Media Release: Friday, November 13, 2009

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd will address Christians and engage with a number of key Christian leaders at the Australian Christian Lobby’s National Conference to be held in Canberra on November 20 and 21.

Speaking on the theme of the conference ‘Putting Kids First’, Mr Rudd is part of an impressive line up of speakers including Catholic Archbishop of Sydney Cardinal George Pell, authors Maggie Hamilton and Melinda Tankard Reist, clinical psychologist Dr Robi Sonderegger, ARACY CEO Dr Lance Emerson, Mission Australia’s Lance Hopper and the ACL’s Jim Wallace.

ACL Managing Director Jim Wallace said the conference provides an important opportunity for Christians to hear first-hand from the Prime Minister about his views and policies on important issues, and particularly how to better look after the best interests of children in the formation of public policy.

“The conference theme Building a nation of character: Putting kids first is in keeping with the need for Australian society and lawmakers to do more to care for the needs and interests of children,” Mr Wallace said.

“Far too often children are the losers from poor public policy, as demonstrated by growing rates of child abuse, youth homelessness, and child sexualisation.

“We would like to see the best interests of children championed in public policy with a special emphasis on advantaging the building of strong marriages and families. The ACL National Conference will be an important step towards putting kids first on the political agenda.”

People interested in attending the conference to be held at the Hyatt Hotel in Canberra are encouraged to register quickly as registrations for the main conference day on Saturday November 21 close on Monday November 16. The Friday night dinner (November 20) with Cardinal George Pell, where he will be speaking on the importance of the church engaging with politics, society and culture, has already been completely sold out.

On the Saturday speakers will deal with different areas of the need to assist children – with Dr Emerson examining why kids are falling through the cracks, Lincoln Hopper looking at ‘Why kids are homeless’, and Ms Reist, Ms Hamilton and Dr Sonderegger dealing with different aspects of the sexualisation of children.

Registrations can be completed online at or by phoning. Full details are also available on the website. ACL is grateful for the generous support of conference sponsors Compassion Australia, Christian Super, 1Way FM, the Barnabas Fund, Sozo Production and Trinity Telecom.

Media Contact: Glynis Quinlan.