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Economist, hymn-writer and vicar to the hills honoured on Queen's Birthday

Anglicans among 933 recognised in Queen's Birthday honours

By Mark Brolly

June 10 2020A prominent economist who worships at St Jude's Carlton, a pioneering female priest and hymn writer whose ministry began in Melbourne and is now in the Western Australian Goldfields, a veteran vicar and community-builder in the Dandenong Ranges, a law professor with a passion for social justice who is a parishioner in Geelong and the former principal of a leading church school are among Anglicans who have been recognised in the Queen's Birthday Honours List.

Professor Ian Harper, a member of the Reserve Bank of Australia board and the inaugural chairman of the Australian Fair Pay Commission from 2005-09, was among only 53 people nationally to be made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO). His citation said the honour was "for distinguished service to education in the field of economics, and to public and monetary policy development and reform".

He chaired the Competition Policy Review from 2014-15, known as the Harper Review. A former partner and senior adviser of Deloitte Access Economics, Professor Harper has been Dean and Director of the Melbourne Business School since 2018.

The Vicar of St Jude's Carlton, the Revd John Forsyth, said Professor Harper was "a very involved member" of the parish.

Professor Harper's wider church involvement has included being a Director of Ridley College since 2012, where he held a Senior Academic Fellowship from 1999-2006, and Chair of the Stipends Committee of the Diocese of Melbourne since 2015. He was a Director of the Australian Fellowship of Evangelical Students from 2011-14 and a Director of the Australian College of Theology from 2012-14. Since 2014, he has been Patron of the Australia and New Zealand College of Organists and was Chairman of the Melbourne Town Hall Grand Organ Committee from 1996-2001.

His book, Economics for Life: An Economist Reflects on the Meaning of Life and What Really Matters, won the Australian Christian Book of the year in 2011.

The Revd Dr Elizabeth Smith, who was among the earliest groups of women ordained to the diaconate and priesthood in Melbourne in 1987 and 1993 respectively, was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) "for significant service to the Anglican Church of Australia, and to liturgical scholarship".

Dr Smith, who has spent the past 12 years in the Diocese of Perth, served curacies in the parishes of Altona and Mount Waverley before doing doctoral studies at Berkeley in the US. She returned to Melbourne where she was Vicar of St John's Bentleigh until 2008, when she moved to WA.

An article about her honour on the Perth diocesan website said Dr Smith was in her 20s when she first committed her hymns and prayers to paper.

"For most of her adult life, Dr Smith has been filling gaps and developing a distinctly Australian voice for the Anglican liturgy," the article said. "She’s also been a member of the Liturgy Commission for a number of decades – the group that helps process and critique her work.

"Inclusive language is key, and kicked-started Elizabeth’s work 40 years ago.

“'The women’s ordination movement in the Anglican Church was building momentum and the sexist language in many of our hymns and prayers stuck in the throats of people keen to see women recognised as leaders in the Christian church,' she explains.

“'In our hymns and prayers, God was always a king and father; human beings were men and brothers; and it was always mankind.

“'I always try to be inclusive in my writing and preaching – of women, and of all the other people God loves but the church often overlooks or excludes.

“'A Prayer Book for Australia is great, but it can’t possibly cover all the situations when Anglicans want to pray. I aim to fill some of the gaps, and keep developing an Australian voice for Anglican liturgy.'”

In all, 933 people were recognised in the Queen's Birthday Honours, which were published on 8 June.

A parishioner of Holy Trinity Balaclava and Elwood, Mr Anthony Snell, has been honoured with an AM for significant service to politics in Victoria, to the community, and to the law.

Mr Snell, a former State President of the Liberal Party and past member of the party's Federal Executive, has been a member of the Parish Council at Holy Trinity since 2001 and was Vicar's Warden twice, from 2005-12 and in 2018-19. He has also served as Honorary Secretary and Honorary Treasurer.

The Vicar of Holy Trinity, the Revd Kathryn Watt, said Mr Snell "has served, and continues to serve our parish with grace, courage and generosity".

Mr Snell, who has been a member of the Liberal Party for 33 years, is Group Manager Legal for the Australian Energy Market Operator and was a Partner with King Wood and Mallesons from 1995-2005. 

The Revd Dr Peter Crawford, who for 34 years was Vicar of St Mark's Emerald and at times led congregations in Cockatoo, Monbulk, Belgrave Heights and Selby, was honoured with a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) "for service to the Anglican Church of Australia, and to the community".

Dr Crawford, whose ordained ministry began with curacies at St John's Toorak in 1977 and later at St Columb's Hawthorn before moving to Emerald in 1981, was a co-founder of ECHO Youth and Family Services (formerly Emerald Centre for Hope and Outreach) in 1984 -- a year after the devastating Ash Wednesday bushfires -- and its president from 1984-2015.

