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Chaplains’ nemesis among Australia's most influential people

Ron Williams outside the High Court of Australia. Photo Nelson Lau
Ron Williams outside the High Court of Australia. Photo Nelson Lau Contributed

TOOWOOMBA man Ron Williams hopes being named one of Australia's most culturally influential people will help his push for a Senate inquiry into state school chaplaincy programs.

Mr Williams was fifth in the Australian Financial Review's top 10 cultural power list, ahead of celebrities including Cate Blanchett and Chris Lilley, as well as Chief of the Australian Army, David Morrison.

An 11-person panel, including former Liberal deputy leader Peter Reith, former Labor minister for foreign affairs Bob Carr and University of Queensland vice-chancellor Professor Peter Hoj, compiled the list.

Do you agree Ron Williams is one of Australia's most influential people?

This poll ended on 29 September 2014.

Current Results

Yes

82%

No

17%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

"I'm quite chuffed about it actually," Mr Williams said.

In June, he won his second High Court challenge against taxpayer-funded school chaplaincy.

The Australian Financial Review article said Mr Williams's influence had touched every public school in the country.

"Williams engaged in a David and Goliath battle when he took on the Federal Government in the High Court, not once, but twice, and won on both occasions," the article read.

It quoted Bob Carr, who described Mr Williams's use of the courts to challenge public policy as unusual.

"I thought it was crossing a major divide for the Federal Government to start funding chaplaincy activities in schools and he has taken it on," Mr Carr said.

Topics:  chaplain ron williams senate inquiry



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