11 OCTOBER 2005


According to the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria's website an inaugural meeting of the Victorian Catholic Schools Parent Body will be held at Simonds Hall, Toorak Road West, South Yarra on 24 October 2005.

Supporters of Public Education should consider

1.      Who is setting up this body?

2.      Why this body is being set up?

3.       Who will be on this body?

4        Why this body is being set up now?

5.       What are the implications of its establishment for Public Education?


1.      Who is setting up this body

It should be noted, first and foremost that this is NOT a grass roots parent initiative. It is being created through clerical inspiration and will be clerically and bureaucratically controlled.

According to information provided on the website of the Catholic Education Commission, Office, Archdiocese of Melbourne, the Archbishop and the Diocesan bishops would like

"to create a body that will provide a distinctive Catholic parent voice."..." The Victorian Catholic School Parent Body will be constituted under the direction of the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria."

The rationale provided is that "parent involvement and participation at the School, State, and National levels particularly from a Catholic perspective strengthens the partnership between parents and the schools."

2.          WHY is this Body Being Set Up?

Amongst other things, this Body is being set up to be

  • an advocate for Catholic School communities

  • represent parents of students in Victorian Catholic schools.

  • promote principles of Catholic Education

  • support the work of Catholic education authorities in advancing the interest of Catholic schools and their students

Amongst its activities it is expected that it will develop an effective state-wide parent network and communicate with Victorian Catholic school parents.

PLEASE NOTE the following evidence for the real power behind this Body :

The Parent body will be supported by the Archbishop and the Diocesan Bishops and resourced by the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria. ( our taxation dollars at work!)

This Body will also have executive support from the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria Steering Committee for documentation, meetings, drafts, correspondence etc. ( further work for our taxes!!)

3         WHO will be on this Body?

The personnel on this Body will not be elected by Catholic parents in Catholic schools in Victoria. In the Melbourne Archdiocese for example, the Committee members will be appointed by the Director of Catholic Education Office, Melbourne.  Those selected will be members of School Boards or have been a member in the last three years and have children attending a Catholic school in the Archdiocese of Melbourne.

4.        WHY is this Body being Set up NOW?

DOGS believe that it is no accident that this Body is being constituted now. We may not have corroborating evidence for a number of years, depending on how quickly the Roman Catholic network leaks information. We believe there are at least two reasons for the setting up of this Body.

   i.     To be used in the Committee Sitters Numbers Game .

However, we do know that Minister Kosky, has close relationships with the Roman Catholic Education Bureaucracy and depends upon them for advice on the proposed Review of Education and Training Legislation. (quote from a talk given at a Fabian Society Meeting attended by members of that bureaucracy - and representatives from the DOGS)

We believe that  the  Education and Training Legislation proposed in the current White paper will create numerous sub-committees for the administration of an integrated, privatised system of education in Victoria. This system will swamp the current public system with the privatization mantra of "parental choice" and create administrative positions for Roman Catholic, Private School and public school parents.

With the creation of a front for Roman Catholic parents, the Catholic Education Bureaucracy is maximizing its chance of having a controlling influence on the proposed centralised  administration of "integrated", privatized education in Victoria.

  ii.     To be Used as a Shield and Sword protecting Religious Men and their Bureaucrats

DOGS believe that the most important short and long term reason for the setting up of this body is as a protective device for the religious personnel and bureaucrats within the Roman Catholic Church School system. This body will be used as both a shield and a sword to protect the Christian veneer put up by the religious men. DOGS, in the High Court exposed how vulnerable the moral basis and authority purveyed by the churchmen really is. DOGS , through their statistics have shown how the bureaucrats have been working the State Aid funding system.

5.         WHAT are the Implications for Public Education

The implications for public education are very simple. Representation could be one third Roman Catholic representatives, one third other private school representatives, and one third  public school representatives. And, following the usual Labor Party tactics ( see the history of the Schools Commission and State Board) only those public school representatives who either favour or will not question private school representatives will be appointed. Even if the public schools gain proper numerical representation, it is unlikely that they will be appointed if the question privatization of the public system. The Labor Party will not run the risk of a Van Davy or Joan Brown in her final years on the School Commission.

Because the Roman Catholic parents will be selected by the hierarchy and bureaucracy they will be required to have a commitment in word and deed to that particular system. No such commitment test will be required of public school representatives. On the contrary, if they are strongly committed to the public education system -there will be positive discrimination against them.






For further discussion on these matters, listen to 3CR, 855 on the am dial


12.30 p.m. next Saturday.

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Last modified:Wednesday, 12 October 2005