A member of the Emerald Emergency Planning Group for 10 years and Regional Coordinator of Emergency Recovery and Deputy State Coordinator of the Victorian Council of Churches from 1995-2004, he also served on the Emergency Planning Committee for the Department of Human Services from 1995-2004, the Victorian Government Regional Recovery Planning Committee from 2000-04 and the Cardinia Shire Emergency Planning Committee from 2005-15.

He was Editor-in-Chief of Signpost Community Magazine in the Dandenongs from 2000-15.

Dr Crawford wrote Beauty from Ashes in 1987 and also wrote an article in The Australian Journal of Emergency Management on 'Spiritual Aspects of Disaster Recovery'.

In the wider Church, Dr Crawford was a Director of the Anglican Evangelical Trust from 1981-2015, a board member of Ridley College, Secretary of the Evangelical Fellowship in the Anglican Communion from 1982-91 and a member of Archbishop-in-Council from 1995-2002.

He has been Honorary Life Vice-President of the Church Missionary Society since 2000, having served on the CMS Victoria board.

Dr Crawford told the Star Mail community news service that recovery work after the 1983 Ash Wednesday bushfires, the 1997 Dandenong Ranges fires and Black Saturday in 2009 were "crucial times for communities".

“It varied from emergency to emergency but I was also involved with State Government in helping in the recovery after the Port Arthur Massacre and the Bali Bombings,” he said.

“I felt just over the years that God kept me here and I haven’t had any regrets about that.

“Before God changed my life I was really motivated by wanting to succeed for myself and I realise now that fulfilment comes from helping other people.

“It’s just incredibly important, particularly in hills communities, rather than suburbia, where you can build up a sense of community and trust.

“It’s one of the fantastic things, especially about the hills and the Yarra Valley, that there’s a very high level of volunteership ...”

A parishioner of All Saints Newtown, Emeritus Professor Adrian Hellier Evans, was recognised with an OAM for service to legal education, and to the law.

Professor Evans, who was Professor of Law at Monash University from 2012-18, coordinated legal practice programs at the Faculty of Law there, of which he was a member from 1988 until last year, from 2000-09.

Last year, he founded the Climate Justice Clinic at the faculty.

A director of the Springvale Legal Service from 1988-2000, Professor Evans was a founder of the Joint Legal Clinic at the South Eastern Centre Against Sexual Assault in 1993.

He is a former member of the International Steering Committee of the Global Alliance for Justice Education and a former Co-Chair of the Professional Ethics Committee of the International Bar Association.

Professor Evans has also been the recipient of the Vice-Chancellor's Award for Distinguished Teaching at Monash University and of the President's Award in Legal Ethics from the Law Institute of Victoria.

He told The Geelong Advertiser that he had worked to help law students understand that they had an obligation to society beyond "making money".

Mr Simon Gipson, Head of St Michael's Grammar School in St Kilda from 2000-17 and a past parent, was honoured with an OAM for service to secondary education.

He came to St Michael's from another leading Anglican school, Guildford Grammar School in Perth, where he had been Deputy Headmaster, having also served as Principal of Tridhos School in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and Director of Studies at Perth College in the 1990s.

Since 2018, he has been the Archbishop’s nominee to the Council of Trinity Grammar School in Kew. 

Mr Gipson also was a board member of Independent Schools Victoria from 2005-17 and a council member of the Centre for Strategic Education, where he was Treasurer. 

He twice chaired the Association of Coeducational Schools, on which board he served from 2000-17.

In 2009, Mr Gipson received the Hedley Beare Educator of the Year Award from the Victorian Branch of the Australian Council of Educational Leaders and three years later was named Lynda Gratton Business Leader of the Year by the Australian Human Resources Institute.

An organist for 64 years at churches including St James Ivanhoe, Mr Noel Griffith, was recognised with an OAM for service to music and to the community.

Mr Griffith, 92, also was Secretary of the Music Department at Ivanhoe Grammar School from 1984-85 and Tutor in Music Appreciation at U3A Banyule, of which he is a Life Member, for 25 years.

His other community work has included as a former volunteer at St George's East Ivanhoe Op Shop, Mentor of North East Citizen Advocacy from 2000-07, a former office-bearer of Probus and as a former President and Secretary of the Association of Independent Retirees in Ivanhoe.

A former Dean of Trinity College at the University of Melbourne, Dr Peter Tregear, was awarded an OAM for service to music education and to professional organisations.

Dr Tregear, who was Dean at Trinity from 2006-08, became Dean of St Mark's College, an Anglican residential college in Adelaide, in February this year.

A graduate of Melbourne University in music and arts, and secured his PhD in Musicology at Cambridge in 1999, where he studied at King's College and was Tutor to the Choristers at King’s College School – also securing a Cambridge Blue in Athletics and a silver medallist at the British Universities Marathon Championships.

Dr Tregear's other roles have included as lecturer and Director of Music at Fitzwilliam and Churchill Colleges at Cambridge, Executive Director of the Academy of Performing Arts at Monash University, Professor and Head of the School of Music at the Australian National University and as a Teaching Fellow and Director of Undergraduate Studies at Royal Holloway, University of London.