Bob Frisken AM, is to receive an Honorary Doctorate at the Alphacrucis Graduation Ceremony on 28 April. Along with Peter Hester, Bob founded the Christian Community Schools movement in 1976, an organization out of which Christian Schools Australia was to emerge. According to AC Dean of Education, Professor Mark Hutchinson. “Hundreds of thousands of young Australians have benefited from Bob’s pioneering of the third largest educational system in Australia after the public and Catholic systems.” The movement sparked a national wave of school planting in Churches and halls: “Bob’s work created a significant symbolic part in the great shift in the Australian social contract over the last 40 years,” said Dr David Hastie, AC Associate Dean of Education. “Parent choice in Australian schooling now ranks highest in the OECD, with the 5th highest per capita access to non-government schools in the world.” CSA’s current CEO, Dr Daniel Pampuch, also congratulated Bob Frisken on the honour: “CSA honours Bob’s rich and enduring contribution to Christian schooling in Australia, and congratulates him on this honorary award that celebrates his legacy and achievements as a leader of Christian schooling in this nation”.
After 12 years of successfully pioneering CCHS, in 1988 Bob Frisken took up the role of Education Director with Christian Community Schools Limited (CCSL), and in 1991 he was appointed President. In 2001 he oversaw the closure of CCSL so as to start Christian Schools Australia (CSA), of which he was founding Executive Secretary and CEO. In 2002, with his wife Maryanne, he established New Hope International, to distribute affordable Christian schooling around the world through ‘Effective Education’, ‘Sustainable Community Development’, and Transformational Leadership Training’ that will helps raise new grassroots leadership and equip leaders to bring change to their country. He remains founding President of NHI, a work which has brought help and succour to thousands of teachers and schools in the majority world. His international reputation and significant impact on education in Australia was recognised in 2002, when he was named to the Order of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.
Bob Frisken has made a significant contribution alike to Australian society, to the spread of the Gospel, and to the health and strength of Christian communities both in Australia and abroad. In a period of declining church membership among some traditions, his contribution may well turn out to be one of great historic importance in the history of the Christian faith in Australia.