Godbeat is an independent podcast that examines journalism, religion and all the surprising ways those things intersect. Religion is all around us and although it’s not always obvious, it has a profound influence on the news we consume. Rohan Salmond explores the unseen religion angle to mainstream news stories and interviews the journalists covering religion in contemporary Australia.
The Uniting Church experiment 40 years on
It’s been 40 years since the Congregationalist, Methodist and Presbyterian churches merged to form the Uniting Church in Australia. Describing itself as a movement – not a denomination – it has transformed into a uniquely Australian expression of Protestant Christianity.
Rev Charissa Suli: A local view of the 40th anniversary of the Uniting Church
Rev Charissa Suli is a young, second generation Tongan-Australian, who after being ordained became minister of Dapto Uniting Church. It was a mostly white, Australian congregation but in recent years, much like the broader Uniting Church, the demographics have begun to shift.
Rohan has also volunteered for The Wire, a daily news radio program broadcast nationally on the community radio network.
Indigenous communities working hard to preserve their language
In 2001 the Department of the Environment and Heritage published a report that declared Australia might lose all its Indigenous languages by 2050. Today, Indigenous communities across Australia are working hard to preserve Australia’s linguistic heritage. In some parts of the country, this means languages are being revived, which is reconnecting people to their land and culture.
Religious leaders demand no Adani loan
Religious leaders have joined the chorus protesting the Adani Carmichael coal mine in Queensland’s Galilee Basin. The sit-in, organised by Stop Adani Sydney, brought together Anglican, Buddhist, Catholic and Uniting Church leaders in the Commonwealth Bank’s headquarters to demand the bank’s board rule out lending towards to project.
Rohan has been active in the digital video sphere for 10 years, producing content both personal and professional. He is also on the advisory panel for VidCon Australia.
Week in 60
The news is an unrelenting deluge of information and spin. What’s important and what isn’t? What does it all mean? Week in 60 is a news digest show which condenses the news from the last week into an easy-to-understand 60 seconds. But don’t stop there! Use it as a springboard to find the truly interesting morsels that matter to you. Links to the full stories talked about in each episode are in the show notes.
Journey video editorials
Journey is a cross-platform, monthly magazine produced by the Uniting Church Queensland Synod. In 2014 Journey produced a monthly video editorial, used in Uniting Church congregations and on Facebook to promote the print edition of the magazine.
A Tender Thing interview
In 2013 Full Circle Theatre Queensland produced the critically-acclaimed A Tender Thing at the Powerhouse Theatre in Brisbane. The promotional video material for the play was shot and edited by Rohan Salmond.
Rohan’s writing appeared regularly in Journey magazine between 2013 and 2016 and continues to be published in other publications on a freelance basis. He writes hot takes, reviews, profile pieces and in-depth feature articles about current events.
Love your neighbour
Since the activities of the so-called Islamic State have made the news, anti-Muslim sentiment in Australia has been at an all-time high. Even so, some interfaith activists are working to build understanding across religious lines. This article won silver for Best Feature Article from the Australasian Religious Press Association (ARPA) in 2015.
Identity on the line in the fallout over Anzac free speech
The ongoing controversy around Yassmin Abdel-Magied’s role in public life raises a number of questions about religion, national identity and freedom of speech. “Abdel-Magied represents a young, politically engaged generation of Australians who don’t look and sound like the older media and political establishment which is now denouncing her. If she is excluded because she is ‘un-Australian’, then Australia is running the risk of becoming an exclusive club indeed.”
Bible Society’s blunder was excluding LGBTI voices
This piece, published in Eureka Street on 17 March 2017, aims to explain to a Christian audience the public reaction to the Bible Society’s “Keeping it Light” video about same-sex marriage. “Someone in favour of changing the Marriage Act doesn’t necessarily look at this video and see three mates having a friendly disagreement about the future of marriage. Instead, it’s entirely possible they see three men in collusion — neat, polite, smiling and utterly in control of whether this reform will ever proceed.”
Imagine me complexly: John Green
John Green’s extensive social media presence and blockbuster writing career merited his inclusion in 2014’s Time 100. My interview for Journey dives into his beliefs about community building, teenagers and the universe that wants to be noticed.
Beyond modern: Living the gospel in a postmodern world
There’s some anxiety amongst evangelical Christians about postmodernism and what it means for the future of the church. This theological exploration for Journey explores how Christians continue to live and share the gospel in a rapidly changing cultural landscape.
Previous editions of Journey can be downloaded from JourneyOnline. I was editor between April 2013 and March 2016.