Wednesday, September 14, 2011



Mary of The Cross, Mary McKillop, our officially sanctioned 'Saint' is not among the elect on her own, for she yet leads a throng of hundreds, thousands, maybe tens of thousands, of the unofficially acknowledged, for too long uncelebrated, too-often unrecognized, and maybe, even completely unnoticed or overlooked ...

"Christians of The Australian Clay"

+ + + + + An Australian Christian ALMANAC + + + + +

Alf Traeger as a young man
A faithful Christian, electronic tinkerer and scientific inventor, Hermann Alfred Traeger (2 August 1895 – 31 July 1980), gave the Outback, and the Royal Flying Doctor service, a way of fast contact via the innovative local sustainable technology of the Pedal-Powered Wireless which he invented. Traeger can hardly be said to have personally profited from his original 'discovery' for rather than patenting and marketing it for his own enrichment, like many of today's wireless internet multi-millionaire inventors, he self-sacrificingly applied the technology in the service of others. The Traeger Pedal wireless was a lifeline of communications, used both in Outback Australia, in Africa and the South Pacific. A district of Alice Springs is named to honour him.
Alf Traeger in later years.

“There is no saint without a past, no sinner without a future.” - Saint Augustine of Hippo,

Augustine of Hippo, though an African and not an Australian, nevertheless tells it fair dinkum. No one comes to saintliness without forgiveness and redemption, and no sinner is so depraved that given forgiveness and redemption they could not come to a saintly future. So, given his fair dinkum nature and courage, and his African colonial analogue of the Southland, I vote in Augustine of Hippo as an honorary Australian.

'William' BARAK born c. 1824 Brushy Creek, near Lilydale - died15 August 1903, Healesville, Victoria, was the last traditional 'ngurungaeta' elder of the Wurundjeri-willam people of the Yarra Valley. He led his people into a firm Christian faith through the influence, first of assistant Protector and Wesleyan, William Thomas, and later to his Scots friends, John and Mary Green of Healesville. Barak who could read and write, and would lead deputations to the Governor, believed strongly that his path went on to Christ's new heaven and new earth with a Yarra Valley brought into paradise.

This site is a work in progress with the ultimate aim of providing interactive
networking to harvest human interest details to write mini-biographies and
illustrate the lives of those significant Australian Christians
or Christian Australians, however great, however flawed, for the gift of their
particular grace, or charism, for what will ammout to
a Calendar of Australian ' SAINTS ' - although, not named as such,
but, in all their fallibility and humanity in the Australian context of cultural cringe,
especially in relation to divinity, to be called


SO - ONE inspiring 'SAINT' for each day of the year

- and so 365 or 366 people

Irene McCormack, (1938-1991) a Sister of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart - from Trayning, Western Australia.Went to Peru to work for the poor. She was assaulted, mocked, and so martyed by being murdered by Maoist terrorists in Peru.

Christians Of The Australian Clay

Christ's Mob in God’s Own Country:

(God Botherers here Downunder)

On Australia day 2004 a television guest on

the ABC Aussie Hero Quest show said:

"Well he couldn't be a saint because he was Australian."

YET - we have Christian martyrs who were born in Australia
- We have Christian martyrs in Australia who were born elsewhere

- we have outstanding acts of Christian service in Australia
- we have outstanding acts of Christian service by Australians out of Australia
- we have outstanding acts of Christian witness in Australia
- we have outstanding acts of Christian witness by Australians out of Australia -



+ Christ’s Cross-Bearers in Australia.

OZ SAINTS Australian Saints [or Bearers of Christ’s Cross in Australia }

· Exceptional Christians

· = worked with aboriginals

· + aboriginal

· people who made a Christian contribution, .

who shared the love of Christ for the poor, lost, stranger, the addicted
who defended the faith, or were apologists for Christ and his church
who took up the cross of Christ, or who turned the other cheek,
who called for repentence
who stood for justice, human rights of those made 'in the Image' of God
who were prophets in their time
· those who bore witness to Jesus Christ with their life in devoted service of the needy, the sick, the dying

· who were Christian mystics with a life of prayer, reflection and contemplation

Christians of the Australian Clay

~ a calendar year book of unofficial downunder saints


In a corporate world even secular corporations now make a “Mission Statement’. Whether knowing, or ignorant, this causal focus is a legacy of Christian Missions. It was once only Christians who wrote up their principles and visions were firmly based on the sense of purpose and cause which is endowed in the Great Commison of Jesus Christ himself. The cause is summarised as the love of God and our neighbour as ourself. The following great crowd of witnesses have seen this love, this God, as a cause in Australia. For all their flaws and weaknesses the people of the soil of Novae Hollandae touched them and they have touched in return. This touching was a work to a Terra Australis de Espiritu Santu.

The Southland of Holy Ghost, the enigma, country of the Ultima Thule, at the very uttermost parts of the earth, at ends of the planet. A land wrought on another side of the Old World’s perception. A land covered by mystery. This land’s story, its late finding by most of the world, its fabled existence, is one of paradox. It exists as a body of spiritual scriptures for its first peoples. It existed as an idea, the idea of balance, a counterweight in the mind of western northern-hemisphere men. Australia is a land that had to be different, wry, other. It is scripture still, just as it is that counterweight still. ‘Paradoxical’ describes the humour of a people who mock themselves, who laugh at this clay.

It is said that she is a young country, ‘the last of lands, but they lie, she is of the oldest lands. Her geological landscapes are withered, her ranges like old teeth worn down with age. Her very position on the globe stands traditional viewpoints on their head. Podal Assumption goes like a tailless kangaroo in the Antipodes. The noble skulls in the pride of old glory end up eaten out by flies. The irony of the mineral-rich place touches its workings towards a quality - a sort of spiritual steel.

