Today I present a profile of one of my Panellists (who, as a group, help me with various aspects of mentoring the young writers) as a build-up to the young writers Aust / NZ annual conference on Saturday 10 August 2019. Simon Farrer is a practising accountant and these are his own words.
My parents and older brother David left England in 1951 (then known as '10 pound poms') and settled in South Australia, where dad got a job at Adelaide University. In early 1959, at the Glenelg Hospital, my parents got a big surprise - identical twins (brother Roger and myself.) Apparently they had been told to expect only one child. I guess technology wasn't as advanced in those days.
After two years at Somerton Park kindergarten (1962, 1963), where my parents became friends with the Beaumont family (three of their four children would later disappear on 26 January 1966), we left Adelaide and headed to Melbourne where dad was appointed assistant registrar at Monash University. Roger and I started school at Mt Waverley primary school (fantastic school), while older brother David commenced an Arts degree (majoring in Russian) at Monash University.
Waverley High School (1971-76) proved to be a bit of a challenge, but Roger and I managed to get good marks and both headed off to Monash University, where I studied commerce and Roger studied Mathematics.
While at high school. Roger and I began attending the youth group at Clayton Church of Christ. On 3 December 1972, I publically declared my faith in Jesus Christ by walking to the front of the Church at the end of the evening service (the day after Gough Whitlam became Prime Minister.)
After completing my degree, I commenced work as an accountant on 14 January 1980 in Melbourne with the Australian National Audit Office. I had a fabulous 35 years working full time as an accountant – including a period as a forensic accountant working alongside police detectives chasing after money launderers (and catching them!)
For the past five years I have found myself in the fortunate position of being able to work part time. This has involved lecturing in commerce subjects at a Melbourne-based tertiary college, and also assisting a friend who is the pastor of a small church, where I have been preaching once a month for the past 18 months. I enjoy both immensely.
Marriage and Family
While I first met Mary-Jane, at a Monash University Christian Union event in 1977, we didn't start going out until 12 years later. We were married in April 1991. William came along in 1993 (he is now married to Reshma and is working as a Mechatronic Engineer) and Anneliese in 1996 (she has completed a Bachelor of Film and Television and has just headed off overseas.) Mary-Jane works three days a week as a social worker and loves it. My family have been and remain very important to me.
Our family had several holidays at the Well-Being Australia Moruya respite facility where Dr Mark and Delma Tronson looked after us a treat. More recently, just last year, Mary-Jane and I had a wonderful stay in Tweed Heads at Mark and Delma’s lovely home.
I must add that Mark and Delma are two of the nicest people I have ever met - as warm, open and friendly as can be. They don't stand on ceremony and are not too proud to admit their humanness. In short, they are my kind of people!
Like family, my faith is very important to me. Since that day in 1972, I have been involved in the life of several churches, and have met some of the most inspiring people. For example, aside from Mark and Delma, I also received great friendship and support from fellow sports panellist Peter Nelson when he was pastoring a Church in Melbourne in the early 1980's.
For the past eight years, Mary-Jane and I have enjoyed the teaching and fellowship at Bayside Church, based in one of Melbourne’s southern suburbs. Mary-Jane runs a program for (mainly) seniors, and I help run a fortnightly Bible study and home group.
On the first Sunday in February each year, we are encouraged to write down our prayer goals for the year ahead and have our pastors pray over us. I have done this each year, and my prayer goals have pretty much been the same. Namely:
- To have a greater understanding, experience and revelation of God's love in my life.
- With God's help, to be the best husband and father that I can be.
- To best use my gifts, talents and passions to further God's kingdom on earth.
Each of our young writers is a Christian leader of the future. I encourage each one of them to set goals at the beginning of each year (if they have not done so already) and to keep track of them. Over the past seven years, I have had a weekly prayer-buddy or accountability-partner, whose wise counsel and input into my life I have found invaluable. I would also encourage our young writers to consider this option.
Thank-you for letting me share something of my life with you.
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 mentors young writers and has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children. Dr Tronson writes a daily article for Christian Today Australia (since 2008) and in November 2016 established Christian Today New Zealand.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html