Gordon Moyes

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The Reverend and Honourable
Gordon Moyes
Member of the
Legislative Council of New South Wales
In office
3 September 2002 – 4 March 2011
Personal details
Born Gordon Keith Mackenzie Moyes
(1938-11-17)17 November 1938
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Died 5 April 2015(2015-04-05) (aged 76)
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Nationality Australian
Political party Christian Democratic Party (2002 – 2009);
Family First Party (2009 – 2011)
Spouse(s) Beverley Moyes
Children 3 (m); 1 (f)
Residence Tumbi Umbi, New South Wales
Alma mater University of Melbourne
Occupation Christian minister, politician
Website NSW Parliamentary webpage

Gordon Keith Mackenzie Moyes AC (17 November 1938 – 5 April 2015) was an Australian Christian evangelist, broadcaster and politician. From 2002 to 2011, he was a member of the New South Wales Legislative Council, initially representing the Christian Democratic Party until March 2009, and from November 2009 to 2011 was the Family First Party's lone parliamentary representative in New South Wales.

Early life and career[edit]

Moyes was born in Melbourne, Victoria on 17 November 1938.[1] His book When Box Hill was a village.[2] recalls events from his childhood and youth.

He first gained prominence in Australia as host of the weekly television program Turn 'Round Australia and radio program Sunday Night Live with Gordon Moyes.

Prior to becoming Superintendent of the Sydney Wesley Mission in 1979, he was an ordained Churches of Christ in Australia minister, serving at Victorian churches in Ascot/Newmarket, Ararat and Cheltenham,[3] while graduating from the University of Melbourne with a Bachelor of Arts in 1961.[1] He was ordained as a Uniting Church Minister[3] by the Uniting Church following his transfer to the Wesley Mission. In December 2005 he resigned after 27 years from his position at Wesley Mission, handing over to Keith Garner.

Parliamentary career[edit]

Moyes was appointed by the Christian Democratic Party (CDP) to take Elaine Nile's place in the New South Wales Legislative Council in 2002 following her resignation. Moyes subsequently stood for the CDP at the 2003 state election and was elected in his own right.

In 2004, Moyes started questioning CDP leader Fred Nile's leadership after Nile's return to state politics following his unsuccessful attempt to win a seat at the 2004 federal election. Despite his previous support for Nile, Moyes argued that Nile's anti-homosexual, anti-abortion and anti-Muslim focus should be altered and that greater emphasis be placed on environmental issues. Tensions between the two men escalated following the 2007 election, when Nile was re-elected to the Legislative Council.

In 2007, the President of the Legislative Council, Meredith Anne Burgmann retired from public service[4] and the Council sought a replacement. Tensions flared when both Moyes and Nile applied for the position.[verification needed][5] Nile subsequently withdrew his application and nominated Moyes at Moyes' behest.[citation needed] Peter Primrose was confirmed President on 8 March 2007, Moyes having received only two votes, Nile's and his own.[6] After Nile was made Assistant Deputy President on 28 June 2007 and then Assistant President 28 November 2007, Moyes began to publicly attack Nile.[citation needed]

In December 2007, Moyes claimed that Nile was going against his own party executive to oppose Islamic schools,[7] claiming it was policy "made on the run" by Nile and was "certainly not democratic in its methodology or Christian in its theological application". He called for Nile to be replaced as party leader.[8] In September 2008, Moyes claimed Nile was too old to be a viable leader, accusing him of being "a pathetic figure" who was a "loner" with "no peers or friends". He also requested that his parliamentary office be moved claiming his staff had been subjected to bullying and harassment.[9]

In February 2009, Nile wrote in his monthly newsletter that he regretted allowing Moyes to take his wife's place upon her retirement "because of his disloyalty and divisive actions and his frequent support of the Greens".[10] Moyes stated that the "Greens" were "far more Christian".[11][12] In March 2009, the members of the Christian Democratic Party voted to expel Moyes.[13] Moyes responded by stating that the Party was "hypocritical", "anti-democratic" and exhibited "extreme fundamentalism".[14] Moyes chastised Party members for their literal interpretation of the Judeo-Christian Bible[15] and made a point telling the Sydney Star Observer that the CDP stance against homosexuality was un-Christian.[16]

