The Abbott-government’s $8 million Safe Schools Coalition of Australia encourages girls who think they might be boys to bind their chests so their breasts won’t develop properly.Read more
The report does not offer any recommendations, but does reiterate the reviewers’ goal of “[getting the curriculum] right before it is fully implemented across the country”.
Earlier this year, ACL supporters were encouraged to participate in the review process. ACL’s submission emphasised the need to restore balance to the curriculum, highlighting Bible literacy, freedom for faith-based schools, and Australia’s Christian heritage as important areas lacking coverage in the curriculum.
The final report is due by July 31. Click here to read the interim report.
The Coalition has upheld its election promise by extending funding for the National School Chaplaincy Program, a decision welcomed by the Australian Christian Lobby.
The Coalition pledged before the election to continue the National School Chaplaincy Program in Schools to support the emotional wellbeing of students.
This month's federal budget revealed that a total of $243.8 million will be allocated to the program over the next four years. Under the program, Australian schools can apply for $20,000 grants from the government to hire a school chaplain. Many school communities raise extra funds so their chaplains can work more than two days per week.
Along with other groups, ACL has advocated for government support of the chaplaincy program, citing widespread community support for chaplains and the important pastoral care role they provide students.
In an interview on ABC News last week, Cabinet Minister Senator Eric Abetz commended the school chaplaincy program, saying:
‘The chaplaincy program is a wonderful investment in national building because if you talk to any school chaplain or indeed, any school principal that has a chaplain in their school, they will tell you what a wonderful investment it is in the spiritual wellbeing of young Australians.’
Scripture Union Queensland (SU QLD) - the largest provider of school chaplains in Australia - recently appeared before the High Court a second time to defend the chaplaincy program after an attempt by a Toowoomba resident to prevent funding of the program.
During the first High Court challenge, 85,000 Australians showed their support for school chaplains by signing a statement of support organised by SU QLD. They hope to present over 100,000 signatures to key members of parliament to show that school chaplaincy is important to thousands of families. ACL encouraged its supporters to get on board with the campaign earlier this year.
For release: Tuesday April 22, 2014
The Australian Christian Lobby has welcomed the government’s announcement that it will contribute $20 million to provide schooling for Syrian refugee children but says more should be done given the scale of the crisis.
ACL’s Managing Director Lyle Shelton said whilst the government’s pledge is commendable, the enormity of the humanitarian crisis in Syria requires a lift in our humanitarian intake from 13,700.
“So far, around 2.7 million people have been displaced as a result of the continuing crisis in Syria and 140,000 have died in what is one of the world’s biggest humanitarian crises since World War II.”
Mr Shelton said cuts to Australia’s Millennium Development Goal promise on overseas aid would also restrict our ability to respond.
“We are a prosperous country by comparison and have a moral responsibility to provide greater aid to those suffering around the world, especially given the large number of displaced persons in this instance,” Mr Shelton said.
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop yesterday announced that $20 million would go towards a joint Australia, United States, United Kingdom and United Nations initiative to provide schooling for almost one million Syrian children.
Earlier this month, ACL expressed disappointment at a senate inquiry report recommendation to extend the time by which Australia increases its overseas aid in line with its bi-partisan MDG promise.
Mr Shelton said that the escalating number of asylum seekers from Syria meant a refugee intake of just 13,700 was too low for an adequate response to the sheer numbers of people displaced by the Syrian and other conflicts.
For release: Saturday March 15, 2014
The Australian Christian Lobby has congratulated the Liberal Party on its resounding win in the Tasmanian election and looks forward to working constructively with the new government.
ACL Tasmanian Director Mark Brown said the enormous amount of time the State Parliament spent debating contentious social issues such as same-sex marriage (twice), abortion and euthanasia had proven unattractive to mainstream voters.
Mr Brown said Christian voters had also been disappointed with the lack of engagement by Labor during the election campaign.
Premier-elect Will Hodgman and a large number of his candidates had participated in ACL election activities.
Mr Hodgman had participated in an election interview where he committed to amend anti-discrimination laws to provide a general exemption to Christian schools when it comes to enrolling students and hiring staff.
“This was a welcome announcement which means Christian schools will be able to enrol students and employ staff who share the ethos and values of the school without being in breach of anti-discrimination laws,” he said.
Mr Brown said the ALP’s lack of engagement with the Christian community may well have contributed to its election loss.
“Only one sitting Labor MP participated in the five Meet Your Candidate Forums conducted by the lobby throughout the state. This was in comparison with seven sitting Liberal MPs and three sitting Greens MPs who attended,” he said.
“The ALP’s poor result should make for some serious soul searching regarding the future direction of the party. Many Tasmanian Christian Labor voters were disappointed with the party’s lack of engagement with the constituency,” Mr Brown said.
Mr Brown said it was time for Labor to move back to the political centre to ensure its appeal to mainstream Tasmanians.
The disproportionate amount of time spent working with the Greens on a radical social reform agenda at the expense of front and centre issues like jobs and the economy has contributed significantly to tonight’s result. This sentiment was confirmed by former ALP Premier Paul Lennon who on last night’s ABC 7.30 Report stated “it was the preoccupation with the social issues in Parliament rather than the basic issues of health and education and job development”.
Mr Brown said Labor had much to commend to Christian voters and he hoped it would not give up on this constituency as it sought to rebuild.
“Labor has proud historical roots in Christianity amongst Irish Catholic workers and Protestant Methodists who were at the forefront of the creation of the trade union movement. The ALP in its rebuilding process should not ignore these important foundations and ensure its appeal encompasses the large Tasmanian Christian constituency,” he said.
