Speakers at ACLC 2016

In addition to Mr Schutt as the Convention’s international key note speaker, we are privileged to have Queensland Supreme Court Justice Debra Mullins, South Australian Supreme Court Justice David Bleby and Federal Court Judge John Gilmour as the Convention’s Patrons alongside a number of prestigious speakers, including:

  • Queensland Shadow Attorney General, Ian Walker on ‘The Christian Parliamentary Representative – how much “Christian” and how much “Representative”?’
  • Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission Assistant Commissioner & General Counsel, Murray Baird on ‘Separation of church and state – are Christian charities any business of government?’
  • Commonwealth Shadow Minister for Immigration, Shayne Neumann on ‘Politics and faith: reconciliation, refugees and racial discrimination’
  • Garth Blake SC, Fr Brian Lucas and Anne Robinson on the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse
  • Queensland Supreme Court Justice Debra Mullins, Professor Nicholas Aroney, Professor Rex Ahdar, Professor Augusto Zimmermann, Simon Greening and Associate Professor Neil Foster on Religious Freedoms
  • Mike Schutt Director of the United States Christian Legal Society (CLS) Law School Ministries and of the Institute for Christian Legal Studies
  • Misha Coleman of the Australian Churches Refugee task Force on ‘the Church as a sanctuary for asylum seekers – political stunt or practical solution?’
  • Crown Counsel (Advisings) to the Victorian Attorney-General, Mark Sneddon on ‘Balancing conflicting human rights and interests’
  • Justice Richard Chesterman on being a Christian in the law
  • CLEAR International Australia Chairperson Mark Fowler on Christianity v Human Rights: Freedom through contest or capitulation?
  • Jude Simeon of Barnabas Fund and Rev Dr Cannon David Claydon on ‘Bureaucratic and Religious hurdles in helping the persecuted in ISIS countries’
  • Gavin Shume of Open Doors on a ‘A Radical Response to Fear’
  • Former Queensland Parliamentary Speaker, Fiona Simpson MP and Anne Walker
  • Peter Abetz Member of Western Australian Legislative Assembly, Wendy Francis of the Australian Christian Lobby and Amber Hawkes of International Justice Mission on human trafficking and prostitution
  • Bruce Burgess, Steve Frost and Matt Hunt from Peacewise on Christian conflict resolution
  • Dr Matthew Turnour and Elizabeth Shalders on not for profit and charity law
  • The Honourable Justice and Director of Public Prosecutions of Uganda, Mike Chibita, Ruth Ross, Latcho Popov, Gregory Vijayendran, Brent McBurney, Teresa Conradie, Joanna Pidgeon, Dr Peter Gegenwart, Min Choon Lee and Leigh Warnick, Judge Ken Starr, Patrick Talbot Dickson Ogwang, Rikki Lambert and Mark Mudri on Being a Christian Lawyer
  • Martin Howard of Prison Fellowship
  • Carolyn de Vries on The Emergence of the Non Profit Law Firm Model as a Ministry Platform for Christian Lawyers

With more speakers to be confirmed!


We are privileged to have Queensland Supreme Court Justice Debra Mullins, South Australian Supreme Court Justice David Bleby and Federal Court Judge John Gilmour as the Convention’s Patrons.

Queensland Supreme Court Justice Debra Mullins

150 Debra Mullins

Justice Debra Mullins studied at the University of Queensland, completing first a bachelor of commerce in 1977, and then a Bachelor of Laws with honours in 1980, and later on in her career returning to do a Masters and Advanced Masters of Law in 1987 and 1999 respectively.

Justice Mullins began her legal career at Kinsey Bennet and Gill while still studying, and was admitted as a solicitor to the Supreme Court in 1980, the same year she finished her law degree. In 1984 she became a barrister, and in 1988, after 14 years at the bar, she took on silk. In March 2000 she was appointed a judge of the Supreme Court.

Justice Mullins is well known for her successes in the legal system as a female lawyer. In December 2009 Justice Mullins received the Agnes McWhinney Award, named after the first female solicitor in Queensland, in recognition of her exceptional contributions to the legal profession. Justice Mullins also featured in the Supreme Court Library publication on the last centuries 50 most remarkable female lawyers in 2005.

Alongside professional and charitable organizations, Justice Mullins has served as a member of the chapter of St John’s Cathedral for 14 years. From 2004 to 2013 Justice Mullins served as the Deputy Chancellor of the Anglican Diocese in Brisbane, and since 2014 has served as the Chancellor.

TOPIC: Religious Freedom under the Law

The Honourable David Bleby QC

DJB August 2011David graduated Bachelor of Laws from the University of Adelaide in 1963 and Associate in Theology from the Australian College of Theology in 1965. He became a partner in the then Adelaide law firm of Baker McEwin and Co (now Minter Ellison) in 1965 and practised as a barrister at the South Australian Bar from 1982 to 1997. He was appointed Queen’s Counsel in November 1982. His practice was principally in commercial, industrial and administrative law in all states and Territories of the Commonwealth.

In 1997 he was appointed a Judge of the Supreme Court of South Australia, from which he retired in 2012. In retirement he is an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Adelaide, a member of the South Australian Law Reform Institute and the Parole Administrative Review Commissioner for the State of South Australia.

