Destiny Seeds – Growing Leaders with Fiona Simpson MP

During a recent meeting with Dr Jeannie Trudel, Fiona Simpson MP shared her views on leadership. 

As I waited to board my plane to Sydney out of the Sunshine Coast, a fellow traveler struck up a conversation about a new cancer facility his company was bringing to my region.

It was exciting news I connected to this personally after losing my Dad to cancer last year following a bitter sweet time of caring for him through his palliative chemotherapy and radiation treatment.

As I heard about one of this company’s proposed treatments, which was the use of radioactive isotopes to targets certain types of cancer, I got thinking about a leadership parallel.

Healing takes many forms but so does leadership. There is the highly visible positional leadership with strong authority that no one can miss, a bit like the powerful cancer treatments that zap the whole body.

There is also a leadership that comes by influencing with targeted interventions, working through relationships and people.

There is a case for different leadership styles for different situations. After spending many years in State Parliament in varying roles and many in opposition, I’m well acquainted with the “101” of situational and contingency leadership theory and the need to engage strong networks and relationships to get things done, rather than rely on a title and positional power.

Furthermore as a Christian in politics, I’ve also been influenced by the complementary biblical philosophy of “salt and light” — of being called to live out our faith in everyday life rather than confining it to a private place or within the walls of a church.

Taking these two highly relational concepts together, I believe you have the leadership style as modeled by Christ—focused on people, not just outcomes, and certainly on hearts transformed. It’s a good yard stick to follow.

However, I am very aware that many  view success as gaining the top job with the title, resources and influence. How many times have I seen people hang all their identity, purpose and effort on that goal alone, finding it doesn’t satisfy or last. The exception is if they have built value into relationships—into other people—along the way.

Leadership is not a title. It’s an action. Positions can come and go but purpose doesn’t. People matter and unlocking their potential is a high call of leadership.

I’ve learned that relational leadership isn’t just about hanging out at the coffee pot but, when there are goals to be met and causes to be won, it’s strategic and lateral.

A wise mentor of mine once said to me to never under estimate the power of facilitation—to use your ability to bring people to the table, to use networks to build creative solutions and then leverage group buy-in in a coalition of support.

I have used this technique to bring teams together for projects in my local area, such as a youth justice project we built a few years ago. It proved that you can do good things with diverse people, even people who disagree on many things, if you tap the common goal.

As a Christian, I also know that we have a creator God who is very much in the business of strategic placement and “salt and light” positioning for influence.

There are seasons and causes where God requires us to navigate across organisational boundaries and even outside of the walls to achieve an outcome. Allies to a shared cause can defy traditional boxes. A lesson I have learned along the way is not to write off the unlikely collaborative heroes – those who on first blush you would think impossible allies for a worthy cause but on scratching beneath the surface and putting side personal comfort zones you find share a common cause.

As we face an increasingly secular society with changing social values, I am reminded that nothing is new under the sun. Hostility to Christ-focused life—affirming values certainly isn’t new. As a first-world country with a Judeo-Christian heritage, we have just been a bit protected from the hottest battles that many Christians and people of faith face around the world, even until death.

Seeking to stand firm and be unwavering in our faith in these times, I realise we have to purposefully guard the anchor points of our faith. To do that requires keeping a healthy margin of time to breathe, pray and reflect for a fresh download of God’s wisdom and not to neglect the fellowship of believers in order to keep the flame alight and bright.

God knows the end game. He chose to put us here at this point in history and He will equip us for the challenges of our seasons and times.

That is an exciting place and time to be as a Christian leader in whatever our vocational environment.

Lifting up Jesus, lifts up people. Christ-centred leadership that loves people unlocks the seeds of destiny that he placed in their hearts.

CHC Researcher Receives Best Paper Award at World Symposium in Samoa

Dr Johannes Luetz, senior lecturer and post-graduate course co-ordinator in the School of Social Sciences and Chair of the Research Committee, showcased CHC at the “World Symposium on Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation Strategies in Coastal Communities” held in Apia, Samoa, 5-7 July, 2017.

With over 100 participants from 23 countries, the Symposium was a truly international and interdisciplinary event, mobilising scholars, social movements, practitioners and members of governmental agencies, undertaking research and/or executing climate change projects in coastal areas and working with coastal communities. Cooperating organisations included the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP); the World Health Organisation (WHO); the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO); and the International Climate Change Information Programme (ICCIP).

