Chaplains will continue to work in the State’s schools after the Tasmanian Government agreed to sign up to deliver the National Schools Chaplaincy Program.
School communities around the State have come to value chaplains for their support and pastoral care, and their work alongside a range of professionals, including social workers, psychologists and speech and language pathologists.
In our discussions with the Australian Government, we made clear that we believed secular welfare workers should also be included in this program.
Unfortunately, the Australian Government would not budge on this point, and we had no choice but to either accept the non-secular nature of the program or deny all schools access to the chaplaincy program.
That would not have been fair and reasonable to the schools that have valued this program, and we were not prepared to be responsible for those schools losing valued members of their school communities.
Importantly, it is the choice of school communities as to whether or not they apply to have a chaplain.
Through signing this agreement, the Liberal Government has provided certainty for school communities for the next school year.
Jeremy Rockliff, Minister for Education and Training