The National Curriculum was introduced as a draft by former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard in 2010. At the time, opposition education spokesman Christopher Pyne had said it was unbalanced and signalled a Coalition government would conduct a thorough review of the legislation.
There has been criticism that the new curriculum ignored Australia’s Judeo- Christian heritage. In the lead up to the election last year, in a Quadrant opinion piece, Dr Donnelly said the curriculum represented a threat to faith-based schools. He said:
“While students will be forced to learn every subject through a politically correct prism involving Asian, Indigenous and environmental perspectives, the debt owed to Australia’s Judeo-Christian heritage is ignored, with Christianity reduced to one religion among many, alongside Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism.
The draft civics and civics national curriculum and the history curriculum also embrace choice and diversity — code for multiculturalism — and ignore the central place of Christianity in the evolution of Australia’s political and legal systems.”
The ACL intends on making a submission to the review and would encourage its supporters to do so as well. ACL believes that the National Curriculum should take proper account of Australia’s religious and cultural heritage and that an understanding of Christianity is vital for students to understand modern Australia and western civilisation.
Christianity has had an important impact on literature, philosophy, human rights, arts, science, education, health care, and many other areas of society. It is important that students understand the cultural, philosophical, and literary significance of the Bible. Incidentally it was atheist Richard Dawkins who said “you can’t appreciate English literature unless you are steeped to some extent in the King James Bible … not to know (it) is to be, in some small way, barbarian”.
While understanding sustainability, Indigenous, and Asian themes are necessary, they should not be emphasised at the expense of other important themes such as the influence of western civilisation.
Public comment is invited on the national curriculum until the 28th of February. To learn more about the process and to make a submission go to http://www.studentsfirst.gov.au and http://www.studentsfirst.gov.au/review-australian-curriculum
WHAT GOOD IS CHRISTIANITY?
Vishal Mangalwadi, international Bible teacher, cultural and political columnist, and author of thirteen books, will be touring Australia in August, and you are invited to attend. The event is hosted by Family Voice Australia in celebration of its 40th anniversary.
Mr Mangalwadi has explored why some nations are more successful than others, and what the Bible says about this. To him, the evidence is overwhelming: the Bible has sown unique seeds in western culture allowing science, technology, human rights and families to thrive. This lead to his best-selling book, The Book That Made Your World.
Mr Mangalwadi was also a guest speaker at ACL's National Conference in 2011, where he shared about the Christian basis of Western civilisation, and spoke about educating kids in a truthless society. Follow this link to listen to his speeches.
Join Family Voice this August to hear his story and inspiring insights as he examines:
- What has shaped Australia into the nation it is today?
- Has Christianity done any good in our culture?
- 8 August, 7pm: Public forum, Mueller Performing Arts Centre, Rothwell, QLD
- 9 August, 10am: Christian leaders seminar, Beenleigh Baptist Church, Beenleigh, QLD
- 12 August, 7pm: Public forum, Scots Church, Wynyard, Sydney, NSW
- 13 August, 10am: Seminar, St Anne's Anglican Centre, Ryde, NSW
- 15 August, 7am: Breakfast meeting, National Press Club, ACT
- 16 August, 7:30pm: Public forum, Melbourne School of Theology, VIC
- 17 August, 10am: Christian leaders seminar, 1330 Auditorium, 1330 Ferntree Gully Rd, VIC
- 20 August, 7pm: Public forum, Hobart City Church of Christ, Hobart, TAS
- 21 August, 7pm: Dinner, Fogolar Furlan, Felixtow, SA
- 22 August, 10am: Seminar, Edwardstown Baptist Church, St Mary's, SA
- 24 August, 7pm: Dinner, Perth Town Hall, Perth, WA
Please visit this link for more information.
Open House is a three-hour talk show airing across Australia on Sunday nights, exploring life, faith and culture from Christian perspective. Nick Jensen, the Programme Manager of The Lachlan Macquarie Internship, spoke to Leigh Hatcher on Open House last Sunday about the program and how he's working to instil a Christian worldview in tomorrow's leaders. He also spoke on the importance of Christianity in world politics, particularly in raising up people of value, integrity and faith to shape the way public policy is formed.
To listen to Nick's interview, click here.
For more information on The Lachlan Macquarie Internship and to apply, please visit the website.
Friday, 24 August, 2012
The Australian Christian Lobby has expressed concern that some frontline services to Queensland’s most vulnerable people are being affected by the Government’s budget cuts.
ACL Queensland Director Wendy Francis said ACL understood the need for the Government to balance its budget, but was concerned some of the cuts were going too far.
Ms Francis had spoken to a number of charities working with the disadvantaged.
“While the community and not-for-profit sector does need to play its part in helping reduce the deficit, it is hard to understand why cuts of relatively small amounts of money are being made to not-for-profits working at the coal-face with the disadvantaged,” Ms Francis said.
“They have proven track-records of effective assistance to our most needy,” she said.
In Ipswich alone, two Salvation Army community development programs have already been axed, and many trainees are now at risk of being forced out of their courses.
Other programs likely to be affected by the funding cuts include the Pacific Islanders program in Goodna catering to disadvantaged young people, and the Logan-based Participants in Prosperity program for ex-offenders.
Nick Jensen (left) is the Manager of the Lachlan Macquarie Internship and will be speaking to Open House's Leigh Hatcher on Sunday, August 26th. The Open House program is broadcast on Christian radio stations between 8 and 11pm. Tune into your local Christian radio station to hear about the internship program and it's purpose or alternatively listen online.