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Welcome

Dear Colleagues,

Happy Wednesday! This week the Religious Discrimination Bill is being considered by the Coalition and may be introduced in the House of Representatives within the next two sitting weeks.

Labor will be forming a subcommittee to review the Bill (which they have not yet seen). It would be a good idea to pray for the constitution and wisdom of that subcommittee.

We should also pray for soft hearts on the Senate crossbench, as they face intense advocacy from non-religious groups against religious freedom.

Please take note of the highly significant decision by AISNSW, ISV and AISSA to leave the Independent Schools Council of Australia within 12 months – summarised in an article below – and their intention to set up a new body.

Recent AACS activities have included the National Press Club lunch where the Attorney-General Christian Porter spoke on the Bill, and we are hopeful that some important changes to the draft bill have been made before introduction.

We also travelled to the Blue Mountains to address the Mountains Christian College association meeting. In Melbourne, AACS held its board retreat, attended the Religion in the Public Square Conference and the CEN ‘Tone from the Top’ Governance conference. At this latter event, AACS updated the group on current politics and possible long-term approaches to difficult issues.

On Thursday, 28 November, we will join the Minderoo Foundation at Parliament for the release of their annual report and be meeting with various other people on current issues of concern for our schools.

Entries for our Poetry and Essay Competition are streaming in – thank you to the teachers for helping their students submit work. The closing date is 20 December, so if you’re looking for end-of-year activities for students – why not the writing competition?

Please don’t hesitate to drop us a line if you wish to bounce ideas off us or to request an AACS presentation at a school function. Also, don’t forget to let us know when your school is coming to Canberra for the PACER program – we would love to talk to your students and try to organise a special guest or two to meet them.

Blessings,

Alithea Westerman

Executive Officer

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