He has been Chancellor of the Anglican Diocese of Adelaide for 21 years, a member of the Appellate Tribunal of the Anglican Church of Australia and a long-standing member of its General Synod and Church Law Commission.

The Honourable John Gilmour of the Federal Court of Australia

JJGJustice John Gilmour was appointed to the Federal Court of Australia, Perth on 11 December 2006. He is an Additional Judge on the Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory. Justice Gilmour grew up in Scotland and graduated in law from the University of Dundee in 1972. For a period of years he practiced law in Edinburgh and emigrated to Western Australia in 1975 where he was admitted to practice as a Barrister and Solicitor in 1976. Justice Gilmour commenced practice at the Western Australian Bar in 1989 and was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1994 and shortly thereafter in Victoria where he also practiced extensively.

Justice Gilmour is married with 5 children and 10 grandchildren. Whilst still practicing as a Barrister including as a Silk he, together with his wife and a few close friends, planted a church in the Eastern Hills of Perth. He pastored this for close to ten years.

Justice Gilmour has also had a long interest in Christian education. He and his wife helped establish the Mundaring Christian Primary School which now, 25 years later, has grown to include a High School. Justice Gilmour is also one of the co-founders of the Great Southern Grammar School in Albany in the South West of Australia. This is a non-denominational co-ed school catering for K-12 and in its 17th year has more than 850 students. He has served in various capacities since its inception and is presently the Chair of the Trustees of the School.

Speeches by Justice Gilmour can be accessed here


We are also privileged to have the following speakers at the Conference:

Queensland Shadow Attorney General Ian Walker

150 Ian Walker

Ian was born in Sydney, went to the Anglican Church Grammar School, and at university completed a bachelor of law and of arts. He then went on to practice as a solicitor in a prominent Qld law firm, Canaan & Petersen, and ultimately became the Australian leader of Government Practice. In his time as a lawyer, Ian was appointed by the Labour Party to chair the Ministerial advisory committee reviewing Queensland’s heritage legislation, which led to sweeping reform in 2007.

Ian has served at multiple levels of the Liberal National Party, including acting as Honorary legal advisor to the Liberal party in 2009-2010. His service was such that Ian was awarded the Federal Liberal Party’s distinguished service award in 2011. He was elected to the Mansfield electorate in 2012, during which Ian held the post of Parliamentary Secretary for Planning Reform, Assistant Minister for Planning Reform, Minister for Science, Information Technology, Innovation and the Arts. Despite the Liberal National Party losing the state elections in 2015, Ian retained his electoral seat in Mansfield, and has been appointed the Shadow Attorney-General and the Shadow Minister for Justice, Industrial Relations, and Arts.

Ian has held numerous Anglican church roles, including Chairman of the Australian Church Law Commission and Member of the national standing Committee. Ian and his wife Heather have been married over 30 years and have 2 adult children.

Convention Topic: The Christian Parliamentary Representative – how much “Christian” and how much “Representative”?

Associate Professor Neil Foster, University of Newcastle

150 Neil Foster

Neil Foster is an Associate Professor at the University of Newcastle. He has studied extensively in both law and theology, attaining a Bachelor of Arts and Law from the University of New South Wales and a Master of Laws from the University of Newcastle, as well as a Bachelor of Theology from the Australian College of Theology, and a Diploma of Arts in Theology from Moore Theological College.

In his role as Associate Professor Neil teaches, writes and conducts research in areas of torts and workplace health and safety law. In 2007 Neil was appointed to the editorial board of the Torts Law Journal in the United States, and in January 2010 became an associate member of the national OHS Regulatory Research Consortium in Australia.

Additional to torts and workplace law, Neil’s research expertise extends to law and religion. Neil is a prolific speaker and writer, known for his law and religious freedom blog (https://lawandreligionaustralia.wordpress.com). The topics he has been engaged in have ranged from digital copyrights and a national OHS Scheme, to the use of statutory interpretation in biblical hermeneutics and religious freedom; and his works published in journals as various as the environmental law review, to the Canadian business law journal.

TOPIC: Protection of Religious Free Speech in Australia

ACNC Assistant Commissioner & General Counsel, Murray Baird

150 murray baird

Murray Baird was appointed Assistant Commissioner General Counsel of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profit Commission on its commencement in 2012.

Since then he has been responsible for Legal, Policy, Guidance, Compliance, Reporting and Red Tape reduction at the ACNC. He has taken a particular interest in the shaping of the regulatory approach of the ACNC, it’s engagement with its regulatory community and the boundaries of the meaning of charity. He was the convenor of the 6th International Conference of Charity Regulators in Melbourne in 2014 and gave evidence on Australian approaches to charity regulation to the UK House of Commons review of the Role of the Charity Commission and “public benefit” in 2012.

Prior to the ACNC Murray was Senior Partner of Moores Legal in Melbourne and was involved in several leading cases on the meaning of charity.

Murray has been Chairman of Ansvar Insurance, National Housing Company, First Samuel and has served on the Boards of churches, schools, and other charities.

TOPIC: Separation of church and state – are Christian charities any business of government?

