Dear Parents and Friends of St Andrews Christian College,
Our school and other Christian schools in Victoria face a very serious threat to our freedom to operate as a Christian school.
The Andrews Government has introduced a Bill into Parliament to amendment the Equal Opportunity Act 2010. The proposed amendments are directly targeted at Christian and other faith-based schools. They would have the impact of removing our right to employ Christian staff without the threat of Government intervention in the process.
The changes, outlined in more detail in the attached Fact Sheet, go well beyond what is fair and reasonable and ignore the recommendations of the extensive Parliamentary review of the legislation undertaken by the Labor Government when last in office. Promoted as being about balance they will make religious belief, and the right to live out those beliefs, very much subservient to the rights of others who do not share those beliefs. Over time the effect of the Government’s legislation could be the increasing secularisation of Christian and other faith-based schools.
We understand that the Government’s Bill will be voted on in the Lower House within the next fortnight. As a parent of a student attending a Christian school your voice needs to be heard by the Government in relation to this issue and your choice to send your children to a Christian school.
I encourage you to write to local MPs before the end of this term to object to this attack on our freedom to operate as a Christian school.
Here are some useful documents:
An information FACT SHEET.
Sample letters to the Government and Opposition MPs.
While you are free to use the sample letters if you can address the issues in your own words that will have much more impact.
This spreadsheet is a listing of electorate contacts.
- The Bill is a clear attack on faith based schools and other religious bodies.
- Current exemptions provide a necessary protection of religious freedom and a fair balance between ‘competing’ rights.
- The changes proposed by the ALP are inconsistent with the recommendations of its own extensive Review undertaken when last in Government.
- Current legislation is consistent with legislation of the Commonwealth and other States/Territories and amendments would create conflicts and confusion.
If you receive a reply to your letter it would be very helpful if you could forward that to me via Mrs Tamie Dekker, my PA at [email protected]
For Your Information:
St Andrews Christian College is located within the FERNTREE GULLY electorate. Our local MP is Nick Wakeling (Liberal), but it would also be good if you also sent a letter to the Education Minister for Education, Mr James Merlino MP (ALP – Member for Monbulk) – send him the attached Draft Letter Parents ALP MPs.
Mr Nick Wakeling MP (Liberal) - our elected MP for Ferntree Gully and Shadow Education Minister
Email: [email protected]
PO Box 551, Ferntree Gully, VIC 3156
Mr James Merlino – Education Minister (ALP)
Email: [email protected]
1635 Burwood Hwy, Belgrave, VIC 3160
If you don’t know your electorate you can check by entering your address online here -http://www.ebc.vic.gov.au/Map/default.html. Contact details for all MPs in every electorate are attached in the above spreadsheet to assist you in contacting the appropriate MP.
Thank you everyone for your prayers and actions.
Yours in Christ,