The
Inspiration
Project

WITH BRENDAN CORR

GUEST Peter Cousens

Episode 29

Episode Description:

On this episode of ‘The Inspiration Project’, Brendan Corr talks to actor, director and musician Peter Cousens about serving others through performing arts, and how losing everything financially led Peter to a deepened faith.

Peter Cousens Episode Summary

  • Peter discovering his “happy place” at 16 years of age.
  • Musical theatre was part of Peter’s family heritage.
  • Music gives Peter a heightened sense of the universe.
  • How you can serve others through the performing arts.
  • How losing everything financially led Peter to a deepened faith.
  • A moving story of Peter praying in the middle of the night.
  • How theatre can change peoples’ lives.

Peter Cousens Episode Transcript

Sponsor Announcement:
This podcast is sponsored by Australian Christian College. A network of schools committed to student wellbeing, character development, and academic improvement.

Introduction:
Welcome to ‘The Inspiration Project’, where well known Christian share their stories to inspire young people in their faith and life. Here’s your host, Brendan Corr.

Brendan Corr:
Well, welcome everybody to another edition of ‘The Inspiration Project podcast.’ We hope that you’re enjoying these conversations that we’re bringing to you, of significant Christians who’ve found success in their different areas of endeavour and enterprise. I’m absolutely delighted to be able to bring a conversation with you today of somebody who is well-known to Australians: Peter Cousens is an actor, singer, director, producer, teacher, all-around involved in the performing arts. A graduate of NIDA, worked for many years in television, on stage, a featured artist in musical theatre particularly, and is becoming well known internationally. Actually associated with the most recent of his Hollywood produced films, Freedom, that was done in conjunction with Cuba Gooding Jr. And William Sadler, Sharon Leal released in 2014. Working may be finished by this stage on a new Australian feature film, Where is Daniel. And we’ll be glad to talk with him about how that regresses, but Peter, can I thank you for giving us the time in what must be a really busy life, where you’re manifesting all those diversity of talents and gifts, that I rattled off at the start of that introduction. Welcome and thank you for your time.

Peter Cousens:
Thank you, Brandan, very much. Thanks for having me. And in this particular time of COVID, where we’re sort of strapped in our home, so to speak. It’s actually from a positive point of view, it’s a great time to have these sorts of conversations, I think, and reflect a little bit on what we’re all up to.

Brendan Corr:
Indeed, it is an opportunity, isn’t it? Where with the rest of life, however busy and demanding that might be, it sort of comes to a sharp and sudden halt for many of us, and the chance to reflect, and to connect, and to communicate. We’re very grateful for you giving us this opportunity to learn a bit about you. The scenario that I pictured, that I painted in those descriptions earlier, Peter, and as you’re involved in so many different aspects of the creative arts world? Can I ask, when did you realise that you were destined for this particular dimension of human activity that you were going to be in the arts? Is that something that came to you in a sudden flash of revelation, or did you find your way falling into that? And when did you realise that this was the life for you?

Peter Cousens:
The revelation could be traced back to when I was 16, and standing on stage in Armadale, at the Armadale School. And I remember looking out and into the sort of darkened auditorium or school hall it was, and in the middle of a rehearsal and thinking, this is the happiest I think I’ve ever felt. And that experience is very memorable and remains with me in a very visceral sense, and I think that really was the sort of turning point for me. Even though I didn’t really articulate it for myself for some years after that, in terms of making decisions, and choosing pathways, it took me some time afterwards. But my life up and to that point, I think, when I look back on it was logically going to arrive at that point into the triangle, at that point in my life.

Brendan Corr:
Armadale School, where your family from rural Australia, is that where you were born and raised?

Peter Cousens:
Yeah, I was born in Tamworth, and my parents were very much the mainstays of the musical theatre company in their society as well as my grandparents, and my great grandfather actually used to. And grandmother is to create and have performances in their home back in sort of 1,906 and seven with their … I think they had about four daughters and two sons. And they call themselves the Lilliputians, and we’ve got sort of programmes for this. And if we go back one step further to my great, great grandmother, and great, great grandfather who arrived in Australia about 1837 into Tasmania, then came to Sydney, and she started a school for girls where she taught singing and dancing, and basically sort of the arts, and was a singer herself. I’ve sort of got this linage, which I’ve only just become aware of the reality in the last, well, just probably in the last 10 years really, of having some detailed sort of understanding of that little passage. And there’s a few and dotted in that way, there are a couple of other It was one of her daughters became quite a well-known sort of singer in Sydney, and seemed to do all the charity gigs around the place, and looking at trove and the early newspapers, you can see her appearing in these various corporate gigs. She’s obviously doing what I’ve done, which is often performing for charity, or doing things in that sort of corporate world. I’m trying to raise money or hope to give some pleasure, and her daughter then went off to Italy and became married, I think, of an opera singer there back in, somewhere in the 1920s. But yeah, so that’s. I feel very much that it’s been a sort of DNA.

