Well Deserved Medal For Clive Stebbins OAM

Congratulations to Clive Stebbins, who was awarded an Order of Australia in the 2022 Australia Day Awards for his contribution to the international community and youth. (SMH, 25 Jan 22)

Clive was one of the 130,000 youth who took part in the Melbourne Billy Graham Crusades of the 1960s, had travelled to the US to meet Billy in preparations prior to the campaigns in Australia.

Clive was the Director of Youth For Christ from 1954 to 1990 (36 Years), both Australia (National Director, 1968-1977) and South Pacific branches (South Pacific Area Director, 1977-1985). In the post crusade years, Clive led YFC to host youth rallies at the Melbourne Town Hall, attracting thousands.

Clive shared his memories with YFC alumni, “We had our very first large rally in the Melbourne Town Hall, and I’ll never forget that… the place was packed to capacity. We had 2500 people in the Melbourne Town Hall, another 500 down on Swanson Street and Collins Street, trying to get in –

and as a result, we saw hundreds of young people commit their lives to Jesus Christ”.
They invited guest speakers and had lots of fun; events during their ‘hey day’ was time taking hundreds of youth on a hay cart ride through the city streets of Melbourne’s CBD, on [coke] trucks, enjoying a fun day out, something that could never be repeated today.

Last month Peter, Clive’s son shared with Cam Lucadou-Wells (26 Jan 2022) from the Pakenham Star Community Paper, “I was known for my jokes and plenty of fun stories – some were pretty corny, but the kids love them.” “A lot of kids don’t want to be preached to, but they just want to be loved and cared about”.

YFC was always inclusive of youth from all denominations and by the 1980s and 1990s had run the Belgrave Heights Happening Events, YFC Campus Life and Gold Coast Oddysey camping ministry trips for thousands more young people.
Clive then followed as Int’l Director from (1990 to 1996) for International Needs, representing the charity in over 40 countries assisting underprivileged children and training international leaders. He then went to Sri Lanka for 15 years, 1996-2010, serving as headmaster of a school in Hatton, high in the mountains in the tea plantations.

During this time, he mentored a young woman, Rebecca Alexander, who is now the COO of Wings of Hope, Mukti Australia’s partner in Sri Lanka. Glenda de Jager (CEO) of Mukti Mission congratulated Clive
for his contribution, developing the work of Wings of Hope in Sri Lanka.

Clive turns 90 in July this year and says he is very surprised by this award, is working on his memoirs, is still involved and well-loved by family and friends at Pakenham Baptist Church and Chairo Christian College, together with his son Peter Stebbins, their local Chaplain.

Clive’s list of achievements also includes; honorary probationary officer, housing advocacy officer, foster parent, teacher, and received an honorary Doctor of Divinity, South Asia Institute of Theology, Sri Lanka, 2003. Certificate of appreciation from Access ministries and Certificate of Gratitude from the Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, 1996. Generations of youth with families of their own, now give thanks for Clive, his influence in their lives, reflecting the heart of Christ’s love for the world.

Australian of The Year Awards were also given to Morris Stuart, for his visionary pastoral ministry and endeavours. He led an indigenious women’s choir for a fabulous journey to Germany singing missionary hymns, given an AM in the Australia Day Honours List.

He was also the successor to the late John Smith, served with the Truth And Liberation Concern (TLC) movement, pastored for 20 plus years. (New Life Aus, hope to give feature to these other award recipients in future editions of New Life Mag.)
Meanwhile, you can also read from Eternity News feature for other award winners, such as Bronwyn Pike (AM), for social justice and UnitingCare, political and welfare achievements and contributions to the Not-For-Profit sector. So, too, Joy Freier, based in Emerald and wife of the Anglican Archbishop of Melbourne, received an OAM for her contribution to the Anglican Church and missions, Teaching Education and Refugee Women’s Sewing Program for migrant women’s employment development. Anne Lim (Eternity News, 25 Jan, 2022), also noted, Lorraine Kinrade of Druin, an OAM as a Churchwarden for Drouin Anglican Church for 40 years. Congratulations to all winners!

  • Written & Ed., by Doug McDonald for New Life Aus, 12 Feb, 2022.
  • Image by Clive.