s knowledge. 

Implications of teaching ‘Christianly’
During my time at CEN schools I have witnessed wonderful examples of how Christ can be presented through the subjects taught at school. Faithful teachers explained the wonders of polynomials, light spectrums or cultural studies and brought to light the creator God and his plan of salvation through Christ.  Yet, are Christian children and teenagers who are not educated under a teaching ‘Chrisitainly’ model deficient in critical and biblical knowledge? Does Christianising knowledge create stronger minded, critically thoughtful and biblical based students? I suggest not. Furthermore, are Christian children and teenagers in CEN schools achieving the equal or better educational outcomes and results of other models? I suggest not. Teaching Christianly results in the limiting of educational outcomes for students as it compromises the need to educate in line with best practice, excellence and skill. The focus is taken from teaching informed by current research, recent discoveries, leading minds or practitioners and transferred to teaching filtered through prejudices, misunderstandings and views of the evangelical populist mainstream. I would suggest that teaching ‘Christianly’ does not create better educated or biblically minded students, but limits student education outcomes and creates students who are closed-minded, fearful and prejudiced to non-Christianised perspectives. I have also seen teaching Christianly used as an excuse by Heads of School, educational leaders and Board representatives to explain why their ‘Christian’ school should not aim to meet particular ‘worldly’ standards; be they educational results, WH&S, equipping programs or resourcing adequately. At the level of leadership and governance I have seen a teaching Christianly model being used most harmfully. 

It is a commonly held belief within the CEN community that teaching ‘Christianly’ is the only biblically mandated educational model. It is expected that all Christian parents should send their children to CEN schools to be faithful and biblical. Parents must sign a document stating they agree to such a belief if they either wish to enrol their children, join parent associations or to sit on school boards. CEN schools claim to be open to non-Christian families however School boards carefully guard who is permitted into parent associations and board positions. Thus Christian educators and families remove themselves from a ‘non-Christianised’ world.  As butchers do not eat their own sausages (for they know what has been minced), many leading CEN educators home school their own children. 

The charges of the Anglican Educational Commission
The AEC publications present many charges against Anglican schools. It is important to state at the onset that these criticisms are not founded upon any current research but seem to be drawn from the teaching Christianly movements’ criticism of ‘Church’ schools. Many arguments are, unfounded and indefensible and should have no place in Anglican education discourse. 
  1. Christianity occurs at the Margins - It is difficult to defend against the charge of marginalising Christianity within an Anglican school. The methods used to determine the degrees of marginalisation have not been stated. It is perhaps not a measure that has been applied to other Christian organisations. Apart from Gospel ministry, it could be grossly and absurdly argued that all human occupations marginalise Christianity. 
  2. Teachers do not recognise the links between their subject areas and Christ. Also, faith in Christ does not affect teaching practices, theories and approaches - My fellow Christian teachers at Anglican schools are adults in their faith, scholars in their fields, masters of their disciplines and give of themselves to Christ - year in and year out. Such an accusation tells more of the distance the AEC is from the practice within Anglican Schools.
  3. Teachers adopted popular pedagogical whims and fads, not derived from Christian educational perspectives. - Teaching practices- and educational pedagogy changes with Government policy, technology, research, cultural and generational shifts. Change in education is deliberate, considered, expensive and is often slow to implement. Interestingly, the only fads which come to mind is from the Parent Controlled Christian schools in not allowing individual student achievement to be praised or recognised by the community as “the reward is in the task”. In recent years there has been some move away from not rewarding the individual student to an ‘everyone gets a prize’ position. 
  4. Child-centric education is not Christian – Criticising ‘child-centred education’ is like stating there is no place for ‘patient-centred medicine.’ The central purpose of education is the education of the child. In the Gospels we clearly see the way Jesus treated children. Jesus had a very child-centric view and thankfully, so does Anglican Education.
  5. Student academic success and individual achievement are at odds with biblical priorities - Such criticism is not applied to any other field of human endeavour. Has a farmer ever been told that seeking a successful harvest is at odds with biblical priorities? Or, a mechanic seeking to successfully repair a car, a cashier seeking a balanced till, a nurse seeking to successfully nurse his patients to health? Anglican schools seek the best outcomes for students and aim to give them every opportunity for them to succeed educationally. The success and achievements of our students should be the delight and celebration of all Anglican Schools. Thankfully, to this day they are.
  6. The fallen sinful student needs to be the starting point of Christian Pedagogy. Discipline, punishment and error correction needs to be seen as ‘good’. - When a parent sends their child to school the teacher assumes the role of ‘loco parentis’. The bible says much about parents and children and it does not start with sin within the child. Such a recommendation from the AEC is tantamount to exasperating and embittering students (see Ephesians 6:4, Colossians 3:21).  We must give our sons and daughters bread and not stones, fish and not snakes.  Best educational practice needs also to inform any pedagogy claiming to be ‘Christian’ The starting point is not the sin within the child but the child themselves. As Jesus welcomed the child, so must the teacher. There is much biblical truth and educational worth beginning with a child’s need for love, encouragement and praise. 