Brendan Corr:
Indeed. Might be cooler, isn’t it? And let me ask you that question, is the things that you inherit from your family background, and your family of origin, and your ancestry, are there attributes that you identify as sort of predisposing you to a successful life, or at least interest in the arts? Are there qualities about your personality that you can see were well suited to this type of expression?

Peter Cousens:
I think I sort of always had an emotional response to music. I find music sort of overwhelming and the experience of listening to music or singing as well. Even from a very young age, I recognised that there was something about music that transported me somewhere else, and gave me feelings that in later years, I defined, or articulated for myself as being a sort of a larger view of the universe. I felt a heightened sense of who I was in the world, because of those experiences, and continue to do so as well. I think that was certainly it, I think I was also a show-off at times, and that-

Brendan Corr:
Is that what you mean?.

Peter Cousens:
Yeah, well, my parents were very much involved so often in the theatre, and always taken and performed from a very young age on the stage in Tamworth. And although I must admit to being quite self-conscious and feeling very vulnerable, which also is an attribute which I think strangely enough is very much a part of a career in the arts. This sort of this slight vulnerability, and self-consciousness which also I think is an attribute of performances was very much a part of my early life as well. And that sort of strangely ironic, because … But I often say, “If you’re a bit shy, go and do some drama classes and you’ll come out of yourself.” Well, there’s some truth in that.

Brendan Corr:
Is your performance a learned thing, Peter, or is it something that you do have to project beyond yourself, and become something when you’re on stage or on film, that’s not really you?

Peter Cousens:
That’s a bit of a philosophical question which has probably never been answered by the great acting teachers around the world because there is a sense that one’s authenticity and one’s sort of truthful being is at the centre of performance is that we all have an impact on other human beings, because of the humanity inherent in what you’re doing. And that requires you to be exposed, your own vulnerability is in your own authenticity. Yes, I like to think that particularly over the last few years where I’ve really just as a performer, I haven’t worked inside plays and musicals of the constructed narrative. I’ve been able to sort of create my own narratives around my own music and my own singing. Therefore, it’s very much a version of myself that I project, or I like to think I do, even though I do recognise because I do have some training and understanding obviously that it is a heightened version.

Brendan Corr:
But it’s still an expression of your true humanity?

Peter Cousens:
Yes.

Brendan Corr:
And what I’m hearing, I think is that any performance that is going to touch somebody in a way that speaks to their humanity has to be sourced in authentic humanity.

Peter Cousens:
Absolutely. And I think when I go back to that story of the 16-year-old boy who looks out and says to himself, “This is the happiest I have ever felt.” Although that is a great motivator to begin that journey into the performing arts, what eventually the message really is, I have been blessed with this gift and my responsibility is to share, and have an impact-

Brendan Corr:
Absolutely.

Peter Cousens:
And try and find a way to improve through music or through storytelling, whatever it might be, any sort of form of art to at least have an impact, to invite people to feel something, to have some response. And that society, that becomes then a much more purposeful and meaningful act other than just making yourself feel good. It is this feel-good gene it’s made music, what it is today. It’s not actually the ability of performance, it’s the desire for other human beings who want to feel good, and music is one of those things that makes people feel good.

Brendan Corr:
I’m going to come back to that question about feeling good and feeling, what’s the difference between those and knowing their place for that difference to be respected. But let me pursue this little bit. I was struck by that description that you said of that 16-year-old boy, “This is the happiest that I’ve been.” And I was interested to know what your reflections or your insights might’ve been about what made that the happiest moment. But I think you’re sort of touching on that in your comments that it was something about, you were able to be who you were in a way that was in service of something bigger than yourself. Is that sort of where you were heading with your work?

