Brian Heath is a local church pastor and school chaplain who has spent the past 20 years serving the Gippsland community through pastoral care. His work has given him experience helping people from all walks of life. Locally, Brian works with families and young people and raises leaders within our community. He also works with aboriginal communities in outback New South Wales and the Northern Territory.
Internationally, Brian has been involved with training community leaders in Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and the Phillipines. He is instrumental in supporting an orphanage in the Phillipines that is majority funded by Gippsland churches.
Brian was raised on a wheat farm in central Victoria and worked in the banking and financial services industry before becoming a pastor.
I’m standing because families need to come first, not last. The family unit is the underlying building block of society, nurturing and developing the next generation. International human rights declarations and the Constitutions of hundreds of nations across the globe recognise the family’s need for protection by society and the State. We need policies that support marriage and hold families together, strengthen the capacity of families to care for their children and contribute to their communities.
Our politicians have not been good stewards of our nation’s finances over the last decade. Our national deficit will reach $84 billion and government spending $500 billion in the next four years. Meanwhile, less than half of the adult population (excluding public servants) are net taxpayers funding continued government spending. This is an unsustainable position. Like households when faced with financial difficulty, the Australian Government must tighten the purse strings and live within its means.
Basic human rights and freedoms that were hard-won are currently being questioned and undermined. In some cases even the right to express a different opinion is prohibited or indictable. Robust debate and the right to disagree is a sign that we are living in a healthy democracy and individuals are free to make up their own minds and express their opinions.
Australia is a nation with a damaged soul. The brutal treatment of our Indigenous people is our history’s darkest moment and still affects communities today. Unfortunately Aboriginal Australians do not share equally in the benefits of Australian life. Be it health, housing, employment, education, wealth, mortality rate or life expectancy, Aboriginal Australians falling behind the national average.
Trust needs to be restored with Aboriginal Australians for cultural healing and national unity to take place.