  1. The AEC discontinues any association with the teaching ‘Christianly’ movement and affirms the Diocesan Policy Statement on Education (2012). 
  2. Conduct research into the current Christian realities of Anglican Schools.
  3. Recognise, articulate and communicate the defining characteristics of Anglican Education.
  4. Create professional educational discourse and dialogue around best practice within Anglican Education. The historical success of Anglican Education places the AEC in a unique position to lead educational direction in Australia.
  5. Encourage Anglican schools to open their gates to welcome, influence and participate in such educational pedagogical research. 
  6. That the AEC becomes a support and advocate for faithful Christians working within Anglican Schools. 
  7. Develop a pedagogical model that is founded on sound educational principles and Christian love. The AEC will easily find wonderful examples of Christian teaching in Anglican Schools.

 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
1 Thessalonians 5:11

Ian Randall

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Creating a personal logo or emblem

Complete a few simple variations of your initials.
Over lapping

Positive and negative

Various directions

Adding flurrishes

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Monday, April 29, 2013

The Three Sisters on ceramic tiles - Year 3

My wonderful Year 3 students have each created a glazed ceramic tile to finish our unit on the Blue Mountains and the Three Sisters. I trust you will love seeing what they have created.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Year 3 'The old gum tree'

Here is a collection of delightful watercolour paintings of an old gum tree by my Year 3 students

Click Here

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

My latest painting, "Afternoon Light"

A painting of blazing afternoon light over the Blue Mountains, Katoomba, NSW, Australia. 

Oil on wooden board 
180 x 50 cm
Dated 2013 

Friday, January 4, 2013

Hot Cross Buns at Christmas ?

In Australia, we now celebrate Easter all year round?!

Christ has risen!
He has risen indeed!

Friday, December 14, 2012

A Christmas thought

I was greatly moved by the opening paragraph to an article in the Sydney Morning Herald about KFC's new celebrities who are (were?) vegetarian and animal rights activists.

"TRUST is terribly old-fashioned. The church is rotten, parliament is a
black farce, the media is choking, job security is an oxymoron, the
military is mired in scandal and marriage is unavailable to some who
want it and abused by most who have it. So we turn to sport for its
purity, and find idols dependent on drugs, a mutating gambling virus,
craven administrators and athletes swapping clubs - and even codes -
for coin. It's little wonder self-interest has flourished, given the
pillars of society are plainly made of salt." Link

Let us then put our trust in the Christ Child who gave up a life of self interest, popularity, luxuries, endorsements and political influence to live his life for others, even to death on a cross.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Washing Dishes

A humorous exploration of Mark 7:3-4

"The Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they give their hands a ceremonial washing, holding to the tradition of the elders.  When they come from the marketplace they do not eat unless they wash. And they observe many other traditions, such as the washing of cups, pitchers and kettles" NIV

The Armstrong Solution

We have all been deceived by this conspiracy.

We believed in their passion and heroism.

We believed in the colour of Yellow.
They believed in the colour of money.
Money corrupted everything.

We must impose new conditions on our sport.

1 - Reinstate compulsory amateur status at all levels.

2 - Remove all prize money.

3 - Remove direct monetary sponsorship of cyclists.

These conditions must be applied to all levels of the sport from Le Tour down to E-Grade club races.

We must end of artificial world of the professional cyclist.

Cyclists must be 'true' to life, living a real life and working a real job. Sure, give the athletes time to travel and to compete. Only, compensate the work places for their absent competing workers. Give the athletes a bike, basic cycling equipment and travel costs etc.
Let them submit time sheets, hotel receipts and income tax statements.

