The article lists these significant people who play such a vital role in the life of the nation and the nation's political leaders. The idea of the public service is to offer fearless advice to their political masters. But if the past is anything to go by, when fresh governments come to power, inevitably changes at the top of the public service takes place.
As a 62 year old Australian having seen in my adult years numerous fresh Governments – I was born in 1951 when the Liberal Coalition Menzies Government was in power. Liberal Coalition to Labor in 1972, Labor to Liberal Coalition in 1975, Liberal Coalition to Labour in 1983, Labor to Liberal Coalition in 1996, Liberal Coalition to Labor 2007 and in 2013, Labor to Liberal Coalition.
I am unable to recall at any of those change over times of government where some change at the top in the public service did not take place, and it usually, not always, applied at the same time as their retirement. These are the most powerful people advising the Government according to this News.com article. Dr Ian J Watt , Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet – apparently his nickname is Wattie (so typically Australian - nicknames are so important in our culture).
The others listed in the article are Peter Varghese, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Dr Martin Parkinson, Treasury; Dennis Richardson, Defence Department; Jane Halton, Department of Health and Ageing; Dr Gordon de Brouwer, Environment Department. The reader is invited to go to the News.com article and read about these significant people.
Beautiful leaves on the beach, pick of the bunch
Organisations / Business / Politics
I recall when contacting professional sports from 1982 in establishing the chaplaincy to Australian sport, I soon found it critical to ascertain who were the 'King makers' in each organisation and moreover the 'King maker' changed from time to time. In some professional sport organisations it was the coach, in some the CEO, in some the Chairman of the Board, in some a board member or a retired board member, in one organisation it proved to be a wife of a particularly important person in the organisation.
In such chaplaincy discussions, once I had the King maker on board, and ensuring that the organisation understood that this was not the church providing a service to their athletes, rather it was a partnership between the community (Christians) and their organisation in a holistic caring philosophy for their personnel and families, then the process of appointing the chaplain was essentially drama free.
Fresh leaves of the beach
Each family have their own King makers – each and every family has their own structure and knowns. In some families it is dad, but mostly in Australia, mum rules the roost, mum is the King maker.
One of the heartbreak aspects of divorce when children are growing up is that they lose this central stable factor of their lives - new partners of their separated parents makes this fraught with uncertainty in a host of areas.
A very important aspect of developing social knowledge in families are the kids playing mum off against dad, and learning the weaknesses and strengths of each and how they react to certain things. That invaluable daily routine in development - goes by the way side when parents separate – change partners.
More leaves on the beach
Churches / Missions
Churches have their own power structures and again they are as different from one to the other, right across the board. King makers apply equally to the church as they do in any other organisation where people are involved. That's us folks!
I recall one story where the deacons / elders / church council made up of men, made a decision on some issue. It was well thought through and discussed at length, they prayed about this matter and found peace within their hearts as to the decision.
Alas, each of the men went home and told their wives (the meeting was of course secret and confidential) and as if on cue, each of the wives told their husbands that the decision would need to be reversed (as it would upset way too many people). The decision got reversed. The elders / deacons / church council members of that church community had not factored in the King makers.
Likewise, some churches and missions have a very strong King maker. Sometimes it is the minister, sometimes a layperson, even a widow, or someone who ploughed a great deal of money into the church building (or a previous generations / had). These are facts of life.
Any one of us can consider these stories and apply them without any drama whatever to situations within our own sphere of experience. So where do the biblical announcements play-out when considering the nature of the King maker – tyrannical, benevolent or democratic.
One could wax lyrical on this, suffice to say, that Deuteronomy clearly sets out that anything can be a blessing or become a curse. Edward Barton in the C17th set the matter again where he said evil prevails where good men do nothing and many a man has stepped up to the plate in spite of the said King maker to put things right – in the home, the work place, in sport, in the arts, in politics, in the church and missions.
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html