Friday, September 19, 2014

The Royal Commission: 7 October 2014 - Responses by Australian Christian Churches

NEXT ARTICLE: September 22, 2014

The Royal Commission is holding a public hearing in Sydney from 7 October 2014 at 10.30am.

The public hearing will inquire into the responses by Australian Christian Churches (a Pentecostal movement in Australia) and two affiliated churches to allegations of child sexual abuse.

The scope and purpose of the public hearing is to inquire into:
1.            The response of the Sydney Christian Life Centre and Hills Christian Life Centre (now Hillsong Church) and Assemblies of God in Australia (now Australian Christian Churches) to allegations of child sexual abuse made against William Francis “Frank” Houston.
2.            The response of the Northside Christian College and the Northside Christian Centre (now Encompass Church) in Bundoora, Victoria and Assemblies of God in Australia (now Australian Christian Churches) to allegations of child sexual abuse made against former teacher Kenneth Sandilands.
3.            The response of Australian Christian Churches to allegations of child sexual abuse made against Jonathan Baldwin.
4.            The systems, policies, practices and procedures for the reporting of and responding to allegations of child sexual abuse of:
a.                  Australian Christian Churches,
b.                 Hillsong Church, and
c.                  Northside Christian College and Encompass Church.
5.            Any other related matters.

Any person or institution who believes that they have a direct and substantial interest in the scope and purpose of the public hearing is invited to lodge a written application for leave to appear at the public hearing by 23 September 2014.

Applications for leave to appear should be made using the form available on the Royal Commission website entitled ‘Application for Leave to Appear at the Royal Commission’ and include a short submission setting out the basis on which it is said the applicant has a substantial and direct interest in appearing.

The form and the submission should be lodged with the Royal Commission via: Email:; or Mail: GPO Box 5283, Sydney NSW 2001.

For more information on lodging your submission email

The public hearing will be streamed live to the public via webcast on the Royal Commission’s website at

Interested individuals and organisations are encouraged to view the proceedings via the webcast.

For specific stakeholder enquiries please contact

Thursday, September 18, 2014


A much needed good news story from Oz!

In October 2012, Ally was sitting in a doctor’s surgery hung-over, depressed and thinking about suicide. For 20 years, alcohol had controlled her life.

Reaching down, she picked up an old magazine and began to read the story of a woman whose life resembled her own. Like Ally, this woman had been a prisoner to alcohol, until she found The Salvation Army.

“I read about her story of freedom, and how The Salvation Army loved this lady back to life. Her story gave me hope,” says Ally.

Ally describes her life as a façade. She finished Year 12, completed a university degree, found a good job, bought a house and got married. But her drinking worsened as the years went on. She describes her life of addiction as lonely, isolating and hopeless.

At 27, Ally hit her first rock bottom. Her marriage ended and she attempted suicide for the first time. Over the next seven years, Ally attempted suicide five times, had three psychiatric admissions and went to six rehabs. A month before she found herself in that doctor’s surgery, Ally had what she refers to as her final ‘yet’.

“Alcoholics talk about all the things that are yet to happen us. I’m ‘yet’ to lose the house. I’m ‘yet’ to lose the job. I’m ‘yet’ to lose the partner. I was brought to my knees of absolute desperation,” she says.

Ally went to The Salvation Army Dooralong Transformation Centre in January last year and began a 10-month journey to recovery. She has graduated from the 12-step program and stays on at the centre as a graduate mentor for women going through program.

Reflecting on her journey, Ally knows where her life would be today if she hadn’t found The Salvation Army and beaten her addiction.

“It was out of desperation, alcoholism and my brokenness that lead me to The Salvation Army. I would still be a damaged, miserable, sick alcoholic. I would not be happy, joyous, or free.

“For the first time in my entire life, my future is exciting.

“But the most important part of my transformation story is Jesus. It was through the Salvos (in Australia) that I came to know our loving God and by his grace, he has rescued me.”

