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Fred Nile

Leader of the Christian Democratic Party[a]
Assumed office
7 April 1998
Preceded byParty established
Leader of the Call to Australia Party[b]
In office
22 June 1977 – 7 April 1998
Preceded byParty established
Succeeded byParty abolished
Assistant President of the Legislative Council of New South Wales
In office
28 November 2007 – 25 February 2019
PresidentPeter Primrose
Amanda Fazio
Don Harwin
John Ajaka
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byShaoquett Moselmane
Member of the New South Wales Legislative Council
Assumed office
21 October 2004
Preceded byHimself
In office
19 September 1981 – 30 August 2004
Preceded byRoger de Bryon-Faes
Succeeded byHimself
Personal details
Frederick John Nile

(1934-09-15) 15 September 1934 (age 86)
Kings Cross, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Political partyChristian Democrats (since 1998)
Other political
Call to Australia (1977–1998)
Fred Nile Group
(m. 1958; wid. 2011)

Silvana Nero
(m. 2013)
EducationCleveland Street High School
Alma materUniversity of New England
University of Divinity
Military service
Branch/serviceAustralian Army (1952–54)
Australian Army Reserve (1954–72)
Years of service1952–1972
Unit4th Battalion, Royal New South Wales Regiment

Frederick John Nile, ED (born 15 September 1934) is an Australian politician and ordained Christian minister. Nile has been a member of the New South Wales Legislative Council since 1981, except for a period in 2004 when he resigned to unsuccessfully contest the Australian Senate at the 2004 federal election. Nile was re-elected at the March 2007 state election and served the Assistant President of the Legislative Council until 25 February 2019. He is the longest-serving member of the New South Wales parliament. In November 2009 he stated his decision to retire in 2015,[1] but later announced his decision to accept the Christian Democratic Party (CDP) nomination for the NSW Legislative Council at the New South Wales State Election on 28 March 2015.[2] In April 2021 Nile announced he would retire in November 2021, nominating Lyle Shelton to replace him.[3]

Early life

Nile was born in Kings Cross, New South Wales[4] and was educated at Mascot Public and Cleveland Street High School (1940–1949). In 1952, during the Korean War, at age 17, Nile volunteered to join the National Service in 1952 and then transferred to the CMF/reserves which allowed him to avoid deployment to Korea and qualified for the rank of major, before retiring in 1972. Nile attended the NSW Congregational Theological College, the NSW United Faculty of Theology and the University of New England. He was awarded a Licentiate of Theology by the Melbourne College of Divinity.[5]

Early career

Nile was ordained as a Congregational minister in 1964. From 1964 to 1967 he was national director of the Australian Christian Endeavour Movement, a Protestant youth leadership training organisation. In 1967–68 he was assistant director of the Billy Graham Crusade in Sydney before being employed as director of the Congregational Board of Evangelism in New South Wales. In 1970–71, he was involved in social work as director of the Methodist Mission to the People of New South Wales and, from 1971 to 1973, was Director of Outreach and Evangelism, Sydney City Wesley Central Methodist Mission.

In 1974, Nile was elected national co-ordinator and the New South Wales director of the Australian Federation of Festival of Light – Community Standards Organisation (FOL-CSO), an organisation which campaigned "for purity, love and family life". In 1958 Nile married Elaine Crealy, who was a member of the Legislative Council for 14 years. They had three sons and a daughter. Elaine died in October 2011 at age 75.[6]

Political career

Nile was elected to the New South Wales Legislative Council on 19 September 1981 with 9.1% of the vote[7] as the founder of the Call to Australia (Fred Nile) Group, established in 1977.[5] Following the election to the Legislative Council of Jim Cameron (in 1984) and Nile's wife, Elaine (1988), the Call to Australia Group was officially recognised as a political party. Fred Nile was re-elected to the Council at the 1991 and 1999 state elections before resigning from the council on 30 August 2004 in order to contest the 2004 Federal election, seeking a position in the Australian Senate[8] on a platform of opposition of the recognition of gay marriages.[9] Nile was the last candidate excluded after the distribution of votes on the 77th count, and was not elected to the Senate.[10] A few months later, he was reappointed to the Legislative Council to fill the vacancy created by his resignation.[7] At the 2007 New South Wales state election, Nile was re-elected for a further eight-year term and was appointed to the newly created position of Assistant President of the NSW Legislative Council.[11] In 2014, Nile announced that he will be contesting the next state election in 2015 with his deputy and successor, Ross Clifford.

