With a leader who says he was called by God to be Prime Minister, and recent debate over a new religious freedoms bill, the separation of church and state in Australia is murkier than ever. What roles do faith and religion play in the leadership, governance and decision-making of our political figures? Can the messages of charity and kindness in scripture benefit the country – or are we on a path to a more puritanical society? Interfaith Minister and author of Intimacy and Solitude and Seeking the Sacred, Stephanie Dowrick and journalist and author of Beyond Belief, Elle Hardy discuss with senior journalist Tom Tilley.

Elle Hardy (Australian)

Elle Hardy

Elle Hardy is a journalist and foreign correspondent who has reported from the United States, the former USSR and North Korea, among a long list of places. Her work has appeared in The Times, GQ, Lonely Planet, Foreign Policy and Business Insider, and on ABC Australia.

Stephanie Dowrick (Australian)

Stephanie Dowrick

Stephanie Dowrick, PhD, is Australia's most successful personal development writer. She has supported many thousands of people as a therapist, interfaith minister, public speaker and author. Her much-loved international bestsellers include Choosing Happiness, Forgiveness and Other Acts of Love and Seeking the Sacred. Her continuing contributions to media and social media include a decade as 'Inner Life' columnist for Good Weekend.

Tom Tilley (Australian)

Tom Tilley

After 16 years in journalism Tom Tilley is telling his own story in his debut memoir Speaking in Tongues - a vivid portrayal of his childhood inside a pentecostal sect, and his fight to get out of it. Tom made his name as the long-time host of Hack on Triple J and has appeared on a range of programs including ABC Foreign Correspondent, RN Breakfast and The Project. He is currently hosting The Briefing, a leading daily news podcast.