Senior Counsel, Garth Blake

Photograph Garth Blake SC2Garth Blake has been a Barrister since 1984 and a Senior Counsel since 2002. He has been involved in several cases involving churches and Christian organisations. He has had a long involvement with the Anglican Church of Australia particularly in the area of the protection of children. For several years he has been the Chair of its Professional Standards Commission. He is also currently its lay representative on the international Anglican Consultative Council. He has published several legal articles and is a member of the Editorial Board of the international Ecclesiastical Law Journal. In 2002 he was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to investigate responding to, and preventing, sexual abuse in Australian churches.

Hon Shayne Neumann MP

150 shayne neumannShayne completed his education at the University of Queensland with a Law Degree and an Arts Degree majoring in government and economics.

He was a Partner at Neumann and Turnour Lawyers before being elected to the Federal seat of Blair in November 2007. He was then re-elected in 2010 and again in September 2013

After the 2013 Federal election, Shayne was appointed Shadow Minister for Indigenous Affairs and for Ageing.

Shayne has served on various committee’s concerned with constitutional and indigenous issues. These include: the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs from 2008 – 2010; the Committee for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders from 2010-2013; the Joint Select Committee on the Constitutional Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples from 2013 to 2015; and the Committee for Indigenous Affairs from 2013 to the present.

TOPIC: ‘Politics and faith: reconciliation, refugees and racial discrimination’

Misha Coleman

150 misha colemanMisha has extensive experience living and working in the regions from which people flee as asylum seekers and refugees including Palestine, Ethiopia, Kenya, Vietnam and Cambodia. She was formerly the CEO of Anglican Overseas Aid, and has also worked for the Australian Government’s aid agency AusAID, at the Australian Embassy in Hanoi, and has led Asian Development Bank and US Government aid programs in the Asia-pacific region. She has a Masters degree in Environmental Law and post-graduate qualifications in development studies, monitoring and evaluation.

Formerly, as a Registered Nurse and Midwife, Misha worked in black townships in South Africa during apartheid and in several Australian indigenous communities throughout the 1990’s. In 2000 she was awarded the Australian Service Medal by the Australian Government for active duty in the Multinational Peacekeeping Mission to Bougainville. In 2007 she was awarded two medals by the Government of Vietnam for services to development. Misha was elected as a Board Member of the Australian Council for Overseas Aid in 2011, the peak body for Australian NGOs which operate in the international aid and development sector, and is also currently an elected Councillor in the City of Yarra. She is the executive officer of the Australian Churches Refugee Taskforce.

TOPIC: “The church as a sanctuary for asylum seekers – political stunt or practical solution?”

Elizabeth Shalders

150 elizabeth shaldersElizabeth Shalders is a Senior Associate at Lewis Holdway Lawyers in Melbourne and heads their Not for Profit practice division. She is dedicated full-time to practising in the area of Not for Profit law and governance.

During this time she has worked with small, medium and large Not for Profits, and social enterprises, with a strong focus on Not for Profit tax concessions.

TOPIC: The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission and religious freedom.

Anne Robinson – Prolegis Lawyers

150 anne robinsonAnne Robinson is the founder and principal of Prolegis Lawyers, provider of legal services to the not-for-profit sector. She has advised on corporate law, governance, charitable trust structuring and tax issues for the whole range of Australia’s charitable institutions. She has also had 30 years’ experience in governance of not-for-profit organisations, including as Director and Board Chair of World Vision Australia for 12 years until 2012.

Anne was Deputy Chair of the Not-for-Profit Sector Reform Council and a member of the NFP Tax Concession Working Group (as established by the previous government).

Anne holds a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws (Hons) from Macquarie University.

TOPIC: Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse.

Mark Fowler – CLEAR International Australia Ltd

150 mark fowlerMark is a Director of Neumann & Turnour Lawyers, Brisbane and supervises the property and commercial sections of the practice. His areas of legal practice include property, with a particular focus on the affordable, community and social housing sectors, commercial law, and not-for-profit and charity law, including the law applying to international aid organisations, schools, retirement villages and aged care. He is an Appeals Panel member for the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID), the peak body for Australian non government organisations (NGOs) involved in international development and humanitarian action. He is a member of the Queensland Law Society’s Human Rights Working Group and the Australian Charities and Not-for Profits Commission Professional Users Group. Mark is a doctoral candidate in law at the University of Queensland, with his research focussing on religious freedom and tax. He is the Chair of CLEAR Australia International Ltd, a charity uniting Christian lawyers’ societies in Australia to partner with like societies in the developing world in order to progress the rule of law and human rights.

Previously Mark practiced in native title and indigenous community development within Australia and prior to that in human rights law in Malaysia. Through the Centre for International Environmental Law, Washington he was involved in a consultation process with indigenous communities in Borneo and the drafting of submissions to the Malaysian Government concerning access to genetic resources under the Convention on Biological Diversity. He was also a consultant to Supreme Court proceedings that sought to establish a precedent for recognition of common law native title within the Malaysian State of Sabah.

TOPIC: Christianity v Human Rights: Freedom through contest or capitulation?

Peter Abetz – Western Australian Member of Parliament

150 peter abetz

Peter’s interest in prostitution reform arose in 1984 while working as a pastor in Victoria. After arriving in Western Australia in 1991 Peter was invited to counsel women in the process of leaving the sex industry. This gave him an “insiders” perspective on the prostitution trade, and what really goes on for women working as prostitutes.