Give the winner a trophy and let them bask in the glory - guilt free.
What about all that lost revenue? It's all gone anyway! What company would want to be associated with professional Cycling?
Cycling must become a 'not for profit' sport. Any future revenue should be reinvested into sports development, facilities, education, health awareness and social initiatives.

So we can all believe again.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

My latest painting

Title: Sydney Cricket Ground
Size: 168x45cm
Materials: Oil Paint on marine grade wooden panel

This painting is to be submitted in the 2012 Sydney Cricket Ground Art Prize.

click to enlarge


This is a film showing my process.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Penrith Anglican College

Term 2 - Week 10

Year 8 - Abstract Art  Work Sheet

            - Abstract Artworks by the students

Students from Year 8 have created an amazing collection of abstract paintings and drawings - here is a sample.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Farewell !

Farewell Staff, Parents and Students of Mountains Christian College.

Thank you for making my time at your school so full of blessing.

Mr Randall

(Last day, June 7th)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Archibald Prize Paintings - 9/10 Visual Arts

This wonderful portrait is by Bonnie Trist (Yr.10) of her Youth Group Leader, Margery.
"Margery is very kind and loved by all. She is a great cook and she makes lovely food for our group. She picks me up and drops me home. She also invites me and my sister to her house. We love it when she takes us out on outings."

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Food Technology Term 2

We are having lots of fun preparing a three course meal for a special group of friends and family. Each student is designing their own invitations, theme and menu for the evening. click here to see our first menu item.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

PhotoComp 2012

Congratulations to students who entered this years PhotoComp.

This image was taken by Fiona O'Neill in Yr 8 - WINNER OF SECONDARY

Click here to view some more samples

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Year 9 Poetry

This term we have been reading, studying and writing poetry.

This is motley (and somewhat irreverent) collection of love poems written by the students after our study of The Highwayman, by Alfred Noyes (1880-1958).

Students were inspired by the depth of love between Bess and The Highwayman. One of the students began by describing their love with the words "if it were a love like that. . . " so became the opening lines of their poems.

Please enjoy - click here

Monday, February 20, 2012

Year 10 City Camp - Rough Edges

This year’s Year 10 camp is going to be an exciting challenge in the city. Students will venture into the city, learning to catch public transport, find their way around the city, discovering some interesting sites and learning to be a little more independent of the comforts of home. The students will be learning about the every present issue facing people within our society, homelessness. We will be visiting an important outreach to homeless people in the heart of the city at St John’s Anglican Church, Darlinghurst, called Rough Edges. Here's a little glimpse of what they do.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

What is Postmodernism?

I am frequently being asked to explain what is Postmodernism.

To a contemporary reader it is like explaining to a fish what it is like to be wet. If you have the breath of life in you then you have spent your entire life in a Postmodern age.

You are a Postmodernist - You are wet !

So fish - let me try to explain what it is like to be wet.

We are living in an age POST (or after) the 'Great' Modern Age. This was the historical period from the Renaissance until the 'Great' War, 1914. This period of around 500 years encompassed the Renaissance, Reformation, Enlightenment, Industrial Revolution, etc. It was an age of progress and conquest, mass migration and navigation, people were swept from every corner of the globe. Empirical knowledge, facts, truth was something to possess and to control. History was the history of Western civilisation. It was the age of scientific discovery, global economics, triumphalism, nationalism and rationalism and the white male 'genius'.

The Modern Age raced at full speed, head long, unchecked and unquestioningly into the Great War. Men were to become heroes, see the world and be home for Christmas. Instead they met the machine gun, military rationalism and a four year war of attrition. The Allies had 6 million soldiers, the Hun's had 4 million, if every one of ours kills one of them before he dies, we've won! - was the Allies strategy.

As you can imagine, nearly 60 million deaths of men, women and children caused something of a re-think about the 'Great' Modernist project. Numbers of intellectuals, poets, writers and artists started to question the assumptions of Modernism and to reject all that was seen to contribute to such destruction. So a new spirit of cynicism, skepticism and questioning spread and was to be recognised as a new historical era.  This new historical period proceeded Modernism and was at the same time irrevocably connected to it. Throughout the Twentieth Century modernism continued to flourish but was coupled with a new self-awareness, self-reflection and self-critical questioning. Postmodernism has many different manifestations in art, architecture, literature, science and in all branches of human endeavour.