My conscience is clear - PART 5 - Facebook message causes collateral damage

It was not our intention to run the Australian Salvation Army children abuse stories indefinitely. However, stories that relate directly to Salvation Army officers accused of abuse or cover-up, that have not already been told, we believe hold a unique and special interest to active and former SA officers alike.

Here then is one such SA officer story. 


Salvo officer accused woman of blowing whistle on husband's child sex abuse: royal commission hears
April 14, 2014
Court Reporter

Lieutenant-Colonel Kerry Haggar: denied intimidation. 

A senior Salvation Army officer, whose husband, also an officer, sexually assaulted a young girl, later sent an accusatory Facebook message to a whistleblower, the royal commission into child-sex abuse has heard.

Lieutenant-Colonel Kerry Haggar denied she was trying to intimidate the whistleblower just weeks before the woman was due to give evidence at the commissions' public hearings into abuse within the Salvation Army.
Colonel Haggar, formerly a member of the Salvation Army's senior cabinet, broke down while giving evidence before the royal commission on Monday.

Lieutenant-Colonel Kerry Haggar, pictured in a screen shot from the public live stream of the royal commission's hearings.

She apologised for sending the message to (SA) Captain Michelle White, who had gone to the Office of the Children's Guardian and the Ombudsman in 2013 and reported that Colonel Haggar's husband, Colin Haggar, had assaulted a young girl in 1989.

"I'm incredibly sorry and I'd like to reiterate publicly to Michelle my apologies for sending that," Colonel Haggar said, after describing the message as "unwise".
"It was - sorry. It was a very personal reaction out of my own distress."

The message was sent just two weeks before Captain White was due to give evidence before the commission.

It attacked Captain White for blowing the whistle about her husband's behaviour and the subsequent failure of the Salvation Army hierarchy to act.

"The chain of events you have set in place have caused devastation and considerable pain to many innocent people," Colonel Haggar said in the message.

Colin Haggar assaulted the girl on at least one occasion but has never been charged and was stood down only last month after the royal commission's hearings had begun.

The commission has previously heard that, after the abuse, Haggar admitted it to the girl's mother.

Colin Haggar claims that he then confessed the assault to the police some years later and that he was told by officers that nothing could be done.

However, the state of NSW, which is represented at the commission, denies such a confession was ever made.

On Monday, the chairman of the royal commission, Justice Peter McClellan, put it to Kerry Haggar that the message she sent to Captain White was "very serious", alluding to the fact that attempting to intimidate a witness at the royal commission was a criminal offence.

Colonel Haggar denied she was attempting to intimidate her colleague.

"I didn't at the time, but only since when Michelle gave evidence at the royal commission, I realised that it could be viewed as intimidatory and potentially a criminal offence," she said.

"I wasn't aware of that at the time. "There was no intention to intimidate."

Colonel Haggar told the commission that she had been stood down from her role as the head of business administration for the Salvation Army and had been told that she would not be returning to that role.

The hearing continues.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

My conscience is clear - PART 4 - THE ONLY SOLUTION TO SAVING FACE!


Featured Guest: Marshall Goldsmith, executive coach.

I read an article in Forbes once I found very disturbing, about people that had integrity violations who got coaches.

People that have integrity violations should be fired, not coached.

How many integrity violations does it take to ruin the reputation of your company? Just one. You don’t coach integrity violations. You fire them.


He who walks with integrity walks securely, but he who perverts his ways will become known. – Proverbs 10:9

What is the single most important trait of a person who desires to truly make a difference in our world today? Some would say it is intellect. After all, knowledge is power in many ways. Others contend it is intensity, that spirit of conquest accompanied by a passion that becomes contagious. Still others suggest it is insight, good old common sense, along with the ability to clearly see certain issues. However, I contend the most important trait is integrity. We have all known people along life’s journey who have incredible intellect, but no integrity, and they are no longer in the race. Others possessing amazing intensity and passion but little integrity have gone the same way.

