"Secular" Australia: Its Implications for Religious Freedom

Page topper image panel 2017 Governors Symposium

The purpose of the evening was to promote informed conversations among the leaders and governors of Anglican schools on the issue of secularisation and its effects on education. EdComm recognises that in current public discourse this is a hotly contested subject particularly as it relates to the freedom for faith-based organisations within our culture. The ongoing nature of this debate will have implications for teachers and parents but this particular event will focus on the topic as it relates to governance and leadership in our schools.

We invited Right Reverend Michael Stead (Anglican Bishop of South Sydney) to enlighten us on the issue and to open a discussion on secularisation as it pertains to the operation of faith-based schools. He brought to bear his extensive experience in school governance alongside his work on this area, and others, in the life of the Diocese. Bishop Michael Stead explored what kind of secular country Australia has been, what it could be and should be and what implications this could have for freedom of religion.

Speaker: Rt Rev Dr Michael Stead

Anglican Bishop of South Sydney

Bishop Michael Stead holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of New South Wales, is an honours graduate of Moore College with a Bachelor of Divinity and a Diploma of Ministry, and was awarded a Doctor of Philosophy by the University of Gloucestershire in 2007. He is a part-time lecturer in Old Testament at Moore Theological College.

Dr Stead has extensive experience in church affairs nationally and internationally.  He is a member of the General Synod Standing Committee and has been the Secretary of the General Synod Doctrine Commission for the past decade. Internationally, he is an active supporter of the Global Anglican Future Conference or GAFCON and played a key part in the operations team that coordinated GAFCON 2013, as well as being a member of the writing group that produced the Nairobi Communique. 

He is married to Felicity, and the couple have three teenage children. Bishop Stead was previously rector of St James Turramurra. He was consecrated Bishop of South Sydney at St Andrew's Cathedral, Sydney on 5th December, 2015. Dr Stead’s research interests include Biblical Theology, the Atonement, Hermeneutics and Eschatology. He has written four books and a host of articles.

Event Recording