Nile is National President of the Christian Democratic Party, a conservative party which focuses primarily on what it regards as important moral and social issues. Nile is noted for his controversial comments.[12][13] He is known for his vocal opposition to drug use, violence against women and children and the "mistreatment of the Aboriginal community" by state and federal governments. He is most often quoted by the media on issues relating to pornography, abortion[14] and homosexuality.[7]

In 2003 Nile resigned from the Uniting Church in Australia when that church "officially decided to part with a literal interpretation of the Judeo-Christian Bible".[citation needed] He is the president of the Fellowship of Congregational Churches, a group of Australian Congregationalists who declined to join the Uniting Church in 1977.[citation needed] In 2007 he retired as the New South Wales director of the Australian Federation of Festival of Light.[citation needed] He is patron of the Australian Christian Nation Association and Vice President of the Australian Christian Endeavour Union, an evangelical youth movement.[citation needed]

In 2015 Nile supported the Liberal government's Privatization of the state's electricity poles and wires.[15][16]

Visa controversy

In January 2017, Nile was denied entry to the United States, where he had been invited to attend the inauguration of Donald Trump.[17] He was later granted a visa and an apology, though no reason was given for the initial refusal.[18]


On the Lindt Cafe siege

In January 2015, Nile argued that male hostages who fled the Lindt Cafe siege should not receive bravery awards, as giving them one would "cheapen" it.[12] He stated during an interview on Channel Seven's Sunrise program that no hostages at Martin Place should receive bravery awards and their actions had potentially risked the lives of their fellow hostages. "Usually men try to protect the women and it seems that the men were saving their own skin and leaving the women there." He later added that he misspoke when he said that "the only man inside the café had been the man holding the gun."[19][20]

In a media release dated 14 January 2015, Nile stated, "I fully support Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s recommendation to the Governor General, Sir Peter Cosgrove, that Mrs Dawson and Mr Johnson should be honoured with posthumous bravery awards." He also recommended that proper consideration should be given to the actions of others involved, including other hostages and police.[21]

On homosexuality

Nile is opposed to homosexuality which he has described as a "mental disorder"[22] and calls homosexuality a "lifestyle choice" that is "immoral, unnatural and abnormal".[23][24][25] Nile has also stated that he was "totally opposed to the bashing of homosexuals...totally opposed to any violence or attacks directed against homosexual men or lesbians ... opposed to strong (malicious) verbal attacks."[26]

Nile has opposed the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, which he described as a "public parade of immorality and blasphemy".[27] Nile objected to the "indecency and obscenity in various parts of the Mardi Gras" and stated that it reinforced "the worst stereotypes".[28] Each year, he leads a prayer session against the event.[29]

In 2005, Nile called for the repealing of New South Wales anti-vilification law, claiming that the law is discriminatory and should either cover all citizens or be abolished. Nile claimed that the Homosexual Vilification Act was being abused to gag free speech and prevent open non-malicious public discussion.[30]

Following a 2011 announcement by Penny Wong, a Labor Party federal government minister, that her same-sex partner was pregnant,[31] Nile publicly denounced Wong's actions, saying "I'm totally against a baby being brought up by two mothers," and "She needn't have made it public. It just promotes their lesbian lifestyle and trying to make it natural where it's unnatural."[32] During a televised debate on the show Q&A, Nile told Gene Robinson, the first priest in an openly gay relationship to be consecrated a bishop in a major Christian denomination, that he "...should be ashamed to be a bishop and going against the church".[33]

