Toowoomba mum Judy Southee fully supports the Federal Government’s funding of the National School Chaplaincy Program.
Toowoomba mum Judy Southee fully supports the Federal Government’s funding of the National School Chaplaincy Program. Dave Noonan

Mum backs chaplaincy in schools

TOOWOOMBA mum Judith Southee has hit back at one man's fight against the national school chaplaincy program.

Toowoomba dad Ron Williams is challenging the Federal Government in the High Court over the legality of its funding of the National School Chaplaincy Program.

Mr Williams believes the federally funded program has intervened in the right of his children to enjoy a public education in a secular state school.

He appears to have supporters all over the world, with people from places as far away as the United States posting comments on The Chronicle's website after a story was published about the situation last week.

An incredible 5473 people voted in an online poll on the issue, with 94 per cent of voters saying chaplains did not have a place in state schools.

But Mrs Southee said many Toowoomba parents, teachers and principals disagreed.

The P&C president at a Toowoomba state primary school argued that chaplains provided an important resource to students who needed someone to listen to them.

“Chaplains are not teachers or religious instructors,” Mrs Southee said.

“The sign of a good chaplain is not their ability to instruct, but their ability to listen.

“While the chaplaincy program may not be perfect, it does provide an important resource to students who need someone to listen to them.

“I have spent the last five years finding every government dollar I can for my school and I can't understand a mentality that would shun a government dollar ...”

Mr Williams expects the writ to be served on the Federal Government within the next two months.

 

 


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