Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott last month in Hobart walking with an advisor was accosted and head-butted by a man wearing a SSM badge.
We hear of many such examples, here is one from some years ago, where a 15 year old boy riding on the Sydney suburban rail system between Chatswood and North Rydge, Sydney's more leafy upmarket areas, was accosted by a couple who demanded his school tie. A scuffle ensued where the young woman attempted to physically take the tie and the young man threw a bottle that smashed and hit a woman bystander cutting her forehead which required surgery.
This young man and women took to their heels at the next station and a very brave member of the public with much care, followed them to a residence and called police. The upshot was that when the police arrived, there was a terrible fight to bring this pair to book. The Sydney Morning Herald article even provided additional information, that the young woman resisting arrest kicked one of the police officers in the face.
Sadly this is not an isolated incident. Read any on-line newspaper and amongst its items of daily reports will be incidents such as this. Whether it is drug or alcohol induced, or a bit of fun gone horribly wrong, or a deliberate act of suburban community horror,
Many will recall that it was the brand name shoes/sneakers that young people wore were targeted. Then jewellery, then those from specific schools, brand name school bags, women's hand-bags, then to iPhones, iPads and Tablets, now it's school ties.
Trains should have inbuilt protections in that there are any number of plain clothes travelling Railway Police along with carriages with the blue light illustrating the carriage where the guard is located. More so other passengers should be something of a deterrent, but in this situation it wasn't.
A new breed
Personal trainers have been part of our landscape for many years now. In reality, one needs to be reasonably well-healed to afford to spend a considerable amount of money for someone to give you an hour or so of personal training advice as you go through your physical exercise paces.
One of our "young writers" has developed her own Personal Trainer business and it's going well. Her client list includes a range of people from mature men to young professional women. She is highly trained in her activities with an appropriate university degree and other specific accredited course certificates.
Now, a new breed of personal assistant is being considered an increasingly normal part of everyday business, that of a personal body guard.
Now that is an inaccurate wrong word, as body guard infers some kind of gang warfare on Main Street. Rather the role is more akin to a personal security aide, as even walking down the street today one might find yourself even accidentally confronted.
What is the role?
Television programs give a certain picture of such shadowy figures. They wear dark suits, they carry a piece (a hand gun), they stand variously behind or to the side of the one of whom they protect and moreover, are the heavy boys when a bit of bif is required to make a point.
This is hardly the picture of the new personal security figure. They are smartly dressed, they have licenses for certain activities in their duties, they are quite often former military highly trained personnel, or even street wise former police officers and their roles are more akin to ensuring the way forward has a lack of obstructions.
The Australian bikie gang wars are an entirely different scenario to these new breed in these employment situations. And they come in all types.
Some ride on public transport to accompany school students to and from school and the students wouldn't even know who they were. Many business people call them executive assistants but their role is not that of administration.
Many high profile ministers from very large congregations or missions, both in first and third world countries have them, but are seen rather as ministerial colleagues but whose roles broadens. I recently saw a documentary on some of these from the larger churches in Nigeria.
It's a whole new world out there. It is interesting that one only ever reads of Jesus being alone except when he goes to pray. From the time he calls his disciples to follow him as he initiates his ministry, he is surrounded by both men and women tending to him.
Jesus himself taught his disciples that when they went about their preaching it was with someone else, there is a certain earthiness in this. Jesus had his feet firmly on the ground.
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He mentors young writers and has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children. Dr Tronson writes a daily article for Christian Today Australia (since 2008) and in November 2016 established Christian Today New Zealand.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html