On the Australian Greens

Nile is a frequent critic of the Australian Greens, claiming that they have exploited genuine concern for the environment to garner political influence to "push their agenda of social engineering".[34] Nile has criticised the Greens for what he calls "duplicite political expediency", citing their push to legalise and fund "illicit drug habits for addicts" such as heroin[35] and cannabis[36] in what he claims is contravention of publicised Greens policy.[37] Nile has also labelled the Greens as being "anti-family", "anti-Christian", and "pagan", citing what he believes to be pro-pornography and pro-sex industry policies and their opposition to the current practice of opening parliament with daily prayers.[38]

Nile once described the Greens as the "watermelon party – green on the outside but red on the inside, with a bit of a pink tinge."[38]

On Muslims

Following the Moscow theatre hostage crisis in 2002, Nile asked whether the then state minister of police would consider banning full body coverings, like those worn by the Chechen terrorists, from parliament and places of public gathering to prevent the carriage of weapons or explosive devices. Nile has attempted to pass bills in the NSW Legislative Council that would prohibit the wearing of full-face coverings, such as the hijab or niqāb, six times – 2006, 2010, 2011, 2014, 2017, and 2019. Five of the bills failed to be passed, with only the latest bill still not lapsed.[39][40][41][42][43][44]

On 10 March 2007, Nile raised concern that Australian embassy officials posted in Islamic nations were favouring the immigration of Muslim over Christian refugees. Nile called for a moratorium on Muslim immigration to Australia: "Australians deserve a breathing space so the situation can be carefully assessed", he told an audience in North Ryde.[45]

In 2010, Nile asked for the removal of the then Australian Muslim leader Sheik Taj El-Din Hilaly after the sheik placed the blame for sexual assault on the female victims.[46]

On neo-pagans

Nile is opposed to Australian neopagans, having said that the Christian Democrats would "do what it can to stop pagan weddings and witchcraft or Wicca activities."[47]

On ethics classes in government schools

Ethics classes were introduced by the Keneally Labor government as an alternative for children who did not want to attend traditional scripture classes.[48] Prior to the 2011 state election, Barry O'Farrell made a pre-election pledge of not scrapping the ethics classes. Following the election, Nile, who was vehemently opposed to the ethics classes, introduced a private members bill proposing the abolition of the classes at the end of the 2011 calendar year. Debate on the bill was adjourned until 16 September;[49][50] and eventually Nile was successful in pushing the government to establish a parliamentary inquiry to examine whether ethics classes in NSW schools should be abolished.[51] Meanwhile, in introducing his bill into the Legislative Council, Nile gained headlines by arguing that the ethics course is based on a philosophy linked to Nazism and communism.[52][53]

Parliament activities

Nile served on the New South Wales' Parliamentary Standing Committee on Social Issues (1988–1995), facilitating legislative reforms on adoption laws, drug abuse among youth, rape rates and pornography, domestic violence, youth violence, youth rural suicides, compensation for medically acquired AIDS/HIV victims, juvenile justice, births, deaths and marriage records.

From 2007 to 2019 Nile served as the Assistant President of the New South Wales Legislative Council.[54]

Nile has also served on the New South Wales' Parliamentary Standing Committee on Law and Justice, the New South Wales' Joint Parliamentary Select Committee on Electoral Reform, the Parliamentary Select Committee into Firearms, the Joint Parliamentary Select Committee into the Management of Parliament, as Chairman of the Cross City Tunnel Inquiry, Chairman of the General Purpose Standing Committee No. 1, Chairman of the Select Committee on Electoral and Political Party Funding and Chairman of the Joint Select Committee on the Royal North Shore Hospital among many others.[54]

Nile currently serves as a member of the Standing Committee on Social Issues.[54]

See also


  1. ^ Official title name is Federal President.
  2. ^ Official title name was Federal President.