Today, Modernism can be seen in areas of international politics, consumerism, globalisation and free market capitalism. Postmodern voices continue to call for a 're-think' of modernist values. Postmodern people are saying 'No' to environmental degradation, social injustice and racial genocide. The 're-thinkers' are swelling in numbers and are becoming a political force via the proliferation of the Internet and social networking. So much so that in many areas the postmodern re-think is becoming the mainstream. You see it when you put out your recycling each week, drink Fair Trade coffee, buy 'organic' veggies, say 'no' to plastic bags, laugh at the ironic cultural references in the Simpson'ssponsor a child in the developing world and subscribe to Amnesty International's emailing list. It is now 'OK' to believe in spirituality, have a religion, learn the ukulele and join a community 'Landcare' group. World history is now understood as multiple cultural 'stories' and the Bible is re-discovered as a 'narrative' rather then a fragmented list of facts and dogma.

The Modernists continue to hold positions of power and privilege and will do all they can to maintain it - but there is an ebb-tide gathering where the masses are starting to swell and are realising that they can make a difference. Just consider the spread of the 'Occupy' movement calling for the end to 'corporate greed'. After the Global Financial Crisis Governments are now at least considering how to make the open market more accountable, more equitable, or at least getting CEO's to pay a fair tax-rate.

Students (Gen Y's) of today are plugged into modern 'pop' consumerist techno culture yet sceptical about their future and are critical about what 'authorities' present. Through the internet they form vibrant communities and want to be engaged in making positive changes in their world. They want to live rich (not $) lives full of meaning and purpose, to be more then a cog in a corporate wheel. Students today need to be given opportunities to consider their options, to be agents for change and we need to encourage our students to continue the postmodern 're-think' and give them the positive opportunities to act on their beliefs.

So, now do you feel wet?

- I imagine this explanation is a work in progress.  
I will continue to edit and change it as I think of better ways to explain Postmodernism - 

A little reading list on Modernism & Postmodernism.

Marshall Berman - All that is solid melts into air. 
Charles Jenks - What is postmodernism
Jean Francois Lyotard, The Postmodern Condition

Ian Randall


Post-modern literature does not begin until after World War II. There are some interesting nuances of meaning compared to Art and Philosophy. The impact of post-modernism in literature is that it opens up the meaning of all texts as it places meaning in the hands of the reader only. It doesn't matter what the author intended, you can imagine what that does for the authority of the Bible. Post-modernism has taken away the idea of a canon of literature. All texts are equal, I have sat through a lecture where we were told that The Bold and the Beautiful had just as much merit as Keats or once again the Bible. Interestingly, there is a backlash to this that is just beginning to gain momentum, in stage 6 English we do texts and contexts, all of a sudden the author's intention matters. The new curriculum is also favouring context rather than the void that the post-modernists like to operate in. In terms of Christianity, I think that post-modernism has denied absolute truth and therefore set itself up in opposition to the Bible and ultimately God. The only point of having an open mind is to shut it firmly on the truth! - K. Leong 

There is post-modern philosophy and there is the post-modern time period; do you think that someone living in post-modernity by default has a post-modern worldview/philosophy?! You mentioned that there still are sections of society that are shaped by "modern" thinking. Maybe where we differ is the amount of trust we place on how much influence this powerful group are still having in shaping the worldview of the fish. I think our young people are a very confused mix causing them to feel somewhat hopeless. - C. Parker

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Subscribe to Mr Randall's Calendar

Use the link below

Coles, the Christian Supermarket

I just love the way Coles supports Christian culture all year round.

From the beginning of January we can purchase Hot Cross Buns to help us prepare for Easter.

And from April we see images of St Nicholas and hear Christmas Carols.

Thank you Coles

I hate . . .

               . . . back to school advertisements which appear the week after Christmas!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Noodles !

Just a little note about all those noodles you're eating for lunch.
Have a look at the ingredients, all that salt and flavour enhancers can't be good.
You need to learn about Ingredient Numbers and their effects, especially  621 & 635.
A not very stylish but helpful website about food additives click here

Noodles are a great quick meal - just not every day.
(especially if your having learning or behavioural issues)

Environmental Sculpture 'in progress' - 'Bird Nest' by Year 7

Where's big bird ?

