Canberra’s School Welfare Officers under the axe in chaplaincy row

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LABOR Senator Kate Lundy says new Government documents show that the welfare officers of 25 schools across Canberra are facing unemployment as a result of the Abbott Government’s decision to only fund religious chaplains.

In June this year the High Court ruled that it was constitutionally invalid for payments to be made directly to schools under the chaplaincy program. In an effort to circumvent that ruling the Federal Government is now giving the money to states and territories on the condition it is only used to fund religious chaplains.

“There are 25 qualified welfare officers in Canberra who are going to pay the price for the Abbott Governments ideological changes,” Kate said.

“These are qualified individuals who have already worked hard to build trusting relationships within their school communities.

“Now those same welfare officers are facing the prospect of unemployment, merely because they do not have formal links to a religious institution.

“Christopher Pyne and Tony Abbott should not be deciding what kind of support is best for Canberra students – that is a decision that should be left to our school principals and the school communities.

The 25 Canberra schools affected come from all systems and sectors and include:

  • Blue Gum Community School
  • Bonython Primary
  • Calwell high
  • Charles Conder Primary
  • Charnwood-Dunlop School
  • Cranleigh School
  • Dickson College
  • Emmaus Christian School
  • Farrer Primary
  • Gold Creek School
  • Good Shepherd Primary School
  • Gungahlin College
  • Holy Spirit Catholic Primary School
  • Kaleen Primary
  • Kingsford Smith School
  • Lanyon High
  • Latham Primary
  • Narrabundah College
  • Sacred Heart Primary School
  • St Francis Xavier College
  • St John the Apostle Primary School
  • St Monica’s Primary School
  • St Thomas Aquinas Primary School
  • St Thomas Mores Primary School
  • St Thomas the Apostle Primary School

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