  1. ^ Nicholls, Sean (12 November 2009). "Father of the house, Rev Fred, to retire". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 1 September 2010.
  2. ^ "Leadership Group: Rev. Fred Nile". Christian Democratic Party. Archived from the original on 6 April 2015. Retrieved 6 April 2015.
  3. ^ "Reverend Fred Nile to retire from NSW politics, names 'unashamedly Christian' successor". 12 April 2021. Retrieved 12 April 2021.
  4. ^ "Fred Nile AutoBiography". Christian Democratic Party. Archived from the original on 31 October 2013. Retrieved 4 November 2013.
  5. ^ a b "About the Rev Hon Fred Nile MLC" (PDF). Parliament of New South Wales. Retrieved 2 March 2015.
  6. ^ "Elaine Nile dies after cancer fight". ABC News. Australia. 18 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
  7. ^ a b c Green, Antony (11 November 2009). "The Christian Democrat Schism". ABC Elections. Australia. Retrieved 3 October 2011.
  8. ^ "Fred Nile resigns from NSW upper house after 23 years". Media release (Press release). Christian Democrat Party (NSW). 30 August 2004. Archived from the original on 15 April 2012. Retrieved 3 October 2011.
  9. ^ "Will Fred Nile make it to the Senate". Crikey. Australia. 11 May 2004. Retrieved 3 October 2011.
  10. ^ Carr, Adam (2004). "2004 Senate: New South Wales". Adam Carr's Election Database. Retrieved 3 October 2011.
  11. ^ "O'Farrell pledges loyalty to NSW". ABC News. Australia. 3 May 2011. Retrieved 21 June 2011.
  12. ^ a b Megan Levy (14 January 2015). "Lindt cafe hostages who fled Martin Place siege don't deserve bravery awards, says Fred Nile". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 6 April 2015.
  13. ^ Godfrey, Miles (4 February 2015). "Controversial MP Fred Nile apologises after comparing childcare centres to 'day orphanages'". The Daily Telegraph (Australia). News Corp. Retrieved 6 April 2015.
  14. ^ Ainsley Symons (2014), "Anti-Abortion Campaigning and the Political Process," in Recorder (Melbourne Branch, Australian Society for the Study of Labour History), No. 279, March, p.2
  15. ^ "NSW Election 2015: Public float considered for NSW poles and wires privatisation, Baird". ABC News. 30 March 2015. Retrieved 21 May 2019.
  16. ^ "NSW Premier Mike Baird's power sale passes Christian Democratic MP Fred Nile roadblock". Sydney Morning Herald. 3 June 2015. Retrieved 21 May 2019.
  17. ^ Christopher Knaus (25 January 2017). "Conservative MP Fred Nile denied US visa for Donald Trump's inauguration &#". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 July 2017.
  18. ^
  19. ^ Tom Decent (15 January 2015). "The only man really there was the man with the gun: Fred Nile on Martin Place siege". Sydney Morning Herald.
  20. ^ David Campbell (15 January 2015). "Sydney siege: Fred Nile says only man inside Lindt Cafe was gunman Man Monis". Daily Telegraph.
  21. ^ Fred Nile (14 January 2015). "Save Yourself or Women and Children First". Rev Hon Fred Nile MLC.
  22. ^ Jessica Grewal (17 July 2013). "Homosexuality should be classed as 'mental disorder': Nile". Sunshine Coast Daily.
  23. ^ Fred Nile (27 May 2013). "Religion, Marriage & Euthanasia". QandA (transcript). Australian Broadcasting Corporation. the church for 2,000 years and longer has upheld marriage as it is and has also said that homosexuality is immoral and unnatural and so on.
  24. ^ Scott Roberts (30 July 2013). "Australian Christian politician says PinkNews writer belongs to 'Technicolour' Taliban".
  25. ^ Matt Akersten (28 May 2013). "WATCH: Fred Nile's put on the spot". Archived from the original on 3 February 2015.
  26. ^ "Anti-Discrimination (Homosexual Vilification) Amendment Bill". Hansard. NSW Parliament. 21 May 1993. Archived from the original on 23 October 2012. Retrieved 30 July 2009.
  27. ^ "God Forgive Sydney! – Sydney Mardi Gras". Christian Democratic Party. 4 March 2006. Archived from the original on 28 August 2007. Retrieved 1 November 2007.