An environmental sculpture by Year 7 students inspired by British artist Andy Goldsworthy.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Trafficking in Human Beings

I recently attended an NGO round table with UN Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons, Ms Joy Ngozi Ezeilo. I was representing the Third Order of the Society of St Francis (TSSF).

The statistics regarding Human Trafficking are staggering - 1.4 million people (56% of world-wide total) are in Asia and the Pacific area; which includes Australia and New Zealand.

The meeting was tightly chaired with many stake holders eager to present their work to Ms Joy Ngozi Ezeilo. Time was limited and opportunities were few. Representatives from many organisations were present, all wanting to present their concerns and outline the work they are doing. Significant time was given to the Salvation Army, World Vision, ACRATH, Scarlet Alliance and the Australian Red Cross. Unfortunately there was not an opportunity for me, and many others, to speak or even greet Ms Joy Ngozi Ezeilo. It was recommended to those of us who were unable to speak to write to the organisations present and to the Special Rapporteur directly, which I will do on behalf of the TSSF.

Some background, major themes and issues raised at the meeting are outlined below.

In Australia, it has long been a crime to bond a slave and recently to engage in forced labour, yet such practices continue in our country.

Australia's current political climate is seeing the blurring of boundaries surrounding refugees and trafficked people. It is politically expedient for distinctions between smuggling and trafficking to be blurred yet the distinctions need to be upheld. The two issues must be seen as distinct as trafficked persons will find themselves not as 'victims' but as an 'illegal' person ending up in Federal Police custody and Immigration Detention. One of the major problems with modern slavery is a lack of documentation. Trafficked people without documentation have limited access to legal representation, linguistic services, housing and health care. Advocacy and representation for trafficked people must be increased through Government funding and social awareness. Anti-Slavery Australia have produced a range of online resources in an attempt to raise social awareness of the plight of people trafficked to Australia (see below for details).

The Salvation Army currently funds, entirely through donations, accommodation and representation for ten women who have been trafficked to Australia. This work is at a grassroots level and treats each person according to their needs. This work is vital but it was recognised as a drop in the ocean in dealing with the victims of trafficking.

World Vision called for the need to continue to hold corporations accountable for creating goods using trafficked people. Corporations must disclose the full nature of their production from the sourcing of raw materials to the production of final product. Consumers understand the supply chain model and the power of boycotting products. Many current campaigns have been successful in raising consumer awareness, for example the production of chocolate.

Corporations need to be continually reminded that there is a direct link between business and human rights. It is critical that NGOs and Governments continue to engage with business to scrutinize their supply chains and to respond domestically to international issues.

The major issue covered at the meeting was the trafficking and exploitation of migrant workers, trafficked people and students in Australia's sex industry. As you can imagine there were a huge range of views represented and emotions were at their peak. Prostitution is currently prohibited in many parts of Australia and where it has been legalized it is inconsistently regulated. Granting visas to sex workers will have a large effect on the trafficking of people from Southeast Asia. The point was made by the Rapporteur that prohibition of prostitution only produces a restructured industry rather than the destruction of that industry. Prohibition will only continue the trafficking of people into Australia for this industry. The legalization of the sex industry does not morally legitimise the industry but rather enables it to be regulated, studied and for people to be held accountable and monitored. The granting of a working visa to sex workers is a political anathema yet may be what is required to care for those caught in the industry and to curb the trafficking of people into Australia.

What you can do about it?
- Be a knowledgable consumer and demand that organisations disclose production processes.
- Support organisations who are actively working to end slavery.
- Engage in public debate and call for greater regulation of the Australian sex industry.
- Pray for those trapped in slavery in our country.

