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Feb 20, 2013

Rise Up to 'keep Australia Australian' (unless you're mentally ill)

Danny Nalliah's Rise Up Australia Party has taken a thoroughly professional approach to its formal constitutional processes. Crikey has obtained the fledgling party's constitution.


The controversial political vehicle for radical Sri Lankan-born pastor Danny Nalliah — who once claimed abortions caused Black Saturday — has developed a surprisingly professional and coherent party constitution.

The insurgent Rise Up Australia party’s full and updated 37-page founding document, obtained by Crikey, reveals a thoroughly professional outfit with all sorts of voting rules and quorum requirements reminiscent of far more established outfits like the ALP.

Rise Up is registered as a company, which is not massively unusual but raises some questions about the ownership of party assets (presumably they become property of the board members if the party ceases to exist). As a limited liability company, members must pledge $20 each if the party is wound up — with 500 members this could produce a $10,000 bounty.

Thankfully, fire and brimstone won’t be allowed to dictate party direction:

“A member shall not be entitled to vote if that member is of unsound mind or is a person whose estate is liable to be dealt with in any way under the laws relating to mental health.”

Its 17-strong “aims and principles” section begins with a commitment “to maintain and promote our Christian heritage, culture and institutions as the foundations of a free, socially cohesive and democratic Australia — Keep Australia Australian.”

Others express a desire to “keep the size of government to a minimum”, “to simplify and reduce taxation to allow the aspirations of hard working individuals” and, in echoes of Julia Gillard, to “restore and reinvigorate our national manufacturing base”. And:

“… to uphold the institution of marriage and the traditional family unit” and to “promote compassionate treatment and acceptance of genuine refugees, and to discourage the arrival of illegal immigrants.”

It ends with a pledge to “support the sovereign nation of Israel with Jerusalem as its undivided religious capital”.

There is no explicit mention of previous Nalliah jihads against Bob Brown’s homos-xuality or Gillard’s unmarried personal life.

The listed members of  Rise Up Australia for the purposes of registration are mostly Nalliah’s church associates:

“Daniel Chelvendran Nalliah, John Excell Shanasy, John Gerard Crock, Chandi Kroone, Estelle Mary O’Brien, Dennis Arthur Cecil O’Brien, Lynette Ann Hannie, Alexander Cornell Stewart, Wendy Ann Crook [no relation], Gary Timothy Hannie, Hendrik Bayly Kroone, and Susan Margaret Shanasy.”

At last week’s Canberra launch shindig at a room in the National Press Club, featuring kind introductory words from climate denier Christopher Monckton, Nalliah said the following about multicultural society to cheering acolytes:

“I think God created Chinese fried rice, and I love pizza … but please do not come and tell me that Sharia law should be introduced in Australia. You go back to where you came from.”

Rise Up Australia spokesperson and company director Barry Fitzsimons told Crikey the reception since the launch has been “good”. “We’ve got a lot of media coverage and a lot of good responses from people,” he said.

He explained the corporate approach thusly: “Politicians often say one thing and do another thing … so, for example having this written down means we can’t say no to the carbon tax and then come out with a carbon tax or say no to abortions and then come out with abortions.”

Rise Up Australia will run a slate of 12 Senate candidates and 52 lower house candidates around Australia. Its registration was formally affirmed by the Australian Electoral Commission last May.


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15 thoughts on “Rise Up to ‘keep Australia Australian’ (unless you’re mentally ill)

  1. klewso

    “Unsound mind”? There’s an interesting future?
    Where’s my brown shirt….?

  2. Holden Back

    I wonder, do other political parties have similar provisions? Maybe they should.

    It is an interesting acceptance of the attraction of certain kinds of ‘charismatic’ Christian sects which encourage talking in tongues and communing directly with god for people with serious treat-it-with-drugs mental illness.

  3. klewso

    “Talking in tongues” – is that like when God whispers in your ear and no one else can hear him? It tickles.

  4. ianjohnno

    Talking in tongues simply meant being able to evangelize in other languages. American-style nitwits go all googly and start jabbering incoherent noise.

  5. Holden Back

    Hence the single quotes around ‘charismatic’.

  6. Recalcitrant.Rick

    The man is a con artist, not satisfied with making money from religion, he’s moved on to politics. As to not allowing the mentally ill into the party??? The leader himself thinks that natural catastrophes are caused by “sin” so surely he should be excluded? I’d vote for that!

  7. Holden Back

    @Recalcitrant Rick – they’re not excluded from the party, they’re just not allowed to vote.

  8. Electric Lardyland

    Since their leader, Danny Nalliah, has claimed to have resurrected the dead, surely he is of unsound mind, and therefore, should be unable to vote in his own party.

  9. Hugh (Charlie) McColl

    Like every other Australian political party, the executive will do with it whatever they like.

  10. Andybob

    No mention of Galipolli or mateship then ?

  11. Steve777

    Might this be an ‘astroturf’ group? Is there anyone else behind it? Does someone like “Lord” Monckton show up to the launch of a fringe group like this appears to be at first glance? The group seems to have a lot in common with the Tea Party in the US, sponsored by the billionaire Koch brothers. Its aims also seem to be very much in line with what our local plutocrats would like to see. Is the purpose of this group to ‘harvest’ the votes of blue collar works who traditionally vote Labor but who would be attracted to a Christian fundamentalist, socially conservative and anti-multicultural agenda and direct them to the Coalition, especially to give them a bigger chance at winning additional Senate seats?

  12. Steve777

    One suggestion for ALP advertising this election year if the group seems to gain traction: make an ad to remind would-be voters of his comments regarding the Black Saturday fires.

  13. mattsui

    “we can’t….. say no to abortions and then come out with abortions.”
    Talk about coming out with an abortion! This is not the statement of a politically aware person. Clearly the whole thing is a front or put on of some sort.

  14. dailyfloss

    Can’t seem to find on his Catch the Fire Ministries website the 2007 prophesy which was emailed prior to the 2007 election predicting Howard’s win. Funny that. Being a young earth creationist I’m sure he’s familiar with the Old Testament punishment for false prophets.

  15. kathy heyne

    Here is section 93, Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918, as amended. It defines the disenfranchised.
    Clause (a) only
    A person who:
    (a) by reason of being of unsound mind, is incapable of understanding the nature and significance of enrolment and voting.

    The mentally ill were constitutionally disenfranchised on Federation, 1902. So were the intellectually impaired. People with physical disability can’t access the polling booths and the visually impaired are stuck with assisted voting.

    As blunt and ugly as Rise Up Australia’s voting restrictions is, it’s entirely Constitutional.

    I can remember a referendum asking the Australian people to vote for changes. They said no. Pity.


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