I taught theology for two decades. I have learned that speech about god is too often a claim to white, masculine, straight, abled power, but that the god revealed in Jesus is our loving Mother and gracious Father, the divine Spirit who resists our theological certainties. I seek god in truth, goodness, and beauty.
I have been enriched by reading virtue ethics, especially the works of Aristotle and Aquinas. Virtue ethics says that the good and happy life is achieved by wise and virtuous actions. Since I am neither wise nor virtuous, I rely on grace to attain, if not happiness, at least contentment.
Living with disability and learning from my disabled peers has transformed my horizons. I am deeply thankful for the hard-won achievements of the disabled rights movement, and I hope to play a small part working for disability justice.
My first degree was in economics, and I became a Chartered Accountant with Price Waterhouse. An early mid-life crisis in my twenties led to a theology degree and a PhD from the Australian Catholic University. I taught theology and ethics at Alphacrucis College from 1999 and was promoted to Professor in 2016, resigning in 2018 after a lengthy and traumatic fight over academic freedom and my support for LGBTQI+ inclusion in the church.
In 2010 I had an accident that left me with a C5 spinal cord injury (quadriplegia). I spent seven months in hospital, and had some tough years adjusting to the injury. But a decade on, life is mostly good. I was helped in the process of adjusting by reading virtue ethics and disability studies. More importantly, I have known amazing support from family and friends. And I am lucky to live in a country with a universal healthcare system.
In 2013 I joined as an honorary associate at the Centre for Research Development and Policy at the University of Sydney, and have been involved in various research projects related to spinal cord injury and well-being, as well as exploring health inequalities for people with disability, and teaching ethics.
I am currently Director, Policy, the Australian Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation against People with Disability.