WIMMERA school leaders believe commonsense will prevail after the High Court ruled that Commonwealth funding of the school chaplaincy program was invalid.
Nanjing Night Net

Horsham College principal Frank Spiel said the ruling on Wednesday was not an issue for the school.

“We are aware of the High Court ruling, but the Federal Government has stated that it is still in support of the school chaplaincy program,” he said.

“We are without a school chaplain at the moment because our chaplain has left to take up another position, but we are advertising the position and are confident that it will be filled and funded.

“We are just watching and waiting for the situation to be analysed and legislation to be made.”

Dimboola Memorial Secondary College principal Rob Pyers said the school had a student counsellor, not a chaplain, but the counsellor position was funded via the program.

“The ruling is a hiccup we are not worried,” Mr Pyers said.

“We believe and have faith that commonsense will work its way to the top.”

Edenhope College principal Lynden Fielding said the college’s chaplain was invaluable.

Ms Fielding said chaplain Brian O’Leary was contracted to work at the college two days a week and spend two days at Kaniva College and one day at Goroke P-12 School.

She said Mr O’Leary had provided ongoing support to college staff, students and parents since 2008 and following the death of college student Chevy Derrington in 2010.

“The sustainability of the program cannot be underestimated in terms of establishing relationships,” Ms Fielding said.

“Brian has become an integral part of our student well-being teams at Edenhope, Kaniva and Goroke.

“It would be a huge chasm in our service delivery if we lost our chaplain.”

Member for Mallee John Forrest said the Opposition would pursue a Private Members Bill to ensure the school chaplaincy program could continue.

He said providing care and support to school students, particularly in disadvantaged areas, was extremely valuable.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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