Peter Cousens:
Yes, absolutely. And at the time I wasn’t able to articulate then, it was just a feeling and that’s how I interpret it as this sense of my own wonderment inaction if you like, or in my own inherent joy that came from that. And it’s taken me … It took me a while to rediscover or go beyond, and I wish I had known earlier in my training that the purposefulness, or the meaningfulness of what I do as a performer, is not bound up with my own ego, and my own arrogance, or my own self-gratification, but it is a service. And if I’d known that earlier, I think, well, who knows, but I wish I had known it very early on because it does change. It makes things a little bit happier because happiness is not about feeling good, it’s really about meaningful action and meaningful purpose. And that to me is the key to happiness. I think this pursuit of happiness it’s just the wrong word. It’s the one wrong definition of actually what is satisfying about life.

Brendan Corr:
Peter, you’re talking with a clear sense of the sidedness about what’s important to you, how you understand happiness. That it depends on something bigger than yourself, not just self-expression, or self-fulfilment, that’s touching on the areas of the implications of faith. The place of faith in life and what it brings. Can you tell us a bit about what role faith has in your life now and how you came to that position?

Peter Cousens:
Well, I might start from the end of that question, because as that 16-year-old boy, way back then, I was in a boarding school. And an all-boys boarding school, obviously. And it was a pretty tough school, but in the school chapel twice a day, seven days a week, that was our routine that we would be … Was an Anglican school and that was the routine. And that lasted really for at least the first four years of my school life, from the age of 13 up there in high school. There was this ritualistic behaviour that was centred around worship. And as a kid, it was just the rituals which were interesting. And I was also in the choir, so I was saying quite a lot. And I got involved a few times with … And some of us as boys at 16, we were adolescents and exploring stuff, and there was a minister there who was an amused sort of minister. He wasn’t part of the old guard, and we’d had the old guard there who was just sort of very much mumblings, sort of Anglican minister. Giving sermons where the scholars are much more involved. We started to have communion and things in very private situations and were very kind of spiritual. It was all fine, and then … But obviously, my faith was very much a part of what we did. I didn’t think about it much, but it was part of the ritual, part of the heightened experience that you’d have. Sometimes it didn’t touch you at all, but other times it did. And particularly for me, it was through the music, and I sang a lot.

Brendan Corr:
As classical church music that you were?

Peter Cousens:
Yeah, I took boy soprano, I did a lot of that sort of singing, and it was beautiful. And again, I found it thrilling but it didn’t mean other than the fact that as a young kid, I just found it thrilling. It’s only as I look back. Really that understanding of faith from a sort of a practical, pragmatic, ritualistic point of view, was very much a part of that life. And then I became the senior prefect at the school, and I was endlessly reading Corinthians 13, that particular-

Brendan Corr:
That’s where you were on behalf of the school at the time.

Peter Cousens:
On behalf of the school, yeah. Well, personally, many years later that particular passage became very much a part of that whole idea of faith, hope, and love. That was sort of imposed on my psyche. And really then my faith really didn’t sort of bubble up to the surface if you like, in any way, much until in the middle ’90s, when I was doing a musical called, Miss Saigon, and I was surrounded by a lot of Filipino. The performance was very Catholic and very religious, and I found that the atmosphere, and the whole world of that particular show, and I’d been in a lot of shows was incredibly meaningful to them because they were living a life of this sense of hope and optimism for the American dream. They came from very poor backgrounds and were sending their money back to the families and we were praying. We were living a very meaningful show, which was coupled with the Vietnam war, combination and it was … I became very much aware of the fact that I still had these heightened feelings of our belief. And also as a singer, and I’d sang and landed some beautiful shows as Lamees arrived with great meaning, Victor Hugo. Fan of the opera, it was a heightened sort of staff from Westside story. Now, Miss Saigon, these shows were big grand heightened events that I responded to, because musically, I found, again, the thrill of doing it still kind of was pretty robust inside the way I performed and behaved, and kind of experienced what I was doing. And then I expect if we want to get to the sort of pointy end of the triangle for me, I disappeared to London and played to fans, and for a year over there, then came back to Australia, and really kind of at the age, I was about 40 old. And I sort of fell into a very dark period of very little work. I felt I’d achieved enormous amounts, and I felt ignored by the profession here in Australia in the industry. I struggled a lot, I had three kids, and I struggled with a whole lot of forces as you can imagine, hmm. The sort of crisis of ageing change, young family, the pressures of all that sort of stuff. But my father had died when I was 20, on the day of my sister’s wedding. My mother had sort of kept that promise while the wedding went on. He wasn’t in the same city, but he’d had a stroke a sort of week before. And that experience in my mother’s life, which for the next 30 years, she lived and worked and ran a very successful business in Yanda at that stage, was a sort of a personified optimism and resilience. That was her life, she was enormously optimistic, and had great resilience. And that for me, was sort of part of my DNA as well. And so I decided to start a musical theatre company called, Kookaburra, because although I was pretty down, I felt that I had to do something about my own, not only my own situation, but the situation that many people of my era, and my time, and just the theatre where we’re always needing opportunities. I began this company and in that process, I met someone who has come to mean a huge amount to me, and he supported what I was doing to the tune of large amounts of money to help me. I raised about two and a half million dollars to start this company. I had a good story, it was a good pitch. I had my little laptop and around I went.