Peter has travelled extensively to research prostitution issues visiting Germany, France, New Zealand, Finland, South Korea, Russia and Sweden.

In 2014 he undertook a 3 week Parliamentary study which included a week in Sweden looking at the details of the Nordic approach to dealing with prostitution, meeting with NGOs running successful exit programs, and government officials as well as with opponents of this approach.

Peter was elected to the WA parliament in September 2008 and has been a strong advocate for Christian values in the parliament and the broader community.

TOPIC: “Reducing Human Sex Trafficking through Prostitution Law Reform”

Fr Brian Lucas – Archdiocese of Sydney

150 brian lucasFr Brian Lucas is a priest of the Archdiocese of Sydney. He is presently the National Director of Catholic Mission the Church’s overseas mission aid agency. Previous appointments include General Secretary of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference in Canberra, Financial Administrator and Secretary of the Archdiocese of Sydney, Director of Catholic Church Insurances Limited and he spent 15 years as archdiocesan media spokesman. He was a founding member of the Catholic Church Professional Standards Committee from 1989 – 1999.

Fr Lucas has academic qualifications in law, general studies and theology. He is an adjunct professor of the Australian Catholic University, a member of the Australian Taxation Office Not for Profit Advisory Group and the Australian Charities and Not-for Profits commission Professional Users Group.

He is a co-author of the Church Administration Handbook and Pleasing to God – The Call to Church Administration.

TOPIC: Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse

Nicholas Aroney – University of Queensland

150 nicholas aroneyNicholas Aroney is Professor of Constitutional Law and a fellow of Emmanuel College at the University of Queensland. He was recently awarded an Australian Research Council grant with Professor Patrick Parkinson to investigate multiculturalism and the accommodation of religious minorities in Australia.

His major areas of research are constitutional law, legal theory, federalism, bicameralism, and freedom of religion.

His publications include The Constitution of the Commonwealth of Australia: History, Principle and Interpretation (CUP, 2015), The Constitution of a Federal Commonwealth: The Making and Meaning of the Australian Constitution (CUP, 2009) and Shari’a in the West (OUP, 2010).

Wendy Francis – Australian Christian Lobby

150 wendy francisWendy Francis, is the Queensland Director of the Australian Christian Lobby, and their spokesperson for the rights of children and women. Her professional background includes managerial positions at Griffith University and Queensland Baptists. For 8 years Wendy was Executive Producer of the Lord Mayor’s Carols in Brisbane. In 2012 she contributed a chapter in the book THE GREENS Policies, Reality and Consequences published by Connor Court.

Wendy is a Director and Board Member of Samaritans Purse Australia, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Queensland Family Council, Queensland Alliance for Kids, Vision Australia and the Australian Marriage Forum. Wendy regularly travels to countries such as Vietnam, Thailand, Bangladesh and Cambodia to oversee projects which seek to rescue women and children from sex slavery and to work on literacy projects amongst rural women. Her husband Peter Francis is Vice-Principal of Malyon College in Brisbane. They have been married for 36 years and have 3 married children and 10 grandchildren.

TOPIC: “The Politics of Prostitution Reform”

Jude Simeon – Barnabas Fund


Jude Simion is the Chief Operating Officer of the Barnabas Fund Australia, which seeks to provide practical aid to persecuted Christians in over 70 countries. He is responsible for South Asia projects, refugee ministries and partnership developments.

Barnabas Fund act on behalf of the persecuted Church, to be their voice – making their needs known to Christians around the world and the injustice of their persecution known to governments and international bodies. The main ministry of Barnabas Fund is to send financial support to projects which help Christians where they suffer discrimination, oppression and persecution as a consequence of their faith. The projects aim to strengthen Christian individuals, churches and their communities by providing material and spiritual support in response to needs identified by local Christian leaders.

TOPIC: “Bureaucratic and Religious hurdles in helping the persecuted in ISIS countries”

Rev. Dr. David Claydon – Dealing with Diversity and HOMENA

DCCanon Dr David Claydon is Chair of the ‘Human Rights Organization for the Middle East and North Africa’ (HOMENA) and Chair of Persecuted Minorities Advocacy and Integration Committee of the Barnabas Fund (BF). HOMENA was formed by the Arabic Churches in the Middle East and in Australia and BF was formed in the UK and Australia to rescue persecuted refugees in North Africa, Middle East and the Gulf countries.

TOPIC: “Bureaucratic and Religious hurdles in helping the persecuted in ISIS countries”

Mark Sneddon – Executive Director of Institute for Civil Society

Mark Sneddon currently acts as Crown Counsel (Advisings) to the Victorian Attorney-General. In this role he advises the Attorney General on all legislative and policy submissions made to cabinet. Before taking up this post in 2011, Mark was a partner of a top tier law firm, Clayton Utz (2000-2011), and was known as one of Australia’s leading practitioners in banking and financial services, e-business, information and privacy law, and government services. He has acted for a wide range clients, including Australian and international financial institutions (eg ANZ, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs); major and multinational corporate clients; various limbs of state and federal governments (Victorian Department of Transport, Department of Defence); as well as large communications and ICT organizations (Optus, Telstra, Blackberry). Mark lectured at Victorian Universities for over a decade, including his post as Senior lecturer of law at Monash University (1990-1996) and Associate Professor of Law at the Melbourne University Law School (1997-2000). Mark was an associate to Justice Sir Gerard Brennan of the High Court of Australia from 1987-1988. Mark has also served as the legal research officer on the Legal and Constitutional Committee of the Parliament of Victoria in 1984-85, and 1986-1987. Mark received a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Science majoring in Information Technology from Melbourne University in 1984, and a Master of Laws at the University of Michigan in 1986.

