Roxon stands behind school chaplaincy program – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

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Thanks to Michael Murray for the link.


 The Federal Government has declared its ongoing commitment to funding chaplains in schools, and has flagged possible legal changes to get around a High Court decision that ruled the program invalid. 


In a majority decision earlier today, the High Court decided funding for the chaplaincy program was unconstitutional because of the payment method used – not because of religious reasons.

The challenge was brought by Toowoomba man Ron Williams, who objected to what he described as a “religious missionary” being put into schools, and pointed to constitutional restrictions on any Commonwealth officers being subject to a “religious test”.

While the court dismissed that aspect of the case, the ruling has a wide range of implications for how the Federal Government funds different programs.

Attorney-General Nicola Roxon says the Government has been doing “contingency planning” in the lead-up to today’s ruling, and is confident it will find a way to keep chaplains in schools.

“We are committed to both the program and the funding for the school chaplaincy program…and there are different ways that we will be able to provide for the program and the funding to continue,” Ms Roxon said.

“It is clear that there is a cure for each of these problems that are identified [by the court] – whether it’s particular legislation, whether it’s payments through the states, whether it’s other sorts of contingency steps that can be taken.”

Written By: Simon Cullen
continue to source article at abc.net.au

19 COMMENTS

  1. Speaking shortly after the High Court handed down its ruling, Opposition Leader Tony Abbott said it would be a pity if the program was not able to continue.

    A pity for who exactly. Certainly not for the kids.

  2. So annoying that the openly atheist, Nicola Roxon is dragging the party line. There is no need for the post of student welfare worker to be religious. Then there is surprise when the position has been abused where Chaplains have been prosletyzing – what a surprise!

  3. Yes, by all means, let’s keep the chaplains around.  Young students often need emotional support and career guidance from dottering fools who have based their entire lives on insipid fairy tales; or worse, deluded virgins who secretly lust for them sexually.

    Why not just install a Maori Tohunga in every Aussie school?

  4. The only way there are going to be chaplains in the future is for chaplains of today to have free and easy access to impressionable young minds into which they can inseminate their dangerous dogma. Break the chains and we rid ourselves of these pernicious primitive wish thinking coercive belief systems.

  5. So, the High Court found that the chaplains program did -not- breach the separation of church and state, just that it’s unconstitutional for the executive to fund the program without parliamentary approval.

    Student Welfare Co-ordinator isn’t a religious position, ALP changed that a few years ago, and it’s illegal for them to proselytize to students if they are religious.

    They need to give SWC’s more training though, they’re a bit useless.

  6. Aye, @rdfrs-df3f5bc6f8359d51858bb8ffeb11fe98:disqus .  Especially considering that our 2011 census figures havce finally been released.  According to the Australian they reveal:

    While Catholicism has remained the most common religion with a quarter of the population, Anglicans have lost ground to those identifying themselves with no religion. The non-believers are now the second largest group with 22.3 per cent of the population, up from 18.7 per cent in 2006.

     

  7.  
    Student Welfare Co-ordinator isn’t a religious position, ALP changed that a few years ago, and it’s illegal for them to proselytize to students if they are religious.

    I know what the law says but in reality you have groups like this providing chaplains

    The National School Chaplaincy Association (NSCA) is a network of Christian chaplaincy organisations in Australia. It is represented by ACCESS Ministries (Vic), GenR8 Ministries (NSW), Schools Ministry Group (SA) and Scripture Union (ACT, Queensland, Tasmania).

    Notice something in common about all these groups ?

    The Federal Government’s own website says

    It is a voluntary program that assists school communities to support the spiritual, social, and emotional wellbeing of their students.

    Can I find a link somewhere to an evidence based definition of spirituality and peer reviewed articles on how it can be supported ? They haven’t even got the good taste to put spirituality last on the bloody list.

    The simple truth is Rudd was a God botherer and Gillard listens to much to the Australian Christian Lobby. It’s not the Labor Party I grew up with. But not to worry soon we will have the Mad Monk. Poor Fella My Country.

    Michael

  8. Yep Greyman you can see it on the ABS site 

     The most common responses for religion in Australia were Catholic 25.3%, No Religion 22.3%, Anglican 17.1%, Uniting Church 5.0% and Presbyterian and Reformed 2.8%.

    We are the second biggest religion.  Going for top spot next time. 

    Michael

  9.  No – doesn’t feel like the Labor party I grew up with either. But if the Mad Monk gets in, we will have a Prime Minister with a direct line to George Pell, and thus a direct line to (perhaps I mean from) Benny the Rat.

  10.  No – doesn’t feel like the Labor party I grew up with either. But if the Mad Monk gets in, we will have a Prime Minister with a direct line to George Pell, and thus a direct line to (perhaps I mean from) Benny the Rat.

    I know.

    That’s why they can ignore us left-wingers.  Under a compulsory, preferential system we have to end up voting for one of the major parties and they know we won’t vote for the Mad Monk.  

    In my case I’m in Christopher Pyne’s electorate so it doesn’t really matter what I do :-(

    Michael

  11.  

    Can I find a link somewhere to an evidence based definition of
    spirituality and peer reviewed articles on how it can be supported ?
    They haven’t even got the good taste to put spirituality last on the
    bloody list.

    There’s this one which has been linked before!

    Selective Brain Damage Modulates Human Spirituality, Research Reveals – http://www.sciencedaily.com/re

    I don’t think the evangelicals will like it!

  12. I think they just really need to have a proper secular training course that makes it very clear what they can and can’t do, and actually give them skills to be -at all- useful. I think that the system is pretty obviously abused by religious groups for
    proselytizing to kids and that’s wrong and illegal. But if the church or some NGO wants to sort of… sponsor people to become SWCs, I think that’s alright, so long as there is some standardised course and everyone knows where they stand. Basically I think the funding should sort of be reversed. Governments provide the secular training services, and churches and NGO’s can pay for people to be put through the course.

  13. @rdfrs-3768432a5f6b3b46d19a69e18920ab48:disqus 

    I’d be happy with all that but then why not just call it the National School Counselors programme.  Require training as youth counselors as you say.  I was hoping that the changes made last year would push it that way but the religious involvement seems to be getting worse. 

    Michael

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