This week one of our directors Kevin Bailey received an honor on Australia Day. This is a list of what Kevin has been recognised for. We also include here an article from the Archdiocese of Melbourne as you scroll down to get to know more about who Kevin Bailey is.
MEMBER (AM) IN THE GENERAL DIVISION OF THE ORDER OF AUSTRALIA
Australia Day 2017, Mr Kevin Christopher BAILEY, For significant service to Australia-Timor Leste relations, to philanthropic organisations, to the financial planning sector, and to the community.
- Honorary Consul General of Timor-Leste in Victoria, 2002-2013.
- Board Member, Timor-Leste Sovereign Wealth Fund, since 2007.
- Director, g7 Foundation, Timor-Leste Ministry of Finance, 2014-2016.
- Patron, Love, Life and Health, Timor-Leste, current.
- Co-Founder, Xanana Vocational Education Trust, 2003 and Director, 2003 to approx. 2008.
- Past Vice-Chairman, Australian East Timor Association, 2004-2010 and Member, since 1991.
- Assisted with foundation and construction of the Embassy of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, Canberra, 2004-2010.
- Director, Empart (formerly Compassion for India), since 2012.
- Member, Prime Minister’s Community Business Partnership, since 2014.
- Member, National Advisory Committee on Ageing, 2001-2004.
- Founder, Kevin Bailey Charitable Trust, since 2004.
- Council Member, Opportunity International Australia, since 2012.
- Member, Philanthropy Australia, current.
- Board Member, Action Aid Australia, 2007-2011.
- Director, Dads4Kids, Fatherhood Foundation, since 2013.
Catholic Church of Australia – Archdiocese of Melbourne:
- Director and Volunteer, Marriage Education Program, Life, Marriage and Family Office, since 1993.
- Past Member, Archdiocesan Council for Marriage and Family, 1997-1999.
- Youth Leader and Member, Antioch Youth Movement, Western Australia and Victoria, 1983-1987.
- Former Head of Philanthropic Services, Shadforth Financial Group, 2008-2014 and Director, 2008-2014.
- Managing Director, The Money Managers, 1996-2008.
- Former Director, AustChoice Financial Services, 2000-2005.
Financial Planning Association (FPA):
- Ambassador, Future2 Foundation, current.
- National Board Director, 1998-2003.
- State Chairman, Victoria, 1995-1996.
- Past Chair, Melbourne Chapter, 1995-1996.
- Past Chair, Practitioner Advisory Committee, 1993-1995.
- Past Member, Conduct Review Commission, 2005-2014.
- Past Member, Professional Conduct Committee, 2005-2014.
- Assisted with foundation of Association, 1991 and Foundation Member, 1993-2015.
- Fellow, since 2005.
- Recipient, Distinguished Service Award, FPA, 2003.
- Leadership Victoria Community Leadership Award, 2006.
Time out with Kevin Bailey
WITHIN the first minute of meeting Kevin Bailey you cannot help but be impressed by his energy and passion. He has bucket loads of both, as well as a keen sense of social justice and compassion for the poor and underprivileged.
Kevin, whose passion extends to his family and Catholic faith, began his working life in the Australian Army and the Special Air Service (SAS) before embarking on a career in the financial services sector. Now in his 50s, the Melbourne-based financier has written two books, Your Money Guide and Money Guide 2, and was a weekly Herald Sun columnist for a decade. He also provided financial advice to radio listeners on 774 Melbourne for 12 years.
With his finance job flourishing, he was appointed Honorary Consul General for East Timor following its independence in 2002. He is still a regular visitor to that country and has witnessed big improvements to the lives of the East Timorese over the past 12 years.
After 28 years in the finance world, Kevin decided he had had enough and the time was ripe for a career change. In August he decided to sell his successful business, Shadforth Financial Group, and concentrate on philanthropy. While his finance career is now a thing of the past, life is anything but quiet for the father of seven children. He is on the boards of several community-based organisations, including Halftime Australia, Parousia Media, Dads4Kids Fatherhood Foundation and Alpha Australia, and was recently appointed to the Prime Minister’s Community Business Partnership.
Another interest is the Marriage Education program, which has been running for about 35 years. Central to the marriage preparation program is a commitment to marriage and family life, both close to Kevin’s heart.
