Spiritual formation and what Latin American liberationists call conciensization are often most powerfully achieved through intentional, close community. That’s why I have counted it a great privilege to have served as Inaugural Chaplain to the Lachlan Macquarie Internship. I wholeheartedly recommend this cross-political spectrum, spiritual and theological initiative by Jesus Generation Alumnus Nick Jensen – founding director of the Lachlan Macquarie Internship.
Every state and territory parliament in Australia is now served by at least one alumnus of this cross-party-spectrum transformational internship.
The Lachlan Macquarie Internship is designed to foster a greater appreciation of the relevance of a Christian worldview to public policy and the believer’s engagement with it. The internship is offered selectively to high achieving post tertiary Christians considering careers in areas with influence on public policy. It aims to give them a foundational understanding of the intersection between religion and politics in Australia before they go into public life.
Paul and Lachlan Macquarie graduate Rohan McHugh
It was my priviledge to serve as inaugural chaplain to the first two internships – the first in Sutton NSW and the second in Burra NSW. The depth of training and the transformational power of intentional community in the months shared together are life-changing aspects to this program.
This transformational experience of living and learning in a close community of faith creates deep relationships that contribute to a better and more productive environment. Along with exposure to a broad field of distinguished leaders in the public domain who exhibit Christ like values and bearing, this encourages and equips interns for undertaking future leadership with integrity and effectiveness. By providing an academic and creative environment in which to grow in knowledge of history, theology, law, politics and Australian culture, participants of diverse political persuasions enter the political realm with a more robust motivation and purpose.
Nicholas Aroney is a Professor of Constitutional Law at the University of Queensland’s TC Beirne School of Law, and also the author of the curriculum for Lachlan Macquarie Internship. Nick delivers core curriculum on the internship.
Stephen Chavura holds a Ph.D. from the University of New England, Armidale. His book, Tudor Protestant Political Thought, 1547-1603was published in 2011. Formerly a lecturer in Political thought and history at Macquarie University, he e has also published articles on church and state and secularism in colonial Australia. Stephen delivers core curriculum on the internship.
Paul Henderson OSB has been director of research and programs at a public policy think tank publishing research and writing policy on education and welfare. He has worked out of the Prime Minister’s Office as Secretariat to a small group of cross-party MPs working on education reform in New Zealand. Paul was educated at Ampleforth College, Aberdeen University, Cambridge University, and Laidlaw College. Paul delivers core curriculum on the internship.
JGEN ALUMNUS – NICK JENSEN, FOUNDING DIRECTOR
Nick holds a Bachelor of Theology from Charles Sturt University, and a Bachelor of Arts from the Australian National University, majoring in philosophy and religious studies. He writes regularly in the CityNews and has spoken widely at churches and conferences. In his tenure as a JGen Chaplain, Nick developed a passion for the impact of intentional community on leadership and policy – and has lived in Christian community for 15 years. Nick is married to Sarah, who works as a a medical doctor. Nick and Sarah are parents to two gorgeous children – Micah and Bethany.
The Lachlan Macquarie Internship provides a mixture of the following:
- community based living
- intensive teaching sessions
- coaching and mentoring
- networking and relationship building
- discussions with a wide range of prominent Australians
- experience within politics, NGO’s, think tanks and lobby groups by short attachments
Paul and Lachlan Macquarie Graduate, John Austin at the first LMI Graduation Ceremony in 2011
The internship program runs for a period of 14 weeks with the program being offered twice a year. Character, knowledge and experience are developed through academic discussion, reaction education, manual labour, relationship development and community living. Work experience is provided at policy related locations including politicians’ offices, social welfare groups, media outlets, and research/lobbying organisations.
The daily rhythm balances lecturer seminars, academic reflection, community conversation, public service and contributions, and dinner discussion with prominent Australian figures. This focus enables the interns to build solid relational networks, more thoroughly form their understanding of values, and develop deeper vision to enrich the arena of public life and governance.
In today’s Australia the adversarial dynamic of politics often dominates and diminishes our political life. At times there appears to be to be very little goodwill or cooperation modelled in parliament, within parties or even within factions. Through its engagement with creative academia and community living, it is our hope that the relationships developed through the Lachlan Macquarie Internship will contribute better understanding among parties and between government and the public service long into the future.
LMI Graduates commend Paul’s work as Internship Chaplain
“Consistently consistent. A real rock.”
“You have patiently developed your heart and mind to be a great instrument for Christ…
The care and focus that God has given your mind amazes me.”
“A prophetic edge, certainly, gazing into the hidden things…blended with humour,
pastoral commitment and warmth. A rare combination.” (A)
“Thank you for your servant heart, observing eye, keen mind, teaching spirit,
and your walk of faith. God is clearly with you.” (R)
“Thank you for the character you have built & the time you have spent with God!” (J)
“Truly a pleasure to sit at your feet. I love the way you communicate the Gospel –
not only in the words you choose, but in the very way you speak…a clear gift
of discernment…how pertinent and timely your messages have been!” (C)
“I appreciated your calm, your insight and thoughtfulness, your warmth & care. Thank you.” (A)
“You obviously care for people…a great support. You choose your words carefully
and prayerfully – because you are faithful they hit their mark.
You also have a great voice!” (S)
“I have yet to meet anyone with more wisdom, passion and personal integrity than Paul.
His ability to speak into people’s lives and to see years into the future
is an exceptional gift.”(Nick Jensen – LMI Director)