TOPIC: ‘Balancing conflicting human rights and interests’

Bruce Burgess – PeaceWise

bruce-burgess-photo-31Bruce Burgess is the National Director of PeaceWise and is Australia’s first Certified Christian Conciliator. He holds degrees in Arts, Law, Christian Studies and Theology and is an international conference speaker. Bruce has a passion for seeing both adults and kids’ lives transformed by the power of the gospel of peace and biblical peacemaking, and for seeing God break through to repair, restore and sustain healthy relationships. In addition to leading PeaceWise, Bruce has maintained an active legal consultancy practice two days a week advising major corporates, spanning transaction work to corporate governance, corporate and risk culture and in-house training. Fascinated by the interaction of ethics, legal practice and being a Christian, Bruce is also the author of “Higher Law, Corporations and Christian Lawyers” published as part of Tough-Minded Christianity – honouring the legacy of John Warwick Montgomery.

Dr Matthew Turnour


Dr Matthew Turnour is a Director of Neumann & Turnour Lawyers and heads the Corporate and Commercial Law Division of the practice.  He is Chair of the Queensland Law Society’s Subcommittee for the Not-for-profit Sector and a Director of the Australian Charity Law Association. Matthew is a member of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission’s Professional User Group and is a Queensland Law Society Senior Counsellor.

His PhD thesis, entitled Beyond Charity: Outlines of a Jurisprudence for Civil Society was awarded Outstanding Doctoral Thesis Award from the Queensland University of Technology (QUT). His other degrees are a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Economics from the University of Queensland, and a Master of Arts in applied ethics by research from QUT.

He has the rare combination of extensive practical experience and deep theoretical knowledge of the issues facing the not for profit sector.

TOPIC: Regulating religion: Four factors for reflection

Steve Frost – PeaceWise

Steve FrostSteve Frost is a solicitor who worked in private practice for 10 years before founding Horizons Family Law Centre in 2005. Horizons is a charity that works cooperatively with local churches to provide free and non-profit legal help to people with no other access to a lawyer as an expression of faith in Jesus. It serves families with entrenched high conflict and family violence, and pioneered the provision of legal services in collaboration with Commonwealth funded Family Relationship Centres in NSW. Steve regularly works as a consultant mediator, conflict coach and trainer with PeaceWise, helping followers of Jesus respond to conflict in ways that express faith, hope and love.

Professor Augusto Zimmermann

Untitled1Dr Augusto Zimmermann LLB, LLM cum laude, PhD (Mon) is former Associate Dean (Research) and currently Director of Postgraduate Research at the School of Law at Murdoch University. He is also a senior lecturer and coordinator for two core units taught in this Law School: Constitutional Law and Legal Theory. Dr Zimmermann is also Professor of Law (adjunct) at the University of Notre Dame Australia, Sydney campus. He is also a Law Reform Commissioner with the Law Reform Commission of Western Australia; Founder and President of the Western Australian Legal Theory Association (WALTA); and Editor-in-Chief of the Western Australian Jurist law journal. Dr Zimmermann is a prolific writer and the author of many law books and academic articles. He has been awarded the 2012 Vice Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Research, and also been awarded two consecutive Murdoch School of Law Dean’s Research Awards. Dr Zimmermann’s main areas of interest include Australian Constitutional Law, Brazilian Law and Society, Federal Theory, Human Rights Legislation, Law & Religion, Common Law History, Christian Jurisprudence, and the Rule of Law. He has been included, together with only twelve other Australian academics and policy experts, in the prestigious ‘Policy Experts’ – the Heritage Foundation’s directory for locating knowledgeable authorities and leading policy institutes actively involved in a broad range of public policy issues, both in the United States and worldwide. Twice nominated for the Vice Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, Dr Zimmermann received the Law Lecturer of the Year Award 2013 by Murdoch Student Law Society, in recognition for the outstanding level of teaching, ongoing service and personal contribution provided to his students.

TOPIC: The Menace of Radical Secularism

Amber Hawkes – Founder and Chief Executive, IJM Australia

AHAmber Hawkes is the founder and Chief Executive of IJM Australia. Her experience with IJM spans several years, having previously worked with IJM as Special Counsel and Legal Fellow in Chennai and Bangalore. Amber also served as a consultant for IJM in Australia, conducting a feasibility study for the Australian partner office, which included analysing the not-for-profit sector and the response of the Australian public and church environments to the introduction of IJM Australia.

Amber’s legal experience is garnered from her time working with Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions as well as recognised national law firms and non-profits.  She is a skilled facilitator, supervisor, and communicator, talents that she has accrued and increased over her career. Amber has a deep passion for the work of IJM Australia, and for seeing God’s heart for justice come to fruition.