Brendan Corr:
And some credentials behind you too.

Peter Cousens:
Well, some credentials. Yeah, but I made a lot of mistakes, and a lot of it was bound up with I suspect still with sort of arrogance, and self-belief, that was maybe a little bit beyond reality. And when I reflect on that, these mistakes ended up failing the company and me, and although my family who I have never, ever, ever doubted me, and my wife is the most wonderful partner. We did lose everything, we lost the house, and we lost everything. But it was a big fall from grace in many ways. And there was a lot of bad publicity about it. And a lot of the industry was very … Felt very bad about what I was trying to do, and this caused a lot of angst. And I got to the state where I see this supporter said to me, before it actually happened, he said to me, “You are going to lose everything, you’re going to lose your house, you’re going to lose all of this.” He said, “I’ve got a little house next door to me, when it happens, not if, when it happens, give us a ring.” Three or four months later I said, “Look, I’ve got three kids, and I’ve got my wife, I’m trying myself, help on my knees. If he cares, help please.” And of course, he did, he just gave us the keys, he opened the house. And we lived there for four years.

Brendan Corr:
Goodness.

Peter Cousens:
Rent-free, and in those four years, I really through him and with him, sort of was able to articulate my faith and share his faith. He was a much more open Christian person than I was, he was. And a wonderful leader, and we are very good friends, and have become close friends. But I think if I look back, I think I was a little bit off. I became a student so I think I became a little bit of a course for him, to extract what he saw inside of me. He saw something in me, and he obviously, and he loved the way I sang, and performed, the less side of things, but he also saw something else in me. Which I realise now is this ability to share through music, and through message, through words and music, and have an impact on people’s lives. And that was one of the first that talent sort of started to mean something so much more to me than just the feel-good side of things. So anyway, this faith, and then I made a film, which he, again, kind of he backed and he actually gave me the opportunity to be involved in it. Anyway, it’s a very long story, but I eventually became the director of this film, because of a series of unfortunate events in America. And this was a beautiful film about slaves escaping from Virginia and finding freedom in Canada, in the underground railroad. And it’s a lot of gospel songs in it, and a lot of bluegrass, and a lot of. And also I had mixed with a lot of wonderful African-American actors, and people, and crew, and I basically had never directed a film. And all I did was to say, “Look, this is my first time, you’re the cogs in the wheel, you know much more than I do. But I did have the ability to make decisions, and so I was very clear about … And also was very clear about what the vision of the film was. Those two things really combined, and that’s really all the director needs to do, is to have a vision and also make decisions based on what contributions of people that are being made. Anyway, I lived in a hotel for 99 days in Connecticut. And in that time, I was surrounded by these extraordinary people. And I’d come from basically this sort of disastrous mess and failure that I believe, that I had sort of nearly single-handedly created. Wasn’t quite, was the GFC that I ran into as well. But I do feel great the responsibility for my own downfall, and for some pain, I think, which I caused to other people, including to a certain extent my family, not so much, my children who were young enough not to really know what was going on, but my wife. But from that point, I was suddenly now, when this guy had Cuba Gooding Jr. In the next room I had all these extraordinary people serving my vision and what I was doing. And I was just so humbled, I’ve humbled by the situation, and so grateful. And the sense of gratitude became so overwhelming, that one night I actually, I heard this voice calling to me to pray, and I couldn’t help myself. I got out of bed, and as a child, I knelt at the end of the bed and put my hands up and prayed with enormous gratitude for the journey that I realised was the home. And where I’d got to, and how I got to from this friend who had just re-lit the sparks of faith. And also I just think extraordinary support in my wife, I spent nearly a year often away from home. I mean, she was still living in that house next door to a friend. And so that experience, and then it happened to me again with this friend who was also helping with the film. And we went to church at the Bel Air Church, it’s a Presbyterian church, in Bel Air in Los Angeles. And this is a church overlooking all of LA, and I remember I got halfway through the service, and I just wept. Just all this stuff came out of me, and the presence that I felt was monumental and overwhelming, and as you can see, it sort of has remained with me.