Christians of the timid or overly pious sort are ‘wowsers’ here. Killjoys. Christians of the authoritarian sort are hard to pick from Herod, Pilate, Caiaphus or Governor Bligh. Yet Christ is here. Unsung faith gets no swan-song. But here, Jesus often knows the cattleshed, the stocktrough, a whip, rejection, a crown of thorns and the old rugged cross. Many people of the old faith have had to walk that journey again, this time on Australian terms, to find Christ in His Australian life and truth.

Here, the sign of the Eucalyptus rules, from east to west, north to south. The sign is of a hidden glory; for eucalyptus means: well-covered. For every single blossom on the Australian national trees is covered with a wooden lid. All public flowering has a lid kept on it until the very last thing. The glory of the tree is kept hidden until the very last moment. For this is the harsh environment. The tough country. Hard-bitten in its character. The sclerophyll scrub stretches from desert coast to coast. Prickly leaves, coarse string bark, ironbark, crunchy, sticky scrublands and tangled heaths. This is tough country, of hard won existence, and hard-held tenderness.

The character of life is like the echidna, spiny on the outer, soft inside. This is the land that spikes its too-tender children with the edge and points of its tall-poppy scissors. It brings everyone down to earth. The natives know that they have feet of clay, and so they remind each other that they are no better than all the rest. Only, sometimes, this amounts to cruelling: of love, of grace.

Yet in Australia the great sinner might be a secret saint. And the great saint might be revealed to be a secret sinner. And don’t those feet in clay love to find other feet among that semi-fluid matter. Grief becomes a lifelong moan, and repentance is a matter of disgrace, unless it is born with stoic indifference. Australia is scrub and sand, rock and raspiness. Ironbark, messmate, prickly moses, wire and sword grass.

One thing many a heathen in church-bypassing Australia does not often appreciate about Christianity is its central tenet of forgiveness. This is the key point of God’s star-sent message to mankind in Jesus Christ, who stood as ransom for anyone that will accept Him, and He said of those earthbound men rejecting him: “Father forgive them, for they don’t know what they do.’

The Christian life is lived within these tensions: earth and the heavens. Two pulls, like the springs on opposite ends of the playing mat make life a spiritual trampoline. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak; God knows! Jesus Christ does not expect us to be good enough What he wants is us to want more than just to have our feet on good clay, he wants our hearts and minds, our spirits and souls, to rise above.

The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. Nevertheless, the striving Christian knows a potency of spirit that brings them, on repentance, into such goodwill, such redemption that he or she comes into fellowship with God himself, despite those personal failures, the sins. The whole body of weak moments goes to nothing when laid into eternity before the King of Creation. His body was broken for that end. And so melds the clay into gold in the rainbow.

Christians of the Australian Clay belong to the allsorts bag. This book is broad church. Names, denominations, matter as much as places do, states of origin, or of habitation. The Kaluthumpian and the Biblebasher, the Vandiemonian and the Victorian, the Territorian and the Terra-Globalist are all there.

Places as far apart as Thredbo and Yuendumu are represented. Islands and the main.

It owes its inspirations to these examples among fallible humanity who have been gripped by Divinities in the Christian Way. They have done in some way as Jesus would, for His way goes on, They have walked out of the Scriptures with the Word whose story is still being told: As Rod Boucher, Australian songwriter put it in his album ‘Set Us On Fire”:

“Thank God for the Bible...Its full if mistakes:
People who know it, and go it... and blow it;
But God tells his story through them...
and God lives his story through us...”

Yes, it is breathtaking to bring it right home like that, but true, on our shore, and close to us. I believe each of these Australians tried to live for Christ in some way or other. These, of the shifted-sinners who belong in the communion of saints, are all dead and gone to their reward. We now are the ones at the coalface between the clay and the stars. How do we shape up for the upward challenge?

Let the spirit be willing, even if the flesh is weak. Indeed this is why we need the other members of Christ’s body. Where the heathen looks for the evidence of weakness of flesh to attempt to annul this spirit; I do the opposite. I seek to show how wonderful it is that Christ has been telling his Australian stories in re-fired vessels of clay.

"Out of Clay
We were Made
And its Going
All the Way" Gerry Holmes


IN selecting Christians of The Australian Clay

1. Martyr Priority, or any High-Souledness as to Christian self-giving : - in largesse, respect, dignity, catholicity, generosity

2. Orthodoxy of heart and mind - as in the 'Heart of Christ', Integrity as to Creed, witness to truth of the Creedal Faith

3. Coal-face Christianity, need-engaged Christian ministry, both Great Commission responsive and Good Samaritan responsive

4. Courage is valourised: Courageous Faith, Brave Christian Conviction, or intrepid missionary adventuring, Risk-taking life-Pilgrimage minded faith

5. First People’s priority, Australian Indigenous frontier seen as a First Christian Cause

6. Holiness, Sanctity, Goodness, Devotion to Call or to Ordination, displaying something of the 'Heart of Christ'. CROSS: witness to bearing a Cross or showing a Christian response to difficulty, persecution, personal pain or suffering

7. Spiritedness, Wit, Christlike Edge, Spark, Fire, Quickness of soul,

8. A significant Australian connection: eg. birth, ministry, residency, death

9. Diversity: broad church, Global, Cosmopolitan, Ecumenical

10. Dead: the person needs be deceased, in the communion of the saints



Christians Of The Australian Clay

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