When Tom Frame was a young boy he told his adoptive mother he wanted to be one of two things when he grew up - a clergyman or a butcher.
At age seven, those were the men in his community he respected most. After 14-years of Naval service, he chose the former and from tough beginnings, rose to become Australia's youngest Anglican Bishop at age 39, blessed with a common touch and love for rural ministry. In his 57-year life journey he also wrote 47 books embracing his three loves of theology, philosophy and history.
The Reverend Dr Frame was one of 317 people appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in today's Queen's Birthday Honours list.
The honour recognises his "significant service to higher education, to the Anglican Church of Australia, and to the community."
Dr Frame is director of the (Prime Minister John) Howard Library in Canberra where he oversees 380 square metres of display area. It's aimed not so much at celebrating the former PM but critiquing and understanding his legacy. There you'll find everything from Mr Howard's famous tracksuit, to his bullet proof vest, gifts from US President George Bush and draft speeches.
Dr Frame is also a former director of the Public Leadership Group and of the Australian Centre for Study of Armed Conflict and Society. He was also Bishop to the Defence Force and directed Saint Mark's Theological College in Canberra from 2006 to 2014.
When not undertaking the challenging role at Canberra's Howard Library, he's right at home on his Tarago district property. There he raises beef cattle, perhaps harking back to his earlier butchery ambitions, he jokes.
These days he is also honorary priest in charge of the Mulwaree District Mission, ministering at Tarago, Currawang and Bungendore Anglican churches. That's just the way he likes it - close to country people and the places he "most feels at home."
News of the AM dropped into his inbox last April. Initially he thought it was a request to be a referee for another nominee. Then it dawned on him.
"I was shocked because though I'd been a referee for or nominated 25 other people for Honours, I never despaired that I'd never been offered one because I draw such pleasure from what I do," Dr Frame said.
Dr Frame said despite this he had always tried to "go beyond" in his work to make a difference to people's lives, whether they were students or community members.
He's done just that in places like Tarago, Taralga and Binda, his first church posting. He says he finds it gratifying that people still remember him from those days and contact him for help.
Dr Frame's writing skills are often in demand. He feared the "death of the book" and said it had never been more important to write in a compelling way. He's written extensively about military history including The Voyager disaster and the Vietnam War but a bigger theme is at work. In 2015 he contributed to the book Moral Injury: Unseen Wounds in an Age of Barbarism, writing a chapter about the influence of religious conviction.
It explores the moral choices people make in war and the impact these have later. Dr Frame said it was quite distinct from post traumatic stress disorder and had not been extensively explored.
"In the areas of history, philosophy and theology which I've written about I've tried to probe not just why things happened but how people have dealt with the questions life has thrown at them," he said.
The works have shed light on a previously less understood aspect of war and conflict.
When not immersed in books and academia, Dr Frame volunteers for the RFS Tarago brigade. He's a former Tarago Progress Association deputy chairman, patron of the Armed Forces Federation of Australia (2002-2006) and Council member of the Australian War Memorial (2004-2007).
He says these roles are valuable connectors to his local community.
Today he'll be celebrating with family but also reflecting on his journey from being given up for adoption as a baby, joining the Navy at age 16 and his progression to religious and literary life.
"I was the mistake of a young mother (but) God can bring something out of nothing and I've felt very fortunate in life. The way I can give back is to do things that have significance to me but also have some benefit for others," he said.
"I've always thought I was paid to do a job and don't deserve any more credit."
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