Media Release

For release: Friday May 6, 2011

The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) today congratulated the Education Minister, Martin Dixon, for recognising the incredibly important work carried out by Chaplains in Victoria.

Commenting on the Budget announcement of an additional $200,000 for the training and development of Chaplains, ACL State Director Rob Ward said “it is not just in times of major crises like the 2010 bushfires or the recent floods, but every day in hundreds of communities across Victoria, that Chaplains are there meeting the needs of families and young people in so many different ways.  To see the Government investing wisely in the training and support for these valuable services is heartening.”

Recent media reports, especially in one Melbourne newspaper, may have created the impression that faith-based workers in the community or in schools were unwelcome, he said, but the truth is that the presence of Chaplains is appreciated by 97% of Government school communities.

Responding to issues such as bullying, family breakdown and low self-esteem, a Chaplain, bound under their terms of appointment not to proselytise, often provides the pathway to healthier outcomes for young people under stress or at risk.

The Government is to be congratulated on this initiative.