In the diverse political landscape of Australia, the influence of faith based entities are pivotal.

Among them, the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) and the Australian Christians Party exercise significant influence.

The Australian Christian vs Australian Lobby

Within the broad political spectrum in Australia, Australian Christians stands out as the only political party who have consistently defended Christian values and principles during and in between election cycles. 

Established in 2011, the Australian Christians political party has progressively made its mark, especially in Western Australia, Victoria and New South Wales, representing a strong voice for faith, families, and freedom. The party’s vision is underpinned by a desire to align legislation with biblical teachings, advocating for policies that resonate with a Christian ethos.

By working to have representatives elected as Members of Parliament and Senators who uphold Christian values, Australian Christians aims to foster a legislative environment that supports faith based principles, thereby offering a political platform for Christian believers..

Being a Political Party in Western Australia

A political party is integral to the democratic process, providing a platform for citizens to express their political preferences. Political parties contest elections, and if successful, implement policies that align with their ideological stance. Being a political party in Western Australia involves adhering to a set of regulations and standards set by the Australian Electoral Commission.

This includes registration, which legitimises a party, and compliance with electoral laws, ensuring a level playing field for all political entities. Parties engage with the electorate, articulating their policies through various mediums, aiming to garner support and votes in elections. Australian Christians is the only conservative party registered in Western Australia.

Being a Lobby in Australia

In Australia, a lobby represents a group or entity seeking to influence politicians and public officials on specific issues. Being a smaller party, Australian Christians often support the efforts of lobby groups. Unlike political parties, lobbies do not contest elections but focus on swaying policy decisions to favour their causes. 

The essence of being a lobby in Australia is to have a potent voice in the political arena without direct electoral involvement.  It is not possible to vote for a lobby group.

Lobbies often have a significant network of supporters and resources, which they leverage to create awareness and influence public opinion.

They are pivotal in bringing specific issues to the forefront of political discourse, thereby impacting policy decisions.

Historical Impact

 The footprint of both the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) and the Australian Christians in the socio-political landscape of Australia is evident through their respective historical undertakings.

The ACL has been a vocal advocate on various issues, one of which was opposing the legalisation of same-sex marriage.

Their activism during the 2017 Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey was a testament to their continued engagement in national issues.

Australian Christians, has progressively made its presence felt in Western Australia’s political domain, aiming to infuse Christian values within legislative discussions.

Key Figures and Leadership

At the ACL, the transition of leadership from Jim Wallace to Martyn Iles, to Michelle Pearse marked a continuum in the advocacy for Christian values. Their endeavours played a crucial role in elevating the ACL’s profile in the Australian political landscape.

The Queensland state director is Wendy Francis and the Western Australian state director is Peter Abetz.

martyn-iles-2023 - ACL
Maryke Groenewald - Australian Christians

On the Australian Christians‘ front, the leadership is held by Maryka Groenewald, who serves as the WA State Director.

With a tenure extending over seven years at the helm of Australian Christians, Maryka has passionately served the Western Australia community for 16 years.

Holding qualifications in community development, politics, and leadership, she brings a wealth of experience to the table, encompassing community and program development, campaigning and elections, as well as problem-solving and community engagement.

Her leadership has been pivotal in driving the party’s agenda of representing Christian values in the political sphere of Western Australia​.

The calibre of leadership in both entities underscores their resolve to champion Christian values amidst the dynamic political discourse in Australia. Through different pathways, the leaders have sought to carve out a niche for Christian perspectives in the broader social and political dialogue.

Major Campaigns and Initiatives

The ACL’s venture into campaign strategies emerged more visibly during the 2019 Australian federal election where they rallied support against policies that were seen as detrimental to Christian family values.

On the other hand, Australian Christians have been engaging the electorate in Western Australia, voicing concerns over issues like freedom of religion and the sanctity of life. Their campaign initiatives reflect a continuous effort to have a Christian voice in the decision-making corridors.

Each campaign and leadership decision taken by these entities has not only shaped their journey but also elicited varying public reactions, underlining their active roles in the socio-political discussions within Australia.

The Australian Christian Lobby

The Australian Christian Lobby emerged in 1995 with a mandate to protect the rights and values of Christians in Australia.

The lobby zeros in on critical issues such as religious freedom, life, and family, striving to inculcate a Christian perspective on social and political issues.

With a robust network of volunteers and supporters, the ACL takes on political campaigns, actively seeking to shape legislation and public opinion on matters close to its heart, like marriage, family structure, and censorship among others.

ACL Volunteers

Despite its noble objectives, the ACL has faced its fair share of criticism, especially regarding its stance on LGBTQ+ rights, with some quarters describing it as extremist, potentially influenced by Christian dominionism and reconstructionism.

Australian Christians Party

On the flip side, the Australian Christian Party, sprouting in 2011 under the banner of Australian Christians, has a mission in promoting welfare for all Australians, aligning legislation with biblical teachings, and advocating for faith, families, and freedom.

Family standing infront of a cross.

Unlike the ACL, the Australian Christians aim to have a direct representation in the government.

 They believe that having Members of Parliament and Senators will provide a platform to support and promote policies resonating with Christian values.

The modus operandi of these two entities elucidates their different capacities in the political arena; the ACL as a lobbying group and the Australian Christians as a political party.

While both are rooted in Christian values, their approaches to influencing policy and public opinion are notably different.

The ACL leverages campaigns to sway political and public opinion, whereas the Australian Christians seek to achieve their objectives through direct representation in the government.


The discourse surrounding the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) and the Australian Christian Party, known as Australian Christians, brings to the fore the diverse ways in which faith-based entities can engage with the political and social fabric of Australia. Their distinct ways of working underscores the different pathways available for advocating Christian values within the country’s governmental and societal spheres.

The ACL, with its robust advocacy and lobbying efforts, acts as a potent voice for Christians on various social and political issues. It plays a significant role in shaping public opinion and influencing policy decisions from outside the governmental structure.

However, it’s pivotal to understand that the ACL is not a political party, and hence, it does not present an electoral choice to the Australian populace on election day. Its realm is that of advocacy, aimed at moulding public and political opinion to resonate with Christian values and principles. 

On the other hand, Australian Christians embody the electoral conduit through which individuals desiring a government aligned with Christian values can channel their electoral power. Being a registered political party, Australian Christians provide an avenue for voters to express their preference for a governance model rooted in Christian ethos.

By casting a vote for Australian Christians on election day, voters are essentially advocating for a legislative framework that echoes Christian values.

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