As I await a decision in my High Court challenge—many, many thanks for being one of the wonderful people responsible for helping me meet over one-third of my legal expenses to date.
Following are some developments subsequent to my August hearing in Canberra with accompanying links.
Everything in the public domain relating to my case (including the unpredicted, extensive, expensive post-case submission volleys) can be found here:
You may be aware that on September 7, 2011, Peter Garrett announced a ‘born-again’ National School Chaplaincy Program—the NSCSWP—to include what he termed at the time, ‘secular student welfare workers’, as well as chaplains. Although the wily use of the word ‘secular’ had a soothing effect upon a naïve media at the time, the eventual release of the NSCSWP guidelines revealed a program allowing far more blatant ‘religiosity’ than John Howard’s NSCP model of 2006.
The NSCSWP moved from high farce to even higher tragedy in early November 2011 when Peter Garrett’s department, DEEWR, began releasing the first national lists of ‘potential’ suppliers of student welfare workers (‘secular’ having now disappeared from use) which included ACCESS Ministries, Christians Helping in Schools (CHIPS) and Youth for Christ. ‘Expressions of interest’ to supply chaplains and student welfare workers closed at 5pm on Friday December 16, 2011.
Appalled, I produced a fifteen-minute exposé, ‘Why Julia Gillard’s Born-Again NSCP is a Shameful Sham’, with a view to attracting some media attention to what can only be described as a con job:
An update to Sham was released on December 1 via SPEL (Secular Public Education Lobby) News:
Sham is a sequel to ‘Mr 97% Porkie Goes to Parliament’ which I produced in January 2010 prior to the establishment of my High Court proceedings:
So far, these disgraceful circumstances have only received coverage in the SMH on December 6:
It’s interesting—although predictable if not encouraging—that the parachurch suppliers of chaplains and student welfare workers are seeking a contingency arrangement from DEEWR should my challenge be successful:
I recently attended an address by Mungo MacCallum. While reflecting upon his long career in journalism, Mungo said that he couldn’t remember Australian political circumstances stranger than those of today. I’m certain that Mungo is correct.
Meanwhile, I wait for ‘that’ phone call from my solicitor—while maintaining the calm optimism present across the late afternoon of August 11, 2011.
This is an update on the challenge to the High Court challenge on School Chaplains. I thought some might be interested. The author has given me permission to put the email on site.