‘Up to 40,000 couples have taken part in the program,’ Kevin said. ‘Grace [wife] and I have been involved for about 23 years, along with another half-a-dozen couples, and it’s good that interest in the program remains strong today.’
Much of Kevin’s drive these days comes from Pope Francis’ call in Evangelii Gaudium for Catholics to be disciples of Christ. ‘As lay Catholics, we’ve actually got to be real; we’ve got to be counter-cultural; we’ve got to differentiate; we’ve got to lay down our lives for something that’s worth laying down our lives for,’ said Kevin, who recently attended an international conference on Evangelii Gaudium in Rome.
‘That’s what we’re called to do and when that happens—and I saw that happen to the people of Timor—the faith that came from [the people], that was unbelievable. I see that happening in India, where I’m working with a lot of first-generation Christians. It’s an unbelievable transformation of faith that is going on. [But] contrast that with what’s happening in the West—Australia, Europe and the US—where we’ve watered things down and shied away from hard decisions.
‘The Pope’s exhortation is that we are all called to be missionary disciples. We are all called to live our lives in a way that is transformational and that we should lay down our lives for Christ. That is what we are called to do … everyone is called to be a missionary disciple.’
Evangelii Gaudium, Kevin said, is meant to provoke the conscience. ‘How many of us have actually invited someone to join our faith in the last 12 months?’ Kevin asked. ‘We’re all called to be missionary disciples and we need to ask the question of ourselves, “How do we do that?” Would that have been challenging for St Paul or the early Church? In the early days you could get killed, or thrown to the lions, tortured or jailed. We get none of that [today] and yet we’ve fallen into a sort of sacramental service station; we’ve fallen into a maintenance mode of maintaining the Sacraments for a dwindling band [of people]. We go to Mass on Sunday and do the minimum of what you need to do.
‘No one gets on an AFL team if they just turn up to training and do the least amount of work that needs to be done. We’re coming up to the 100th anniversary of Anzac Day. Why did 100 years ago the first ship carrying soldiers leave Albany? Why did people volunteer? Because there was something that was bigger and greater than themselves that they were prepared to lay down their life for.
‘So, is our faith bigger than ourselves and is it worth being a Catholic in the 21st century?’
For too long we’ve coasted, Kevin said, and there is a need for lay people to do more to support priests and bishops.
‘We’ve fallen into the trap of clericalism where we think, “Father will do that, that’s his role.” We’ve got to support the priests. Lay people also need to support the schools. There are lot of people sending their kids to Catholic schools but they don’t want too much religion taught to their kids,’ he said.
‘My sense is that young people look at what we’re offering—for example, Mass and religion—and think we’re not too fair dinkum about it. [Kids are] saying, why should I have a bar of that? We’re just going through the motions. It’s not that inspiring. And yet our faith is incredibly inspiring, but we don’t even know it.’
Faith is playing second fiddle to secularism and materialism in Australia, said Kevin.
‘Within two or three generations we’ve lost our understanding of what it means to be a Catholic. In other parts of the world like China, India and Africa, people say this [faith] is the most precious and extraordinary gift … and yet they can’t believe we in the West seem to have given up on things.
‘It’s about keeping up with the Joneses. Spending money we don’t have, to buy things we don’t need, to impress people we don’t like. We need to be radical traditionalists—radical in the way we actually read the Gospels and understand Scripture; the way we understand our Catholic traditions and faith; and an understanding of the new catechism.
‘Everyone has to ask themselves, “What is my life’s purpose and what gives meaning to my life?” People need to understand that Jesus was real. He lived a life, died on the cross for our sins and rose from the dead. He has a love relationship with us and he’s waiting there outside the door for us to say “yes”.’
Kevin said he believed the Alpha program, a seven-week course that explores Christianity and the meaning of life, could be part of the solution. The program has been successful in many countries, with about 25 million participants to date.
‘People in Catholic parishes organise the program that can be run in someone’s home or at a restaurant,’ Kevin said. ‘It’s easy to ask friends and family members to come along, even people who don’t go to church anymore. It’s not about church teachings or sacraments but about the questions many people have about the meaning of life and our very existence.
‘This [Alpha program] is an example of how we can answer the Pope’s call in Evangelii Gaudium in a practical way and how we can move our parishes from maintenance to mission,’ Kevin said enthusiastically.
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