Fred Nile

Fred Nile

Frederick John Nile (born 15 September 1934), Australian politician, clergyman and social activist, has been a member of the New South Wales Legislative Council since 1981, except for a period in 2004 when he resigned to contest (unsuccessfully) the Australian Senate at the 2004 federal election. Nile was re-elected for another term at the March 2007 state election.

Early life

Nile was born in Kings Cross, New South Wales and was educated at Mascot Public and Cleveland Street High School (1940-1949). In 1952, during the Korean war, he (then only 17) volunteered to join the Australian Army where he served until 1953. He then transferred to the CMF / reserves and reached the rank of Major. OC., D Coy, 4 RNSW Regt, Merrylands before retiring in 1972. Nile attended the NSW Congregational Theological College; the Melbourne College of Divinity; the NSW United Faculty of Theology; the University of Sydney (Adult Matriculation) and the University of New England. He also attended lectures (MA Politics) at Macquarie University but did not complete his degree except Theological Tertiary Course (L.Th).

Pre political career

In 1964 he was ordained as a Congregational Minister.

From 1964 to 1967, Nile 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 NSW Congregational Board of Evangelism. In 1970-71, he was involved in social work as Director of the Methodist Mission to the People of NSW, and from 1971 to 1973 he was Director of Outreach and Evangelism, Sydney City Wesley Central Methodist Mission.

In 1974, Nile was elected National Co-ordinator and NSW Director of the Australian Federation of Festival of Light - Community Standards Organisation (FOL-CSO), an organisation which campaigned "for purity, love and family life".

Personal Life

Fred Nile has been married to Elaine Nile since 1958, Elaine herself was a former member of the Legislative Council for 14 years. They have three sons and a daughter.


Nile is National President of the Christian Democratic Party, a conservative party which appeals to Christians on moral and social issues. In 2008 the party members installed Nile as party president for life. This move has been critised as "naive" by party member and fellow MLC Gordon Moyes who said "Fred's manipulation of a democratic party was disgraceful, but not unexpected". [] Nile is noted for his controversial comments. He is known for his vocal opposition to drug abuse, 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 and homosexuality.

In 2003 Nile resigned from the Uniting Church in Australia when that church was alleged to have "officially decided to part with a literal interpretation of the Judeo-Christian Bible”. He was recently elected President-elect of the Fellowship of Congregational Churches, a group of Australian Congregationalists who declined to join the Uniting Church in 1977.

In 2007 Nile retired as NSW Director of the Australian Federation of Festival of Light.

At the 2007 New South Wales general election, Nile was returned for a further 8 year term.

Nile is Pastor of the Australian Christian Nation Association and Vice President of the Australian Christian Endeavour Union, an evangelical youth movement.

Political views

Views on the Muslim community

After the Moscow theatre hostage crisis in 2002, he asked whether the then Minister of Police thought it necessary to ban full body coverings, like the chador worn by the Chechen terrorists, from Parliament and places of public gathering to prevent the carriage of weapons or explosive devices. Nile renewed the call as a part of the "War on Terrorism" after other attempts were made to exploit the cultural dress. [ [ BBC - Press Office - Woman asked to be suicide bomber by husband ] ]

On 10 March 2007 Nile called for a moratorium on immigration to Australia by Muslims: "Australians deserve a breathing space so the situation can be carefully assessed,” he told an audience in North Ryde. [cite news
title = Stop Muslim immigration, NSW Christian Democrats say
publisher = Australian Broadcasting Corporation
date = 2007-03-11
url =
accessdate = 2007-03-11

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. [ [,20867,20646437-601,00.html Muslim leader blames women for sex attacks | The Australian ] ] .

In December 2007 Nile made controversial comments concerning the construction of a Muslim School in the Sydney suburb of Camden, and was seen at many events in contra to the school.

As a consequence of Nile’s public position, he has received significant condemnation and death threats from the Islamic community. [ [ Death threats fail to deter Nile - State Election 2007 - ] ]

Views on homosexuality

Nile is a vocal opponent of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, which he describes as a "public parade of immorality and blasphemy". [cite web|url=|title="God Forgive Sydney! – Sydney Mardi Gras"|publisher="Christian Democratic Party"|date=2006-03-04|accessdate=2007-11-01] Nile objected to the “indecency and obscenity in various parts of the Mardi Gras” and stated that it reinforced “the worst stereotypes”. [cite web|url=|title="Fred Nile debated at Sydney University"|publisher="Green Left Weekly"|date=1998-05-27|accessdate=2007-10-18]

In 2005, Nile called for the repealing of New South Wales anti-vilification laws, partly in response to a ruling by the Equal Opportunity Division of the Administrative Decisions Tribunal which found that two radio hosts had vilified a gay couple. Nile claimed that the Homosexual Vilification Act was being abused to gag free speech. He said, "You make a joke about Baptists, Catholics, the Pope, Irish people... why can't you make a joke about homosexuals?". [cite web|url=|title="Nile wants 'draconian' gay vilification laws abolished"|publisher="Australian Broadcasting Corporation"|date=2005-02-25|accessdate=2007-11-01]

Views on The Greens

Nile is a frequent critic of the Australian Greens. He has described them as the "watermelon party - Green on the outside but red on the inside, with a bit of a pink tinge." [cite web|url=|title="Pagan Green Party Threatens Future Of Victoria"|publisher="Christian Democratic Party"|date=2006-11-22|accessdate=2007-11-01] This phrase has been subsequently repeated by other conservative Australian politicians, such as John Anderson. [cite web|url=|title="Anderson sees red over `watermelon' Greens"|publisher=The Age|accessdate=2008-02-22]

Nile also frequently labels the Greens as being "anti-family", "anti-Christian" and "pagan", citing their opposition to the current practice of opening parliament with daily prayers and policies such as the legalisation of same-sex marriage. [cite web|url=|title="Pagan Green Party Threatens Future Of Victoria"|publisher="Christian Democratic Party"|date=2006-11-22|accessdate=2007-11-01]


*"Fred Nile: A Biography" Sydney: Strand: 2001: ISBN 1876825790


ee also

*Christian Democratic Party (Australia)
*Family First Party
*Congregational Federation of Australia
*Uniting Church in Australia

External links

* David Penberthy – Editor, Daily Telegraph Sydney. [‘He Had A Seat - And It Wasn't On A Fence’] , Daily Telegraph, July 14 2004

* Bill Simpson [ ‘Please Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood’] , Illawarra Mercury, February 26 2005

*Malcolm Brown and Sean Nicholls, [ 'And God said unto Fred: go to the Senate'] , Sydney Morning Herald, May 11 2004, accessed 27 August 2006.
* [ Fred Nile speech to parliament opposing nude bathing]
* [ Official Website]

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