Brendan Corr:
Yes, indeed. Peter, it’s a beautiful thing to hear you speak, and tell that story, and to capture a sense of the faith that you have been led into, drawn into, absorbed into, absorbed into, as you sort of describing it. That is more than just propositional truth, more than just creeds and statements.

Brendan Corr:
And the overwhelming encounter with the personality, with them being that you have come in contact to that, is drawn something deeply, deeply from you. That notion of faith being both the declaration of truth, but the experience of intimacy. You draw those things together, or is that part of your … I guess, what I’m asking, is that something that you think is right for everybody, or is it more personal makeup that is allowed for the depth of that encounter?

Peter Cousens:
I don’t know. I mean, possibly that it is, we’re all on our own journeys I expect. And everyone’s experience of this can be so different, that is so very different. And when I look back through many years of my life on earth, I can see, I can see a pathway, I can see a journey, I can see signposts along the way. I can see the reasons why I am and have become and experienced a lot of this. And I was thinking today about faith, and hope, and charity. And it’s interesting that the idea of faith and hope because hope always implies doubt to me. You have hope because you’re doubtful of that stuff, hoped stuff that’s going to happen. And I find that very, very, I think, that’s tied up with mercy and redemption, and that the fact that there are doubts, we have doubts that keep us. Because absolutism, I find really tricky, and I think the world is filled with people at the moment who believe so strongly about their right. That there is no room for anyone to say, “Well, hold on a minute, actually, it may not be correct what you’re saying, and maybe they aren’t the only facts, or maybe people feel differently, or are different than what you’re trying to suggest they should be.” I urge you to see the connection between, and my it’s experienced, my own wallet is because I expect I’ve got a combination of experiences that are particular to me, and I don’t know whether there’s any.

Brendan Corr:
Going back to the conversation we started about where the arts are touching the very essence of humanness. There is something about that authentic human experience that makes a good story, that makes an impact as you described it, I think earlier in our conversation. And it seems to me that while your story might be particularly intense, it’s in essence, a true experience of the complexity of our humanity. We have thoughts, and doubts, and feelings, and aspirations, and hopes, and self-identity, and all of the things that are part of this story you’ve shared. Can I ask you, I was interested to know that moment when you were overwhelmed with gratitude, you spoke about kneeling beside your bed, and an overwhelming sense of thankfulness. It must have partly been because of the hardship that you’d gone through, because of the disappointment. Would you now choose not to have those hard years and that loss, and miss out on the moment of gratitude, or in some way was it worth it?

Peter Cousens:
Look, I don’t really have any regrets about the failing, because yes, they all add up, don’t they? And you can see the connections. And I wouldn’t have had that experience if I expect, God working through my friend, who I think, was channelling that too. He was giving me a gift and continues to do so. We were discussing Matthew chapter, I think Matthew 21 or something the other day, just out of the blue. And so they all seem to have been leading to something, I’d probably leading towards death.

Brendan Corr:
We’re drawing a tone to a close, but I wanted to finish by asking, you said earlier in your conversation that you felt somehow God had given you a gift to be able to craft a story or to shape the expression of the story, or song, or drama to have an impact. What’s the impact that you would want to be having for people that are exposed to the direction, or the performance that you bring?

Peter Cousens:
I want them initially to feel something. I want them to feel, in other words, to be moved either to laughter, or to thought, or to even sorrow. I want to … And I think there is something healing in all of that. And also just any semblance of the kind of the experiences I have with music, because I find it such a heightened experience that if I can share that and have other people experienced that as well, then their lives, I hope would be heightened, and given some meaning. I do have those sorts of relationships with members of the audience who even years and years later, still remind me of an experience they had in the audience that was transcended while I was doing and what they were doing, that something else was happening that has affected their lives since and changed their lives. Changed the way they think about things, or the way … And that can be a huge experience like that, or it could be momentary when people’s wellbeing is just made to feel at rest. And maybe they’ll speak a little bit different to the people they love around them. And my whole being is changed.