Dr. Peter Gegenwart

FotoDr. Peter Gegenwart is a presiding judge at court of appeal (Hessisches Landesarbeitsgericht) in Frankfurt, Germany. Since 2001 he has been part of the network Christ und Jurist which aims to unite christian lawyers and judges in Germany, where he is  overseeing the international relations. In addition he is a board member of Advocates Europe and part of the global council of Advocates International. He is happily married to his wife with two kids, who both studying law.

Brent McBurney – Advocates International

BMBrent became President and CEO of Advocates International (“AI”) in January 2011. During his tenure at AI, he has travelled extensively to Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, the Middle East, North and South America, to encourage, equip and enable Advocates to do justice with compassion. Prior to joining AI, Brent served the Body of Christ through the Christian Legal Society (“CLS”) where he was Director of Legal Aid Ministries, Director of Attorney Ministries and Editor-in-Chief of The Christian Lawyer magazine.  Brent was on the staff of CLS from 2004 through 2010.

Brent received his B.A. in Russian Language and Political Science in 1992 from Baylor University and his J.D. in 1999 from George Mason University School of Law. He is licensed to practice law in New York and the District of Columbia and is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court and a number of other federal courts.

Ruth Ross – Advocates International 

RRRuth serves as Board Chair of Advocates International (AI) and as its Acting Deputy Executive Director, Global Council. Ruth graduated from Dalhousie University with her B.A. (1972) and LL.B. (1975). She has since practiced law in four provinces of Canada intermittently over the next three decades; she has been a member of the Ontario Bar since 1985. Ruth served as Executive Director and General Legal counsel of Christian Legal Fellowship, an association of some 600 Christian legal professionals in Canada, a position she held for over thirteen years overseeing the day-to-day operations and coordinating court interventions and government consultations on a wide variety of issues.

Teresa Conradie – Advocates International 


Teresa Conradie was born and grew up in rural Mpumalanga in South Africa. She read for the degrees BIuris LLB at the University of Pretoria in 1985. She was awarded Dux colours by the University of Pretoria with special recommendation for her contribution in the fields of leadership, academics and sports. Teresa was admitted as an Attorney, Notary and Conveyancer in Bloemfontein in 1988 and has since been in private practice. She has been called to the High Court bench in Pretoria as Acting Judge for various periods of time.

In 1997 Teresa and her partners Sibusiso Gamede and Sello Motla established Motla Conradie Incorporated, one of South Africa’s first multi-cultural law firms. She is still the Managing Director of the firm in Pretoria. Teresa has been a member of the South African Christian Lawyers’ Association since 1995 and served as its Chairperson from 2003 – 2009.  She was a founder member of Advocates Africa in 1999 and served as its President from 2005 – 2009. She is currently the Vice President of the Board of Advocates Africa.

During 1999, 2000, 2004 and 2008 Teresa formed part of the South African delegation to the Advocates International Convocation in the United States of America. In 2004 she was awarded the Good Samaritan Award by Advocates International. Teresa served as the first Chairperson of the Global Council of Advocates International from 2008 – 2010 and is currently the Vice Chairperson.  While President of Advocates Teresa climbed to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in August 2007 to prophetically proclaim God’s redemptive purpose for Africa over the continent.

Honorable Justice Mike Chibita – Advocates International 

MCJustice Mike J. Chibita is the current president of Advocates Africa. He is an allied attorney of the Alliance Defending Freedom and an associate member of the Christian Legal Society in the USA. He served on the board of the Uganda Christian Lawyers Fellowship (1998-2005, President) Scripture Union of Uganda (2008-2011, Board Chair) and Stromme EA LTD (2008-2014)

His prolific career started as lecturer in International Relations and African history at the North Western College, St Paul, USA. From 1994-2010 he was State Attorney, Legal Assistant to the Attorney General, Private Secretary/Legal Affairs to H.E. the President, Principal State Attorney and worked for the Uganda Revenue Authority.  From 2010-2013 he was Judge of the High Court of Uganda. In October 2013 he was appointed to the position of Director of Public Prosecutions in Uganda. Mike Chibita is the author of: “Loved by the best: Journey of an African Judge”.

Latchezar Popov – Advocates International 

LLatchezar “Latcho” Popov is the founder of Rule of law Institute-Bulgaria in 1995, Advocates Europe in 2001, “Integrity under the Rule of law” – Global Resource team of Advocates International in 2008. He specialized human rights in Denmark in 1996-1998, mediation in California in 2005-2006, completed Advanced leadership Seminar training at the “Haggai Institute” in 2007 and “Leadership in the public policy process” in Leadership Institute US. Latcho has a legal practice in Bulgaria and European Court of Human Rights, extensive experience in criminal law and court proceeding, civil law and court proceedings, administrative law and court proceedings. In 2009 pleaded successfully the major human rights case in European Court in Strasbourg “The Holy Synod of Bulgarian Orthodox Church (Metropolitan Inokentiy) and Others v. Bulgaria –file 412/03.

