Speakers Profile - Rev. Dr John Smith

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Rev. Dr John Smith is the founder of Concern Australia and the founding President of God's Squad Christian Motorcycle Club of 35 years. He is an author, a social anthropologist, a business speaker, a teacher and lecturer, a biker, a defender of the poor and marginalised, a lover of blues music, a gifted evangelist, an elder of the radical discipleship movement, and a prominent social commentator.

He is as much at home talking to business leaders, academics, church leaders, politicians and the media as he is with school children, university students, the poor and marginalised, and outlaw motorcycle club members.

John has spoken throughout Australia and around the world at music and arts festivals such as Greenbelt in the UK, the European Christian Arts and Music Festival, the Australian Gospel Music Festival/EasterFest in Toowoomba, and Black Stump Music Festival in Sydney, has shared the stage with former President Jimmy Carter and has addressed the United Nations Human Rights Commission. He is a regular guest speaker at churches around Australia and at corporate and service club events such as business roundtable dinners, corporate keynote addresses and Rotary Club Annual Conferences.

God's Squad Christian Motorcycle Club which John founded in Melbourne over 35 years ago is a recognisable identity within the 'outlaw' bike scene where it provides an important chaplaincy role, responding to personal needs as well as performing the more traditional functions of marriages, baptisms and funerals. It now has a presence in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria as well as overseas in New Zealand, United Kingdom, United States, Norway, Finland, Netherlands, Germany, Ukraine, and Ireland.

Concern Australia is a well-established Christian mission and welfare organisation helping change lives by responding to the physical, relational and spiritual needs of marginalised and disadvantaged people (especially youth) through love, justice, mercy and compassion.

John is Superintendent of St Martin's Community Church in the inner city Melbourne suburb of Collingwood which seeks to meaningfully communicate and contextualise the message of the Gospel and a Christian worldview to the holistic needs of all, especially those who feel alienated or outside the influence of other churches.

John Smith has also written five books and has another in the final stages of editing. His first book 'On the Side of the Angels' which sold over 80,000 copies at its first printing was extensively revised and republished in 2006. Another of his books, 'Advance Australia Where - A lack of meaning in a land of plenty' was awarded Religious Book of the Year in 1989. He is currently revising and updating another of his earlier books 'Cutting Edge' for re-publication and his doctoral dissertation on the 'Jesus Movement' is currently being edited for publication.

He has been married to Glena (also a passionate worker with the disadvantaged) for over 40 years. They have three adult children and 15 grandchildren.