  28. ^ "Fred Nile debated at Sydney University". Green Left Weekly. Australia. 27 May 1998. Archived from the original on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 18 October 2007.
  29. ^ "The power of one".
  30. ^ "Nile wants 'draconian' gay vilification laws abolished". ABC News. Australia. 25 February 2005. Retrieved 1 November 2007.
  31. ^ Thompson, Jeremy (9 August 2011). "Wong, partner expecting first child". ABC News. Australia. Retrieved 15 August 2011.
  32. ^ "Wong baby not right – Reverend Fred Nile". The Australian. AAP. 9 August 2011. Retrieved 15 August 2011.
  33. ^ Celebrity Universe (24 August 2014), Lawrence Krauss vs Christians on Q&A – Amazing Debate, retrieved 14 December 2016
  34. ^ "Bubble Bursts – Green Political Stunt Defeated". Christian Democratic Party. 16 June 2009. Archived from the original on 13 September 2009. Retrieved 30 July 2009.
  35. ^ "Drug Misuse and Trafficking Amendment Bill". Hansard. NSW Parliament. 7 March 2006. Archived from the original on 23 October 2012. Retrieved 30 July 2009.
  36. ^ "Drug Misuse and Trafficking Amendment (Hydroponic Cultivation) Bill". Hansard. NSW Parliament. 8 June 2006. Archived from the original on 23 October 2012. Retrieved 30 July 2009.
  37. ^ "Green Party Policy D2: Drugs, Substance Abuse and Addiction". Australian Green Party. 15 November 2008. Retrieved 30 July 2009.
  38. ^ a b "Pagan Green Party Threatens Future of Victoria". Christian Democratic Party. 22 November 2006. Archived from the original on 28 August 2007. Retrieved 1 November 2007.
  39. ^ Nile, Fred (23 November 2006). "Full-face Covering Prohibition Bill 2006". Parliament of New South Wales. Retrieved 21 May 2020.
  40. ^ Nile, Fred (22 June 2010). "Summary Offences Amendment (Full-face Coverings Prohibition) Bill 2010". Parliament of New South Wales. Retrieved 21 May 2020.
  41. ^ Nile, Fred (4 May 2011). "Summary Offences Amendment (Full-face Coverings Prohibition) Bill 2011". Parliament of New South Wales. Retrieved 21 May 2020.
  42. ^ Nile, Fred (11 September 2014). "Summary Offences Amendment (Full-face Coverings Prohibition) Bill 2014". Parliament of New South Wales. Retrieved 21 May 2020.
  43. ^ Nile, Fred (25 February 2019). "Summary Offences Amendment (Full-face Coverings Prohibition) Bill 2017". Parliament of New South Wales. Retrieved 21 May 2020.
  44. ^ Nile, Fred (15 October 2019). "Summary Offences Amendment (Full-face Coverings Prohibition) Bill 2019". Parliament of New South Wales. Retrieved 21 May 2020.
  45. ^ "Stop Muslim immigration, NSW Christian Democrats say". ABC News. Australia. 11 March 2007. Retrieved 11 March 2007.
  46. ^ "Muslim leader blames women for sex attacks". The Australian. Archived from the original on 26 October 2006. Retrieved 13 July 2010.
  47. ^ Simpson, John (28 June 2010). "Teen to wed schoolgirl in pagan ceremony". Southern Star. Australia. Archived from the original on 16 June 2010. Retrieved 13 July 2010.
  48. ^ Shanahan, Angela (1 May 2010). "Godless ethics classes are pointless". The Australian. Retrieved 5 August 2011.
  49. ^ Nicholls, Sean (3 August 2011). "Premier says ethics pledge intact despite Nile 'process'". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 5 August 2011.
  50. ^ Nicholls, Sean (4 August 2011). "Class of his own: Nile pushes for ethics review". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 5 August 2011.
  51. ^ Nicholls, Sean (12 November 2011). "Inquiry threatens ethics class experiment". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 12 November 2011.
  52. ^ "Godless ethics led to Nazism: Nile". The Sydney Morning Herald. AAP. 5 August 2011. Retrieved 5 August 2011.
  53. ^ "School ethics course linked to Nazism, says Nile". The Australian. AAP. 5 August 2011. Retrieved 5 August 2011.
  54. ^ a b c "Reverend the Hon. (Fred) Frederick John NILE, ED LTh MLC". Members of the Parliament of New South Wales. Retrieved 24 May 2019.


External links

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