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Media releases

Council welcomes federal support for school chaplains

For immediate release

4 September 2014

The NSW Council of Churches welcomes the Abbott Government’s new proposal to fund school chaplaincy after a High Court decision in June ruled that the Commonwealth lacked executive power to fund the National School Chaplaincy Program.

Under the new arrangement, States and Territories will be eligible to receive the same federal funding but run the programs themselves.

“Students in NSW schools need the support that chaplains bring,” the President of the NSW Council of Churches, the Reverend Dr Ross Clifford, said today.

“We encourage the Baird Government to agree to the federal proposal to fund faith-based school chaplaincy, and guarantee continued funding of existing chaplaincy programs in NSW schools,” Dr Clifford said.

The NSW Council of Churches believes that children and young people need positive role models and strong values, and school chaplains help kids to develop skills and strategies to break negative cycles in their lives.

School chaplains build positive relationships with students and staff, and contribute to the spiritual and emotional wellbeing of the school community in ways that are simply not possible for social workers and mental health workers.

The results speak for themselves and the Abbott Government is to be commended for its ongoing commitment to the welfare of Australian students through school chaplaincy.

Media contact Rod Benson 0412 421 678

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