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School chaplains

Analysis and Comment (10)

Recent debate about the government’s school chaplaincy program has been informed by deficient understandings of what ‘secular’ is. Recent debate about the government’s school chaplaincy program has been informed by deficient understandings of what ‘secular’ is. AAP/Alan Porritt

School chaplaincy debate ignores what ‘secular’ actually is

Despite recent calls for its elimination and the High Court (again) finding that it was funded unconstitutionally, the Abbott government announced this week that it would continue its school chaplaincy…
Are Queensland’s cassowaries being let down by Canberra’s officialdom?. Are Queensland’s cassowaries being let down by Canberra’s officialdom?. Dave Kimble/Wikimedia Commons

Cassowaries and chaplains: how to avoid Canberra’s conservation overreach

What do school chaplains and cassowaries have in common? Both highlight the degree to which federal governments struggle to devolve quality public decision-making to the right level. Our schools and our…
Tony Abbott’s support for funding religious chaplains in schools violates the principle of government religious neutrality. Tony Abbott’s support for funding religious chaplains in schools violates the principle of government religious neutrality. AAP/Lukas Coch

Remake school chaplaincy as a proper welfare program or scrap it

The High Court of Australia, for the second time, recently found that the National School Chaplaincy and Student Welfare Program (NSCSWP) is funded unconstitutionally, and so is invalid in its current…
Services can now be expanded to include drug and relationship counselling, sports coaching, as well as stress reduction and meditation. Services can now be expanded to include drug and relationship counselling, sports coaching, as well as stress reduction and meditation. Flickr/US Department of Education

School chaplaincy decision: lessons for a beneficial scheme

The High Court of Australia has declared federal funding of the school chaplains program unconstitutional, largely because it doesn’t meet the legal criteria for authorising such payments. But this lack…
The High Court has unanimously re-endorsed its decision in a successful 2012 challenge to the government funding the National Schools Chaplaincy Program. The High Court has unanimously re-endorsed its decision in a successful 2012 challenge to the government funding the National Schools Chaplaincy Program. AAP/Lukas Coch

Commonwealth left scrambling by school chaplaincy decision

The High Court has again put the future of the federal government’s school chaplaincy program in jeopardy, confirming its 2012 decision that the Commonwealth’s spending programs must be supported by valid…
The High Court has given the Commonwealth two serious warnings that it needs to review its extensive spending program since 2009, but these have gone largely unheard. The High Court has given the Commonwealth two serious warnings that it needs to review its extensive spending program since 2009, but these have gone largely unheard. AAP/Lukas Coch

Commonwealth spending back in the High Court’s sights

This week, the High Court heard Toowoomba man Ron Williams’ second challenge to the constitutionality of the Commonwealth’s funding of the National School Chaplaincy and Student Welfare Program. While…
Should children be exposed to religion in school? Should children be exposed to religion in school? www.shutterstock.com

Our secular society is being eroded – one school child at a time

In the small print in my Qantas in flight magazine I noticed that Qantas is now raising money for Mission Australia. Mission Australia runs a number of useful and worthwhile programs for the disadvantaged…
The government is trying to rush legislation through the parliament that could fundamentally change how it spends money. The government is trying to rush legislation through the parliament that could fundamentally change how it spends money. AAP/Alan Porritt

Bringing down the House? Keeping school chaplains means a surrender to the Executive

In days of old, when Legislative Councils were appointed bodies, Labor Governments would try to swamp them with suicide squads of members who, once appointed, would vote to abolish the House. On Tuesday…
The High Court landmark decision in the school chaplaincy case is an opportunity for reform. The High Court landmark decision in the school chaplaincy case is an opportunity for reform. Flickr/petelawley

School chaplaincy case: a missed opportunity for secular education

The historic majority Australian High Court ruling that the National School Chaplaincy Program (NSCP) is “invalid” is a gift to the argument for secular public education. Secular statutes (for example…
Attorney General Nicola Roxon and Minister for School Education Peter Garrett respond to the Williams High Court decision. Attorney General Nicola Roxon and Minister for School Education Peter Garrett respond to the Williams High Court decision. AAP Image/Penny Bradfield

The High Court school chaplains case and what it means for Commonwealth funding

Today, the High Court of Australia dramatically altered the previously understood scope of the Commonwealth’s power to spend money and enter into contracts. This decision has immediate repercussions for…

Research and News (1)