For further information
Anti-Slavery Australia
UN Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons Ms Joy Ngozi Ezeilo
a recent article on ABC PM

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Sport Art! - Yr.5/6

Class 5/6 had a fun afternoon creating exciting designs with sporting equipment

Click here

Sunday, September 18, 2011


ADELAIDE TO MELBOURNE 7-11 September 2011

Photo's click here

- DAY 1
We have arrived safely at camp at Salt Creek after a fast first day on the road. What surprised me was that the core riders are just every day guys, no elite cyclists here. Even after 200km every day for 70 days they all get pains, get tired and puff and pant away. We are also joined by a small cycling team from SthAfrica, sponsored by NOBLE ENERGY, who don't seem to need to breath at all - cycling machines! The setup is simply impressive, complete with a chef, massage therapist and support crew who pitch and pack up our tents. The food is amazing! The ride out of Adelaide was over the undulating hills through little towns with little stand stone cottages. We stopped in Strathalbyn for a meal after the first 100 and were served a full cooked breakfast. I had thought that breakfast was the Wheetbix I eat at 6am. The last 100 was riding into a headwind across a salt flat. So far the SMILE riders have raised over $1.4m for research into rare childhood diseases. For the tech-heads Average speed 33km/hr - No graphs sorry.

- DAY 2

After 245km I'm in Mt Gambier sitting warm and contented in front of my empty dinner plate. I spent the day with one of the Sth African riders hearing about how he became a professional cyclist. Anton started riding at 17 to get work at a bicycle repair shop, 80km away from his home. A year later he won his first race - chasing down a break away on his own and then won the sprint to the line. In his own words he is one of the only coloured pro-riders he races against. With NOBLE ENERGY's support of Sth African cycling, he has a great future on the bike. He has been ride for NOBLE now for 3 years. He is also about to get married when he gets home. We've just had word that tomorrow is going to wet and cold with the head wind picking up.
Today we broke the ride into 110/80/55km into an increasing head and cross wind.
Average speed: 31km

- DAY 3
Today was a day of attrition. The severe winds and rain battered us and saw a number pull out and sit one of the legs in the support van. Two of the SMILE riders arrived in Warrnambool nearly two hours later than the main group. Some of them are feeling the now 72 days and are starting to worry about making it on time to some of the functions planned in Mel/Can/Syd. And google is predicting more of the same weather. Today's cross winds meant that it was hard to find shelter. I had a good first 100km but the last 80 was the most I've suffered on a bike. I was hoping to make it to Melbourne without treating the SMILE riders as Sherpa's but during the last leg I didn't have to ride on the front taking brunt of the wind. My bike has been excellent and was well prepared for my journey by my good friends at BIKEMINDED. Many thanks.Average speed- who cares!

- DAY 4
It's all about perspective.
As we rode along, without argument, the most picturesque road in Australia and facing the predicted weather conditions, I called out to two brave elderly Mountain bikers who had abandoned a climb and were walking their bikes "Where would you rather be?"
I heard one of the SMILE riders behind answer "Long Bay gaol!"
I was having my greatest day on a bike. I felt I was on my own epic odyssey, I was not feeling the cold the wet or the 130000km!
I was pleased that over dinner the boys said that was the most spectacular days ride of the trip.
I hope those two old men made it up that hill. I'm sure they're telling the world about it. Distance - 240km Average - 27kmph
Tomorrow we ride from Aireys Inlet to the Melbourne ferry. On the other side we pick up a pelaton of local riders who will accompany us to a function in the city. The end of the road for me.

- DAY 5
I'm packed and about to grab some breaky before my flight back to real life.
Here are some practical, philosophical and spiritual things I've learnt on this trip.
- Aloe vera gel works a treat for all minor and major skin irritations.
- Wool is the best base layer.
- Except in NSW, people love cyclists.
- Roads in NSW are the worst in Australia (and we know the roads in the Blue Mts the worst in NSW!).
- yes, tire punctures are uncommon! The SMILE riders hardly had any on their entire trip. We only had one in 1000ks and it was because a tire wore through.
- Tall heavy cyclists do exist. 3/6 of the SMILE riders were bigger than me!
- When you think your on the last hill there will be another round the corner (you'll always find the strength to get up it - 'dig deep')
- When you're pushing hard to keep up with the rider in front there is little time to stop for photographs.
- Cyclists universally have no shame and will stop to 'go' anywhere - it's the 'Lycra license'
- If you are just not coping, we were told to take a 'tactical'. Get the roll of toilet paper find a bush and lie down for ten minutes. No one will ever know.
- No body can do anything on their own, support each other in small ways, taking small turns in the wind, to make it through life's long journey.
- When you see a double rainbow over the ocean after climbing out of a rainforest valley you can only give praise to God.

May God Bless you all - thanks for your thoughts and prayers.
Ian Randall