Moyes continued in Parliament as an independent before joining the Family First Party in November 2009.[17][18] On 26 March 2011, Moyes failed in his attempt to be re-elected to the Legislative Council at the 2011 NSW election.[19]

Other details[edit]

Awarded a number of honorary degrees, Moyes was awarded a Doctor of Divinity (honoris causa) from the California Graduate School of Theology in 1985; a Doctor of Laws (honoris causa) also from the California Graduate School of Theology in 1989; and a Doctor of Letters (honoris causa) from Milligan College, Tennessee also in 1989.[1]

Moyes was appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia on 26 January 2002 for service to the community in the delivery and expansion of social welfare and outreach services through the Wesley Mission, for fostering networks and partnership arrangements with other agencies to make services more widely available, and to religion.[20] He has also received the honours of Member of the Order of Australia (1986),[citation needed] was appointed a Paul Harris Fellow in 1978 by Rotary International, and received the 1986 Australian Father of the Year award. In 1994, Rotary International recognised Moyes with the President's "Distinguished Service" Award.[1]

Moyes lived in Tumbi Umbi on the New South Wales Central Coast. He died on 5 April 2015 in Sydney.[21][22]


  1. ^ a b c d "Reverend the Hon. Dr Gordon Keith Mackenzie MOYES (1938 - )". Parliament of New South Wales. 13 April 2011. Retrieved 31 October 2011. 
  2. ^ Moyes, Gordon (1991). When Box Hill was a village. Anzea Publishers. ISBN 0 85892 485 4. 
  3. ^ a b "Vale Gordon Moyes 1938-2015". Churches of Christ in Australia. 2015. 
  4. ^ "Presidents of the Legislative Council, 1856 to date". Parliament of New South Wales. Archived from the original on 14 March 2011. Retrieved 19 June 2010. 
  5. ^ Sikora, Kate (29 June 2007). "God is on my side... no, he's on my side - Party faithful locked in unholy war". The Daily Telegraph. Australia. p. 4. 
  6. ^ "Presidents of the Legislative Council vote". Parliament of New South Wales. Archived from the original on 25 May 2011. Retrieved 19 June 2010. 
  7. ^ Higgins, Ean (24 December 2007). "Nationalists to exploit Muslim row". The Australian. Retrieved 8 March 2010. 
  8. ^ Chandab, Taghred (12 January 2010). "Muslim policies divide party". The Sydney Morning Herald. p. 28. Retrieved 8 March 2010. 
  9. ^ Carty, Lisa (7 September 2008). "Christian soldiers at war". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 8 March 2010. 
  10. ^ "God's MPs in row". The Daily Telegraph. Australia. 3 February 2009. p. 8. 
  11. ^ "'Anti-Muslim, anti-gay': Party in holy war of words". ABC News. Australia. 3 February 2009. Retrieved 8 March 2010. 
  12. ^ Feneley, Rick (4 February 2009). "Nile calls on the power of prayer to remove a political thorn in his side". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 8 March 2010. 
  13. ^ Sheppard, Elwyn (18 March 2009). "Expulsion of Dr Moyes - Right of Appeal" (PDF). The Family World News. Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 December 2014. Retrieved 18 March 2009. 
  14. ^ "Why Party expulsions are self defeating". Gordon Moyes. 20 April 2009. 
  15. ^ "Creation Science". Gordon Moyes. 7 May 2009. 
  16. ^ "Gay hate not mainstream: MP". Sydney Star Observer. 12 May 2009. 
  17. ^ "Family First gets MP in NSW parliament". The Age. 10 November 2009. Retrieved 8 March 2010. 
  18. ^ Robins, Brian (11 November 2009). "Moyes switches allegiance to Family First". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 8 March 2010. 
  19. ^ "Legislative Council Results". NSW Votes 2011. Australia: ABC News. Retrieved 31 October 2011. 
  20. ^ "Search Australian Honours: Moyes, Gordon Keith". It's an Honour. Commonwealth of Australia. 26 January 2002. Retrieved 31 October 2011. 
  21. ^ "Former NSW Upper House MP Reverend Gordon Moyes dies in Sydney". ABC News. Retrieved 6 May 2015. 
  22. ^ "Vale 2GB's Gordon Moyes". radioinfo. 6 May 2015. Retrieved 6 May 2015. 

External links[edit]