Gregory Vijayendran – Advocates International 

GVGregory Vijayendran is a senior partner in the Commercial Litigation practice Group in Rajah & Tann. Gregory is Vice President of the Law Society and serves on the Senate of the Singapore Academy of Law. Gregory was appointed inaugural Pro Bono Ambassador for the Law Society in 2010.  He has given pro bono advice to, and lectures nationwide on charities governance for charities, including churches and the National Council of Churches of Singapore.  He is a senior moderator training bar students in advocacy.  Gregory presently serves as Graduates Christian Fellowship Council Member and chairs the Law Christian Fellowship. He has served Honorary Secretary of both the Singapore Centre for Global Missions and Prison Fellowship Singapore. He co-facilitates “The Scarlet Web” – a coalition of Christian ministries providing outreach to sex-trafficked victims. He presently chairs the board of the newly formed NGO called Rainbow Across Borders and is a director of Agency for Integrated Care (focusing on eldercare).  Last year, he was appointed National Youth Fund Trustee. He serves on the Tribunal of Maintenance of Parents and Patron Disputes Committee of the Casino Regulatory Authority.

Min Choon Lee – Advocates International 

MLMin Choon Lee is the Chairman of The Global Council of Advocates International since 2010 and also the Chairman of Advocates Asia since 2002. He practices as a civil litigation lawyer in the superior courts of Malaysia and has provided the leadership for the Christian lawyers’ fellowship in Malaysia. Min Choon is also an elder of a Brethren assembly. He has also served as the chairman of the Bible Society of Malaysia.

In 2015, Min Choon and some friends started an NGO called Christians for Peace and Harmony in Malaysia (CPHM) to foster closer relations between the Christian and Muslim communities in Malaysia.

Kenneth Winston Starr, J.D.

ken starrKen Starr has had a distinguished career in academia, the law and public service. For six years, he served as the 14th president of Baylor University.  He served as both President and Chancellor for three of those years.  He was elected unanimously by the Baylor Board of Regents on Feb. 12, 2010.

Ken has argued 36 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, including 25 cases during his service as Solicitor General of the United States from 1989-93. He served as United States Circuit Judge for the District of Columbia Circuit from 1983 to 1989, as law clerk to Chief Justice Warren E. Burger from 1975 to 1977, and as law clerk to Fifth Circuit Judge David W. Dyer from 1973 to 1974.  He was appointed to serve as Independent Counsel for five investigations, including Whitewater, from 1994 to 1999.

At Pepperdine, Ken helped to initiate a global justice program in Uganda and Rwanda.  While at Baylor, Ken participated in the Georgetown-Baylor Partnership for the Religious Freedom Project.  He also greatly expanded the summer missions programs in Africa and around the world.  Throughout his professional career, he has championed the cause of religious liberty and freedom of conscience for all persons.

Gavin Shume

GavinGavin Shume is the General Manager of Open Doors Australia and New Zealand using his gifts and experience in business and marketing to serve the persecuted church. He has traveled to Iraq to meet with persecuted believers who fled the Islamic State, has met Christians from closed countries like Bhutan were Christianity is not legally recognized and shared with denomination leaders the burden of loving those who persecute you. Open Doors has been serving the persecuted church for over 60 years in more than 65 countries. The scope of the work of Open Doors can be best understood in three categories; Bible and Christian literature distribution, Training, and Practical Support. In 2015 over 3 Million Bibles or other Christian Literature was distributed, over 300,000 people received training and over 400,000 people were helped through practical support.

Patrick M. Talbot

5Patrick M. Talbot, J.D., is a lecturer at Universitas Pelita Harapan in Indonesia, and currently serves on the Advisory Board of the Indonesian Christian Legal Society (ICLS), and is Chair of its International Justice Initiative at UPH. In this capacity he is serving on an Anti-Trafficking Working Group with the Attorney General’s Office in Indonesia, and is establishing an Institute of Christian Legal Studies in Indonesia.  Professor Talbot is a graduate of the School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University and earned his J.D. from Regent University School of Law in 1993. His areas of teaching include Christian worldview in law, International Commercial Law, Arbitration, Sociology of Law, Human Rights, and Legal Research and Skills. Prior to teaching at UPH, Talbot taught at Handong International Law School in South Korea and at Trinity Law School.  He is active in the field of Law and Development through his service with Advocates International (AI), a network of Christian advocates and legal professionals worldwide. Talbot served on the Steering Committee for AI’s Advocates Asia Conference in Jakarta in 2014.  He initiated the Christian Law Students Fellowship (CLSF) at UPH, and is a law student ministries coordinator for AI in Indonesia. Prior to a legal teaching career, Talbot practiced maritime and commercial law in Miami, Florida for 10 years, and served with Greater Miami Youth for Christ and Peacemakers Ministries in sharing the gospel and discipling inner city youth and families. His research and publications include topics on so-called same-sex marriage, anti-sex trafficking, corporate social responsibility, and commercial law. Currently he is working on a student course handbook for integration of Christian worldview in law school studies or for small groups.

Mark Spencer

Mark_SpencerMark’s experience with Christian schooling began in 1990 and he has been extensively involved in the leadership of Christian Schools Australia across a number of roles.  Currently he serves as Executive Officer, National Policy based in Canberra.

