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Nov 2, 2009

Mark Scott’s religious affiliation

The November issue of the SMH's Sydney magazine features a profile of the ABC's managing director Mark Scott which contains this curious line on page 36: "Their scant private time is de

The November issue of the SMH’s Sydney magazine features a profile of the ABC’s managing director Mark Scott which contains this curious line on page 36: “Their scant private time is devoted to family; once identified as a prominent evangelical Christian, Scott now says he doesn’t attend any particular Church”

Scott may not ‘attend’ any particular church but he is on the Board of Management and Honorary Treasurer of Wesley Mission. His photo is in the foyer in PItt Street.

According to its website:

Wesley is a growing Christian Church and a Parish Mission of the Uniting Church in Australia, serving the community wherever the need exists.

According to Wesley, Scott is playing a critical role in shaping the organisation’s future. Wesley’s CEO noted in his annual review:

I was delighted to welcome Mark Scott, Managing Director of the ABC. Mark Scott and David Greatorex work closely with me in setting the course for the future.

There seems to be no particular reason why Scott, or the SMH, would overlook this pretty significant involvement in a religious organisation.

Given that the Wesley Mission turns over a $100 million a year, Scott no doubt takes more than a passing or casual interest in its affairs.

Perhaps, Scott considers his involvement a matter of business or philanthropy rather than personal religious faith.

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8 thoughts on “Mark Scott’s religious affiliation

  1. Greg the Explorer

    Wesley Mission is in fact a church that provides a wide range of welfare services to the general community and has done so since 1812! It can appear sometimes that it is just a welfare agency but is certainly a church- in fact a parish of the Uniting Church in Australia.

  2. Trevor Cook

    It is possible that the SMH journo is not good at doing basic google searches to get background on the subject of a profile – sigh.

  3. Stilgherrian

    Erm, that should have read, “a change in how ‘seriously’ one takes one’s religion” … I should not be let near a keyboard quite so early.

  4. Stilgherrian

    Ah, Trevor, surely cockup rather than conspiracy is usually the answer? I’d put my money on the SMH either not knowing about the Wesley Mission connection or, if they did, not spotting it as an interesting thing to pursue in a personal profile. I agree, a change is not “seriously” one takes one’s religion is an interesting life-change point.

  5. Trevor Cook

    Yes Stiligherrian, I agree religion should be a personal matter but as you would have noted in the first part of that sentence – “once identified as a prominent evangelical Christian” – the contrast is being drawn between Scott’s approach to his religion sometime in the past and his approach now and that is my point his high profile role at the Wesley Mission seems to undermine. I’m not talking about discrimination and prejudice, I’m interested in why he was once ‘high profile’ and is now apparently ambivalent.

  6. Stilgherrian

    Is it just me, or is one’s choice of religion (or not), not long ago a personal matter and, indeed, something on the basis of which we weren’t allowed to discriminate and prejudice, starting to become a matter of public interest again? Something that we are able to use to judge people’s worth?

    If so, I reckon that’s a worrying trend!

    Surely the only criteria we should use to judge Mark Scott’s competence as ABC MD is, well, how well he does his job. I daresay his contract has performance criteria written into it. Everything else — his religion, his sexual activities, what he eats for breakfast or any other habits he might have — are really none of our business, are they?

    If the man says he “doesn’t attend any particular church”, then so be it. If he helps a non-profit organisation, religious or not, good on him! If only more people gave their time to the community! And so what if that organisation is connected with a church? I mean, I’m not any kind of Christian but I give money to the Salvation Army ‘cos they do stuff no-one else has he balls to do.

  7. John Bennetts

    As an atheist, I approve of Mr Scott’s efforts to separate his personal faith from his employment. Ethics are not optional – they are a duty to society and to your employer.

    Of course, these are early days. His actions will determine his value to both organisations in his life.

  8. Mark Duffett

    “Perhaps, Scott considers his involvement a matter of business or philanthropy rather than personal religious faith.”

    That would be right, I think. My impression of Wesley Mission has always been that it’s more a charity than a church.