Well, it is certainly never dull in Canberra! Not unlike life at a school, things can change very quickly. Hopefully this newsletter is not out of date before you get a chance to read it!
Since our last newsletter was sent, discussions over funding of non-government schools have flared up again and we have worked to keep reiterating the AACS position, urging both sides of Parliament to maintain a commitment to a sector-blind, need-based model. As you will read below, we coordinated a letter from a range of Christian school movements to the Prime Minister and have been pleased to be able to reiterate our case to both sides of Parliament. Funding has yet again become a political hot potato, but we remain hopeful that the Government will hold onto their current commitment to a sector-blind approach that is not encumbered by lots of individual arrangements and deals for some schools and systems.
Religious freedom is still the other key issue for our schools and is likely to be the primary issue for us in the foreseeable future. We are all still waiting for the Ruddock Review to be released, which we hope will happen in the next few weeks, unless there are other upheavals in Parliament.
We are working to prepare not only for that report but for a longer-term push to ensure that our schools are able to continue functioning according to the ethos and values that they hold. We are assembling arguments, strategies and networks to help us make that case.
On a different note, last week Erik enjoyed visiting some of our AACS schools in Western Australia and speaking with others who are interested in joining AACS. It is great to get a glimpse of the good work you are all doing.
Erik, Annette and Wendy