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Pages tagged "Toowoomba"
School chaplaincy program gets funding boost
· May 21, 2014 10:00 AM
The Coalition has upheld its election promise by extending funding for the National School Chaplaincy Program, a decision welcomed by the Australian Christian Lobby.
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.
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.
CEO of SU QLD Peter James recently spoke to ACL's Katherine Spackman about the challenge. Listen to the interview
. A verdict is not expected for some months.
Back our chappies in High Court Challenge II
· April 24, 2014 10:00 AM
Scripture Union Queensland (SU QLD) will again appear before the High Court to defend the national school chaplaincy program on May 6-8 this year.
This is the second attempt by the Toowoomba resident to prevent funding for the National School Chaplaincy and Student Welfare Program (NSCSWP).
SU QLD first appeared in the High Court two years ago when the resident claimed the chaplaincy program violated religious freedom under the Constitution. The High Court found it did not violate religious freedom as chaplains were not employed or appointed by the Government.
However, the court did find that funding for the school chaplaincy program – and many other programs - was invalid as it exceeds the funding authority of the Commonwealth Government.
In June last year the government passed ‘emergency legislation’ to protect the program . The second court challenge contests this new legislation.
The ACL last year
congratulated the government and the Coalition
on this passage of legislation guaranteeing funding to the program.
During the first High Court challenge, 85,000 Australians showed their support for national school chaplaincy by signing a statement of support.
SU QLD is asking Australians to once again show their support by visiting
to sign their name in favour of federal funding for school chaplaincy – we encourage you to sign this new statement.
The organisation hopes to present over 100,000 signatures to key members of parliament to show that school chaplaincy is important to thousands of families.
Easterfest, culture and crucifixion – an Easter experience
· April 24, 2014 10:00 AM
It was great to attend the
music festival in Toowoomba.
Thanks to local ACL supporters who helped staff our stall so we could have a presence amongst the many organisations showcasing their good work.
Festival director Dave Schenk asked me to participate in three speakers’ forums over the weekend.
These covered topics close to my heart – fostering greater unity in the church, balancing love and truth and overcoming evil.
There is no doubt the
Christian Leaders’ Network in Toowoomba
has given us a glimpse of something Christ was praying for in John 17 when he yearned “that they may be one”.
Unity is always fragile (and costly) and the Toowoomba Christian leaders would be the first to admit their efforts are far from perfect.
But the fruit of unity has been impressive with 16 years of the counter-cultural Easterfest but one example.
Hearing some of the Toowoomba Christian leaders talk about the struggles and joys of this journey was inspiring. One gets the feeling that having tasted unity, there is no turning back for them.
Sharing a platform with Jars of Clay band member Dan Haseltine was a privilege as we and other panellists navigated law and grace, truth and love.
There was agreement that holding these in tension is necessary, particularly in the light of current cultural and political debates over marriage and human rights for the unborn.
Overcoming evil was a big topic and it was great to unpack this with my sister Tish who runs
in Toowoomba and Maddie Wiederman of
Tish works with young girls suffering from the effects of the sexualisation and objectification of women because of our culture.
Maddie, who vulnerably shares her experience of aborting her first pregnancy at 18, is passionate about helping Australians again fall in love with the unborn.
With two small children and a third on the way, her personal experience makes her call for change compelling.
I was asked about being “crucified” during a Triple J interview on marriage where I was defending the rights of children to their mum and a dad.
While not all of ACL’s media experiences are quite as taxing as Triple J, it got me thinking that crucifixion is of course a big part of Easter.
Christ was crucified by the cultural and political elites of his day.
Overcoming evil will mean sometimes upsetting cultural elites. It may even mean laying down our lives.
Qld government considers funding boost for chaplaincy
· November 12, 2013 11:00 AM
A move to provide additional funding for chaplaincy in schools is being considered by the Queensland government.
The Courier-Mail recently reported
that the move would give independent public school principals the ability to increase the hours of chaplains and other staff including guidance counsellors and psychologists.
Currently, the Queensland government provides up to $11,000 a year for school chaplains in addition to federal government funding of the chaplaincy program.
The move has come out of a discussion between Scripture Union’s Queensland (SU QLD) CEO Peter James and John-Paul Langbroek’s advisor in regards to additional funds being required around occasions of natural disaster and tragedy in school communities.
SU, which employs most chaplains in state schools, said it’s found additional support from school chaplains is vital around these times and previously there had been no allowance for this.
In recent months, SU QLD has been called to appear before the High Court to defend its national school chaplaincy program.
It first appeared in the High Court two years ago when a Toowoomba resident claimed the chaplaincy program violated religious freedom under the Constitution. The High Court found it did not violate religious freedom as chaplains were not employed or appointed by the government.
A second challenge to the Court’s decision was launched against the program this year.
In response, SU QLD asked Australians to sign a statement of support in favour of federal funding for school chaplaincy by visiting
Last month, ACL’s Communications Director Katherine Spackman interviewed SU QLD’s CEO Peter James on the Political Spot where he spoke about the second High Court challenge. You can listen to the interview by following
ACL staff to speak at Easterfest
· March 12, 2013 11:00 AM
ACL's Chief of Staff Lyle Shelton and Communications Director Katherine Spackman will be speaking at this year's Easterfest.
Easterfest is Australia's largest festival about Easter…not just
Easter. Celebrating its message draws thousands of people from across the country to make the pilgrimage up the mountain to Toowoomba.
The ACL staff will participate in 'The Forum' presented by Bible Society, facilitating group discussions on challenging issues of life and faith.
On the Friday, Lyle will be facilitating two group discussions:
Are We There Yet?…response to world poverty
Addicted to Technology? The pleasures and pitfalls of living in the digital age.
In the evening, Katherine will be a panel guest in a discussion on
The Sexual Individualism of the iWorld.
Lyle will also be a key panel guest on Saturday on
Being a Voice in the Political Arena
Christians in Politics - A history of advocacy of those in need.
He will also be a key panel guest on Sunday on
Responding to the crisis in child well being in Australia,
and will facilitate a discussion on
One Heart…Church Unity.
On Sunday evening, Katherine will be the primary speaker on
, facilitated by David Wilson and including guests Destiny Rescue.
If you're able, we encourage you to come along and participate in this event as we celebrate the true meaning of Easter.
Details are as follows:
Queen's Park, Toowoomba
for a detailed breakdown of prices
to register your attendance.
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