Speaking to voters at an ACL Meet Your Candidates Forum at the Essendon Baptist Church before last September’s election, the now Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said: “We should teach our history the way it was. That in large part is our Judeo Christian history. It helps constitute who we are as a people, it is the basis of our Parliamentary democracy, the Westminster tradition.”
Australian school students should be allowed to know about the influence Christianity played in producing so much of what is good about today’s Australia.
This is one of the reasons why the work of the Australian Curriculum Review is important.
One of the reviewers, education commentator Kevin Donnelly, wrote
:On reading the national history curriculum, one searches in vain for a proper acknowledgement that modern Australia is Anglo-Celtic in origin and that our history can only be fully understood in the context of the nation’s Western heritage and Judeo-Christian beliefs and values
It is extraordinary that this seems to be the case.
The Education Minister Christopher Pyne’s decision to review the national curriculum and to appoint Dr Donnelly as one of the reviewers has attracted controversy in some quarters.
But despite this, there does not seem to be any dispute about the contention that Christianity has been largely airbrushed from the new national curriculum.
The review, which includes University of Queensland academic Ken Wiltshire, will hopefully get to the bottom of this and suggest appropriate remedies.
ACL has felt sufficiently concerned that we have made a submission to the review and encouraged our supporters to do the same.
For those too busy to write a submission, we have established an on-line petition for people to sign as a way of expressing their support for redressing the balance in the curriculum
The deadline has been extended which means there is one more day for people to write a submission or sign our petition.
It is good that environmental sustainability, Asia and indigenous issues are themes of the curriculum. These are all important learning areas.
But even the world’s most prominent atheist, Richard Dawkins, believes children should know about the Bible.
You can read his comments along with other arguments for redressing the balance in our submission
to the review
I’m grateful for the work of ACL team members Daniel Simon and David Hutt in the preparation of our submission and for the initiative in encouraging our supporters to add their voice to the review process.
More than 4500 of you have signed the petition so far. Thank you.
We live in a participatory democracy and ACL exists to help Christians participate.
We will keep you up-to-date with the outcome of the review.