Mark is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants after completing a Bachelor of Business degree with a major in accounting and a specialisation in computing.  He undertook a Master of Labour Relations and Law degree in 1999, and was awarded the Postgraduate Prize for Industrial Relations.  Mark is also a Graduate member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, having completed the Company Directors Course in 2013.  Currently enrolled in a post-graduate law degree he was awarded the Thomson Reuters Law Prize for Postgraduate First Year.

From 2009 – 2015 Mark was the Chairman of the Board of Christian Super having previously been a Trustee Director and Fund Secretary. He also has been Company Secretary of both CCSL and CSA.  In addition, Mark has also served Christian school boards in a variety of roles and also serves on his church board.  In his spare time, he has been involved in politics as a candidate, marginal seat campaign manager and party office holder.

The Honorable Richard Chesterman AO RFD QC

Mr Chesterman was continuously in private practice as a barrister from August 1970 until March 1998.  He had experience in all areas of litigation but specialised in commercial work.  He was widely briefed in banking and finance, foreign currency loans, insurance, building and construction, defamation, local government and admiralty cases. His practice included mediation and arbitration.

He served as a member of RAAF Reserve as a legal officer.  He attained the rank of Squadron Leader and was awarded the Reserve Forces Decoration in 1980.

Between 1998 and 2002 he constituted the Mental Health Tribunal, a division of the Supreme Court. He was a Judge of the Commercial List of the Supreme Court between 2002 and 2008, until appointment to the Court of Appeal.

He was appointed an Officer of The Order of Australia in June 2011 for distinguished service to the Judiciary and for services to the Cancer Councils at a National and State level. He retired from the Court of Appeal in April 2012. Since his retirement from the Court of Appeal Mr Chesterman has practiced extensively in Alternative Dispute Resolution. He has been engaged as mediator and as Expert to determine a variety of contract disputes. He has also been appointed as an arbitrator, particularly in disputes involving the construction of infrastructure projects, and contracts for the supply of natural resources. He is a Grade 1 arbitrator, accredited by the Resolution Institute.

Matt Hunt

matthuntregophotoMatt Hunt is a pastor and former lawyer based on the fast growing northern Gold Coast Queensland. He is Lead Pastor of CrossLife – a baptist church which has campuses at Helensvale, Southport and Upper Coomera. Matt is active in the community development of this fast growing corridor through involvement in not-for-profit governance and establishing new venues for community social capital in new suburbs. He led CrossLife through the journey of planting the Highland Reserve campus with a community centric venue with neighborhood shops, a community centre and a child care centre. The Lakeside centre won a 2015 Planning Institute of Australia (QLD) Award for the potential for the project to repeated in not-for-profit settings in new communities across the state.

Matt is chair of Compassion Connection Ltd and Compassion Services Ltd and a member of the Malyon College council.

Matt was born in Sydney and practiced law before he moved into vocational Christian ministry. He is a past Chair of the Crusader Union of Australia, past member of the SIM National Council and the Morling College Council. He is married to Robyn and they have three sons, Stephen (20), James (18) and Ben (16).

Rikki Lambert

rlRikki is a family man, married for 15 years, and a father of four children. A former corporate and country lawyer, Rikki has expanded his legal experience with a decade of legislative and political experience with the Family First Party.  Rikki has advised the party at state and federal levels, from Family First’s founder Andrew Evans, to SA parliamentarians Dennis Hood and Rob Brokenshire, and since July 2014 as Chief of Staff for Family First South Australian Senator Bob Day.

Rikki was the opening speaker at the Faith and Law Around the Globe and Advocates Asia conference in Hong Kong in 2013, was in the Australian delegation to the 2008 Advocates Global Convocation in Washington DC where he met the late Sam Ericsson, and works closely with Advocates Oceania leader Mark Mudri.

Mark Mudri

Mark MudriMark Mudri has been a member of the Global Council of Advocates International since its inception in 2009; he serves as co-chair for Prayer and Intercession. He is the President of the Lawyers Christian Fellowship South Australia and is about to commence a new role as legal and policy adviser to Senator Bob Day AO.

Mark is a co-founder of Peacewise, founder of KFC (Kingdom Facilitation Centre Australia) and one of the founders of the Lighthouse Prayer Tower. He has led delegations to Washington D.C., Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, and Dallas, Texas.

He was one of the speakers at the World Prayer Assembly in Jakarta on the Justice track and has also addressed conferences in Singapore, U.S.A., Malaysia, Canada, Indonesia and several mayoral functions in Adelaide. Mark’s passion is to see the fulfilment of John 17, Acts 2 and Psalm 133 and is committed to partner in efforts to unite the Body of Christ wherever possible. This passion has taken him to many strategic places in the world to pray and sound the trumpet call.

Carolyn Devries

Carolyn_2016Carolyn Devries is a founding director and the CEO of New Way Lawyers, the first Australian incorporated legal practice to operate on a non-profit basis. Carolyn was admitted as a legal practitioner in 2002 and for a number of years thereafter worked as a family lawyer in various private practices.

After completing a master’s degree specialising in the management of non-profit organisations, Carolyn developed a passion for the non-profit sector. Carolyn has been a pioneer in advocating the model of the non-profit incorporated legal practice, believing it encourages a more genuine culture of client care.

Carolyn is a committed Christian and loves encouraging other lawyers to use their work as a means of ministry.

With more speakers to be confirmed!

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