AUSTRALIAN COUNCIL FOR THE DEFENCE OF GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS - D.O.G.S.
PRESS RELEASE #14.
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|LATEST NEWS FROM OUR 3 CR PROGRAM JULY 29 2000|
On July 29 2000 the DOGS had a number of issues for our listeners.
1. A Muslim Boy refused admission to a Melbourne Catholic School because of his faith:
The Sun Herald Sunday July 23 2000 reported that a Muslim boy 12 was refused admission to a Melbourne Catholic School, Nazareth College, in Noble Park, even though his mother is Catholic. The newspaper article said:
"The boy's parents were told in a letter from the acting principal of their son's Catholic primary school, that Hisham had been refused admission to the secondary college because "priority" was given to catholic and Orthodox religions before Hisham....on April 28 the Kazems received a letter from Nazareth College principal Gregory Clarke stating:'All applications have been given full consideration in accordance with our enrolment policy and I write to inform you that we are unable to offer a place for hisham at Nazareth College'
The boy's mother, Susan Kasem (using another name), called the school and asked about applications. She says she was told places were available.
Mr Clarke said this week Hisham's initial application was dealt with in accordance with a strict code of practice.
Mr Clarke said the college accepted applications, then assessed those relative to the approved enrolment policy before parish priests decided who would be offered places...the enrolment policy is applied to every application received"
Fortunately for this lad, who has been "losing sleep, not eating property, crying and always stressed" because of this situation, there is a school system in this country whose enrolment policy does not depend upon the approval and permission of parish priests for educational opportunities for our Australian children. His father says that all his children will now be attending the state school system.
Our public school system which is public in access to all , purpose, ownership, accountability and funding does not permit religious men to determine the future or lack of it for our children. Our public schools are open to all children, regardless of their religion, race, or ability to pay. Above all it is inclusive of all with offence to none. It is not owned and controlled by priests, parsons, or private operators demanding fees.
The experience of this young man and his parents is a warning to us all. We must fight for the educational rights and opportunities of all our children through our public system. We must not permit the private church interests to become integrated into our public system, thus corrupting its ideals and accessibility.
2. THE CATHOLIC EDUCATION OFFICE THE ZOOLOGICAL BOARD OF VICTORIA AND THE EQUAL OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION
The entanglement of Church and State in education has raised its head at the Melbourne Zoo.
An advertisement for a three year contract between the Zoological Board of Victoria and the Catholic Education Office sought applications from Catholic teachers who have acknowledge of an commitment to Catholic Education.
A objection was raised concerning this very obvious discrimination on the basis of religion at what one would assume to be a public, non-religious facility.
The following questions are being asked by the Equal Opportunity Commission in a letter to the Zoological Board.
1. Are the education services intended to be provided to students and teachers at Catholic institutions only?
2. Does the intended education service include any religious instruction?
3. Did the Zoological Board specify during the tender process or in the contract with the Catholic Education Office that the teacher be a committed Catholic or be able to demonstrate a knowledge of or commitment to Catholic education?
These are very interesting questions, but don't hold your breath on the results of this case.
The Equal Opportunity Act is full of "exemptions" for churches and their activities - which, in practice, makes a nonsense of the legislation in Victoria.
Congratulations however, to the intrepid supporter of the cause who took this matter up with the Board.
3.CATHOLIC UNIVERSITIES LOOK FORWARD TO GROWTH
The Australian Wednesday July 26 2000 reported on the enrolments in Australia's two Catholic universities which are expected to rise by almost 50 per cent to more than 17,000 by 2010.
"The Catholic University vic-chancellor Peter Sheehan says that the "growing interest in Catholic higher education reflects its special role in a society facing up to the uncertainty of the future. The new millennium encourages moral relativism and the momentum of the millennium moves us relentlessly towards greater uncertainty and complexity. We need a sense of meaning and purpose that will sustain and stabilise us, (despite the shifting sands of a postmodern world. Core beliefs and values are required to pull us back from an abyss of unknowing. A Catholic ethos-based higher education system can supply that."
The DOGS wish to make two observations on the above. Firstly, it is a national tragedy that our next generation should be divided by churchmen from the kindergarten through to tertiary education. This is sectarian and tribal.
Secondly, if readers wish to observe moral relativism in practice, we recommend that they read the history of the DOGS High Court case. The Churches in Australia excel in this arena when the possible loss of billions of dollars of public money is at stake.
But as the DOGS have always said, entanglement of Church and State is bad for both religion and the State.
LOOK AT OUR NEXT PRESS RELEASE FOR NEXT WEEK'S NEWS FROM OUR 3CR PROGRAM!
If you have a message for supporters of public education:
Ray Nilsen on
(03) 9326 9277 or Fax: (03) 9326 9180
P.O. BOX 4869
Melbourne Victoria Australia 3001
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|Last modified:Monday, 25 April 2005|