The same is true of people with keen insight but no integrity.

Integrity is our most valuable commodity. Integrity is that state or quality of being complete, and it is freedom from corrupting influences or motives.

The thesaurus equates it with such words as honesty, completeness, and incorruptibility. Yes, “he who walks with integrity walks securely.”

Each of us lives in four distinct spheres of life and influence. You live in a private world. There is a part of you where no one really goes. Not even those closest to us – our husbands, our wives – know all our private thoughts.

No one invades your private world except you… and the God who knows all your private thoughts.

You also live in a personal world. This is the part of you that you share with a small circle of immediate family and perhaps a few friends who really know you intimately.

Next comes your professional world. This existence consists of dozens or even scores of men and women who, although they do not know you personally, much less privately, know you in a professional setting. Finally, you live in a public world. This is the world in which people have never met you personally or dealt with you professionally, but they have formed an opinion about you. We call this our public persona. The reality of these four spheres raises an important question: where is integrity in life rooted?

Integrity is Rooted in One’s Private Life

Integrity stems from an inner code, not an outer promotion.

Integrity is rooted in that private life we develop alone with God in the secret, hidden place.

We often hear architects, engineers, or builders say, “This building has structural integrity.” That is, the public beauty of a tall skyscraper relies on its private, unseen foundation that is dug deep into the earth and solidly constructed. It is that hidden life of a building that brings structural integrity. It is the hidden life of an orange tree, that unseen root system that digs deep into the earth, that produces those juicy, delectable fruits. And so it is with us. Integrity is rooted in the private life.

What made a man like Billy Graham so influential and so trusted for so many
decades? Was it his intellect? Was it his intensity? No. It was, without question, his unblemished integrity that earned him a prolonged hearing. King Solomon had it right:  The integrity of the upright will guide them. – Proverbs 11:3

Integrity is Reflected in One’s Personal Life
Once integrity is rooted in our private life, it begins to be reflected in our relationships with those closest to us.

Many seem to think that integrity is rooted in these close interpersonal experiences, but it is not. It is only reflected there, if, in fact, we are men and women of integrity. If you want to know whether I have integrity, ask my wife or my daughters who really know me in the intimacy of close family relationships. Integrity does not find its roots in the personal world. However, it is certainly reflected there.

Integrity is Reinforced in One’s Professional Life

What about your professional life, that sphere of life that is ever widening? If you have a hidden life where your own integrity finds its roots, it will not only be reflected in your close relationships with those around you, but it will also be reinforced in your day-to-day dealings in the work world. Integrity is reinforced on the anvil of personal experience and practiced in the marketplace.

Our greatest opportunity to make a difference and engage our culture is out in the marketplace. It is imperative that, as Christians, we are men and women of integrity in the professional world around us. There is a small and decreasing percentage of people in our cities in church on Sunday mornings. However, on Monday, multitudes enter the marketplace. They take note of individuals of integrity.

Integrity is not rooted in our professional life; it is only reinforced there. That is, if we truly possess it.

Integrity is Revealed in One’s Public Life

Once we are thrust into the public arena, it is too late to look for integrity. If we do not already possess it, it is too late. However, some seek to put a spin on their personal promotion in a hopeless effort to somehow lead others to believe they are people of integrity. But integrity is not rooted in spin, it’s rooted in our private world. Solomon’s words ring true today: “He who walks with integrity walks securely, but he who perverts his ways will become known.”

When integrity is rooted in the private world, it is reflected in the personal world, reinforced in the professional world, and, ultimately, revealed in the public world for the glory of the God whom we love and serve.

As you memorize this verse, meditate on your own private life. Bring focus to that time alone with God, to your hidden life. Then “all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).

Excerpted from The Joshua Code by O. S. Hawkins, copyright Thomas Nelson, 2012.