Which councillor swore on what: Religion and our new councillors
 Baw Baw News   By // 17:46, Monday 12 November 2012

ONLY one Baw Baw Shire councillor chose to take the Affirmation of Office at last month’s swearing in, with eight choosing to take the Oath of Office.

Please note: This article is not meant as a criticism of any councillor. It is an investigation of how sections of the community are reflected in the new council.


The Oath of Office requires incoming councillors to swear “by Almighty God” that they will undertake their duties, with the Affirmation providing a secular equivalent.

New Councillor Gerard Murphy was the only councillor to take the affirmation, with Councillors Gauci, Power, Jones, Williamson, Cook, Harrington, Balfour and Brown swearing by the bible.

2011 Census data shows 27 per cent of Baw Baw’s population consider themselves to be of “no religion”, with a further 9 per cent not giving a religious affiliation.

Sixty-two per cent of the population identified as Christian.


Each councillor represents 11 per cent of the council.

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3 responses to “Which councillor swore on what: Religion and our new councillors”

  1. dont think we should conclude from if a person takes an Oath or an Affirmation, if they consider themselves religious or even if they are christian.

    I recently undertook training to become a JP, and its fair to say many people have many reasons as to why they choose either Oath or Affirmation

    the only way for this news-media to know how councillors see their role at representing the diverse community and how their personal religious affiliation might effect that duty is to have a detailed interview with each on the topic- not guess from how they take the Oath of Office.

  2. roy says:

    whilst WO likely has a point concerning the faith of the councillors I do personally find it newsworthy to report that there is even an option the swearing in.

  3. Ann says:

    Interesting to note that this is even an issure. This country was based on a christian background. We should be pround of this. What has happened that we want to desert this status? Consider the current state of affairs. Rudeness, impatiences,little respect etc. Could it be that the christian oath was taken out due to too much deceit and lies within the shire, and there was an uncomfortable feeling about taking a christian oath? Perhaps we have a council that will bring back honesty, frugal spending, and responsible stewardship.