Salt Shakers E-News

Yesterday, Senator Ron Boswell issued a media release saying “Under questioning from Senator Brett Mason, the Estimates Committee heard the Minister representing the Minister for Education, Senator Kim Carr, refusing to guarantee that the chaplaincy program will continue beyond this financial year.”    School Chaplains to be axed under Christian Rudd-Media Release from Senator Ron Boswell

Senator Ron Boswell said that Mr Rudd had promoted his Christian credentials to the electorate prior to the election – he called on Mr Rudd to intervene to ensure that the chaplaincy program continues. He said “Prime Minister Rudd should stand up and be counted on his much marketed Christian status and keep the School Chaplaincy program going.”

He said “Ninety-seven per cent of school principals want the program to continue and there has been positive feedback to the department but the Rudd government is pulling the plug on a great grass roots initiative.”

The Howard government implemented a scheme that assisted in the funding of chaplains in primary and secondary schools across Australia. The Rudd government has previously said they would ‘review’ the scheme at the end of its first three years  – and that time is coming up!

Julia Gillard has previously said that the scheme might either not allow for ‘religious chaplains’ or could be expanded to included secular counsellors. Back in January 2008, “Education Minister Julia Gillard’s office confirmed the $90 million program will be changed into a secular scheme when current contracts expire.”

Scripture Union Queensland, who employ a large number of chaplains for schools, recently called for everyone to contact their federal MP and Senators to ask them to ensure that the chaplaincy program is continued. [see ACTION section below]

Tim Mander, CEO, Scripture Union, Queensland recently wrote …As you are aware, the federal government has made a significant contribution to local school chaplaincy services through the National School Chaplaincy Program funding. This has enabled school chaplaincy services to increase by 150% in the last two years. School chaplaincy has now established itself as a vital component of school welfare services. A recent research study on school chaplaincy found that 98% of school principals who currently have chaplains in their school want this funding to continue.

We are now entering the final year of this 3 year program. The federal government is currently reviewing whether this funding will continue. At this stage, there has been no guarantees that this will occur.

If this funding is discontinued, many chaplaincy services will have to cease operating. This will have an incredibly negative impact on our children in schools who are looking for that independent, trusted friend who can help them navigate through life’s issues.

We need your support right now!

I’m asking you to take the time to contact your local federal MP to inform them of your support for school chaplaincy. Our local members need to know how valued these services are to our school communities.

Action

PLEASE contact your federal MP – and your 12 State Senators.

Please tell them you support school chaplaincy and ask them to ensure that the funding is continued for school chaplaincy.

Click here for links for federal MPs and Senators.

If you don’t know which electorate you are in:

The Australian Electoral Commission has a special website that enables you to verify your enrolment details. Click here. 

Type in your name and address. Click “Verify Enrolment” and your federal and state electorate details will be shown as well as your local government details.

Thank you for taking this action to help ensure the continuation of school chaplaincy.

Please forward this to all your interested friends and ask them to act as well!

Jenny Stokes
Research Director
Salt Shakers
03 9800 2855
www.saltshakers.org.au

 

 


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