QUEENSLAND, Australia The 4th Annual Family Values Awards were recently presented in Queensland, Australia, by Elder Kenneth Johnson of the Seventy and president of the Australia/New Zealand Area. Honored were Brisbane Lord Mayor Campbell Newman and Professor Matthew Sanders, director of the Parenting and Family Support Centre at the University of Queensland.
Brisbane's Lord Mayor Newman is responsible for a number of initiatives aimed at assisting families including safer parks, extended operating hours of libraries, family movies and concerts in parks. Mayor Newman spoke of the responsibility of being a parent, and said that this responsibility far outweighs that of being Lord Mayor.
Dr. Sanders, a professor in clinical psychology, is the national director of the Positive Parenting Program. He first praised the fact that there was such an award to promote family values because children's development and stability depend greatly upon the family. He outlined some of his studies that indicate that many of society's most serious problems such as suicide, crime, antisocial behavior and violence may be directly related to family problems.
Elder Johnson related a number of anecdotes from his own family life and paid special tribute to his other father his Father in Heaven. He concluded with the promise that when the family is strengthened, there will be peace, joy and people will grow up to their full potential.
Both award recipients received statuettes of a family reading together and a framed copy of "The Family: A Proclamation to the World." The Family Values Awards are presented annually by the Church to local leaders who have made an extraordinary contribution to support fundamental family values in the community.