Dr Luetz’s area of expertise is climate change and sustainability, specifically the ways environmental change impacts societal structures in poor communities, including human relationships and networks.  Global warming is predicted to result in not only sea level rises but also an increase in the intensity of extreme weather events. Worldwide, the political response to natural disasters is to provide economic assistance to deal with acute crises such as lack of housing, food, water and electricity. Whilst these are important considerations, less attention is paid to the lingering impact of these disasters on human life which may include temporary or permanent displacement, broken social networks, psychological trauma, educational disruption, lack of occupational opportunities and resultant poor living conditions and economic hardship. This is particularly the case in countries of the developing world, which struggle severely to deal with the overwhelming social impact of events such as flooding and cyclones. As a Social Scientist, Dr Luetz aims to use research to make the world a better, safer and fairer place for all, especially poor and marginalised communities.

Dr Luetz’s paper, co-authored with Tongan Ph.D. researcher P.H. Havea, “We’re not Refugees, We’ll Stay Here Until We Die!”—Climate Change Adaptation and Migration Experiences Gathered from the Tulun and Nissan Atolls of Bougainville, Papua New Guinea, drew on pilot research conducted on the Carteret Islands of Bougainville/Papua New Guinea (PNG). Recognising that it is imperative that policy makers rethink adaptation responses to extreme weather events, the paper provides several recommendations in the areas of education, livelihood security and future governmental planning.

The research paper was exceptionally well received, winning 1st Prize in the category Best Paper Award, received jointly with the co-author from the University of the South Pacific, Suva, Fiji. The paper has since been published by Springer, one of the top five scientific publishers as a chapter in “Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation Strategies for Coastal Communities”.  This is a volume of the award-winning book series “Climate Change Management”, which since its creation in 2008 has become the world’s leading peer-reviewed book series on this topic.

Those interested in further information please contact Dr Luetz ( )

Changes to FEE-HELP in 2018

In 2017, the Commonwealth parliament passed the Education Legislation Amendment (Provider Integrity and Other Measures) Act 2017.

Under this legislation, students who undertake eight or more units as part of a bachelor or higher-level qualification (bachelor, graduate diploma, masters), or four or more units as part of a sub-bachelor qualification (diploma, associate degree), must pass at least 50% of these units to remain eligible for a FEE-HELP loan for their course. Students who do not maintain this pass rate will need to pay their tuition fees upfront to continue in their course, unless they are able to demonstrate that special circumstances apply.

Students who are affected by this change will receive communication from CHC prior to the commencement of Semester 1, 2018.

See the Study Assist website for more information.

Sign up for Summer Semester!

Attention all current CHC students!

Make the most of your Summer and complete a unit or two during Semester 3 at CHC. Escape the heat and get ahead on your degree progression or lighten the load for next Semester!

Christian Heritage College offers over 80 units across five different study areas, including:

  • Business;
  • Christian Studies;
  • Education and Humanities;
  • Ministries; and
  • Social Sciences

Units are available at undergraduate and postgraduate level, and many can be completed in external mode – meaning you study from the comfort of home (or the beach)!

Check out the list of units on offer at or contact your Course Coordinator to discuss your options.

Ready to apply? It’s easy – just visit the Unit Selection Form and select your units – we’ll take care of the rest.

For more information or questions, contact CHC Student Administration.

CHC announces new President

Dr Jeannie Trudel

The Council of Christian Heritage College (CHC), together with INC National Executive are pleased to announce the appointment of Dr Jeannie Trudel as Christian Heritage College’s next President.

Since her return to Australia at the end of 2016 Dr Trudel has held the position of Program Director, M.B.A. at Excelsia College Macquarie Park NSW.  Dr Trudel brings to the role a strong background in Christian Higher Education from her international experience and her appointments in a range of Council of Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) institutions in America.

Dr Trudel will take up the role of President in early January 2018. Professor Iselin will remain as President until the end of the year.

Are You Planning to Graduate This Year?

Graduation Applications Close 1 September

If you are completing your course requirements at the end of Semester 2, 2017 or have completed your course requirements but have not yet graduated, please ensure that you submit an Application to Graduate form by the closing date of 1 September 2017. If you submit your form after this date, you might not be able to be included in the 2017 end-of-year conferral period.

Graduates of the School of Education, Humanities and Business, the School of Social Sciences and the Millis Institute who are granted their awards in the end-of-year conferral period will have their graduation documents presented to them at the annual CHC Graduation Ceremony. For 2017 graduates, this ceremony is occurring on Friday 15 December 2017. If you cannot attend the ceremony, your graduation documents will be sent to you by registered post. Information regarding the ceremony will be sent to your CHC email address in the last quarter of 2017.

Graduates of the School of Ministries who are granted their awards in the end-of-year conferral period will have their graduation documents sent to them by registered post in December and are able to participate in the annual Citipointe Ministry College Graduation Ceremony. For 2017 graduates, this ceremony is occurring on Sunday 29 April 2018. Information regarding the ceremony will be sent to your CHC email address in the first quarter of 2018.

If you have any questions regarding graduation, please contact