Brendan Corr:
Your perspective on love, on people, on circumstances.

Peter Cousens:
Yeah, and you don’t know what’s going on in people’s lives. And some of the most unlikely people, impressions of people, one should never judge. I just can be just so astounded with their own obvious experiences of life, but then how you and your own little way are somehow having an impact on them in a very positive way. And for me, I deal with a lot of seven and 18-year-old singers, songwriters, and performers, and the development of their abilities, and their talent, and their view of the world, and their artistry, and their music are all tied up in one. And their values, and who they are as people, and who they are as musicians, and singers have to go back to your comment about authenticity and do you take yourself with you onto that point. Well, that’s the key message, I think too because if not, it becomes a clanging cymbal or a tinkling cymbal, and what’s the name? Brass, isn’t it? Whatever that company is.

Brendan Corr:
The name, it’s still there with you, Peter?

Peter Cousens:
Oh, yeah.

Brendan Corr:
Chief prefects still reside.

Peter Cousens:
Yeah, that’s I think the thing for me, and that’s where after all these years where my faith kind of sits, and sits inside that heightened experience of music, and story, and also the impact of influence from another person. And I think, because my experience has been the influence of a number of people, and particular people like my friend, who I’ve just described, and they have been others over the years. In many ways, my raise on debt now is to have that sort of influence on other people. And I’m kind of driven to have that influence on young, particularly young musicians because I relate very easily with that world. To me, it’s about sharing what I know about music, but also what I know about the world in the field.

Brendan Corr:
Wonderful. Peter, as we draw to close, you are a worldly celebrated performer, and successful in so many ways that could be identified and defined, but it’s been just so beautiful to hear a heart that you’ve laid bare in our conversation today. And I’ve been struck by how frequently in your communication, you talk about heightened, and elevated, and expansive, and upward in that notion. And I think that’s the impact for good, that you’re able to bring to people that whether it’s joyful, whether it’s entertaining, or whether it’s moving to sorrow, it’s this pointing that there is more, there’s something bigger beyond that we can enjoy, or aspire to. And I’m so glad that you continue to find yourself being drawn to that new space, and to that new experience of God, and faith, and ministry in the way that you’re using your gifts. So thank you for your time.

Peter Cousens:
Thank you, Brendan. I mean, just my one last comment. I have one thing that has stayed with me if I think, for at least for the last 25 years is, or 30 years is Victor Hugo. A quote from Victor Hugo, who says, he’s talking about children, but he’s saying, “We must lift them to the light.”

Brendan Corr:
Yes. That’s such a beautiful image, isn’t it? And you’re right. The great shows that you were describing earlier, whether they’re the classic operas or any of the opera Miss Saigon. They have that element in them, isn’t it? There is an honouring in a joyfulness that we can lift people around us too.

Peter Cousens:
Yeah, excellent.

Brendan Corr:
Thank you for all the times you’ve done that for us. And may there be many, many more.

Peter Cousens:
Thank you for giving me this opportunity. I’ve really, really enjoyed it.

About Peter Cousens

Peter Cousens is an actor, singer, director, producer and teacher of the performing arts. A graduate of NIDA, Peter worked for many years in television, on stage and as a featured artist in musical theatre, including playing the Phantom in London's West End production of The Phantom of the Opera in 1986. He was more recently the director of a Hollywood film, Freedom, which was produced in conjunction with Cuba Gooding Jr. and William Sadler in 2014. Peter's current project is a new Australian feature film, Where is Daniel.

Photo of Brendan Corr

About Brendan Corr

Originally a Secondary Science Teacher, Brendan is a graduate of UTS, Deakin and Regent College, Canada. While Deputy Principal at Pacific Hills for 12 years, Brendan also led the NSW Christian Schools Australia registration system. Brendan’s faith is grounded in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and a deep knowledge of God’s Word. Married for over 30 years, Brendan and Kim have 4 adult children. On the weekends, Brendan enjoys cycling (but he enjoys coffee with his mates afterwards slightly more).