Fifth Packed Town Hall Event Sends Powerful Message to Albanese Government

23 May 2024

Joint Release by Australian Association of Christian Schools/ Associated Christian Schools/ Christian Schools Australia under the banner of My Christian School

 

Over 1,000 teachers, parents and students gathered from across Victoria last night at Waverley Christian College in an unprecedented show of support for the future of faith in Christian schools.

Shadow Attorney-General, Senator Michaelia Cash and Shadow Education Minister, Senator Sarah Henderson attended the event and addressed the huge crowd. No Government MPs or Senators were able to attend last night’s event, and only one Government MP (Tania Lawrence, the Member for Hasluck) has attended any of the events to date.

The town hall event was the fifth in a series of sold out events also held in Brisbane, Sydney, Perth and Launceston. The ‘Faith In Our Future’ events have been organised by three Christian school associations in response to the recent controversial recommendations released by the Australian Law Reform Commission.

If accepted by the Government, they would prevent Christian schools from employing only Christian teachers and staff who share and can teach the same values and beliefs of the school. Parents, teachers, staff and students shared their stories about the life-changing impact of teachers and staff who believe and live their Christian faith.

Joseph Sesay, a migrant from West Africa, shared about the profound impact of his Christian teacher, Mrs Bill. He said, “She taught me that love is true, joy can be restored and peace can be obtained.”

Caitlyn Stephens, a recent graduate who has now returned to work at her Christian school, said “I hope that my story today can help be a voice in our community because the difference faith makes in the lives of students is second-to-none.”

CSA Director of Public Policy Mark Spencer said “These are stories of hope - something that is desperately needed by our young people today. Why would the government want to restrict something that is benefitting the nation? Why restrict the heart of our schools when it gives so much life?”

Attendees travelled more than three hours each way to show their support, with buses bringing people from all over the state including Wodonga, Ballarat, Shepparton and Bairnsdale.

ACS Executive Director Alistair Macpherson said that "The commitment shown by so many to be here tonight is a reflection on the concern in our communities for the future of Christian schools.” 

AACS Executive Officer Vanessa Cheng said that “These are more than events - this is a movement. More than 11,000 have joined this campaign and our message to the Prime Minister is simple - please let Christian schools continue to be Christian schools”. 

A final town hall event is scheduled for Adelaide on 12 June. 

 

ENDS


My Christian School and the Faith In Our Future events are the initiatives of Associated Christian Schools, the Australian Association of Christian Schools and Christian Schools Australia.

 

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Media contacts:
For all media enquiries:
Vanessa Cheng, Australian Association of Christian Schools, 0416 244 372;
Alistair Macpherson, Associated Christian Schools, 0401 365 776;
Mark Spencer, Christian Schools Australia, 0419 419 224.

For all media enquiries:

Mark Spencer

Director of Public Policy

Christian Schools Australia

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About Christian Schools Australia

Christian Schools Australia (CSA) is the largest association of Christian schools in the country and has member schools educating 86,000 students and employing more than 13,500 staff at around 200 locations across Australia. CSA member schools provide high quality education within an authentic Christian learning community.