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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 03 Hansard (Tuesday, 16 March 2010) . . Page.. 897 ..

honour its commitments …

progressively increase the per capita grant funding pool for non-government schools …

apply an appropriate ACT school standard cost as the index for per capita grant supplementation …

So there is some work to be done. I am sure the minister will stand and tell us of his support for all schools in the ACT education system. It has been lacking in recent years; we have actually only ever had a minister for government education. So if we hear a commitment from the minister that he is actually the minister for all schools and all the students in the ACT that would indeed be refreshing.

It does go to the heart of the difference between the government and the non-government schools, and inside the non-government schools the independent schools and the Catholic system, and at the heart of it is the religious education. There are a number of suggestions and if people are interested they can go to the website and see some of the suggestions for liturgy that are on the website.

I was very pleased when my almost-four-year-old came home the other day and told me that he had visited church, he had not found God there but he was still looking; that was quite curious from an almost-four-year-old. But one of the things they do is take the children to church and include them in liturgy. Indeed, in every way they dedicate their days to the study of the Lord.

I might finish with a thing on the website called the “Catholic Schools Week Prayer”, which I think summarises better than I could what is trying to be achieved in our Catholic education system here in the territory. The prayer simply goes like this:

Dear Lord,

You are the greatest of all teachers.

During this week, we give thanks for the wonderful teaching and learning that takes place every day in Catholic schools.

We thank you for

the wisdom and understanding of teachers …

the enthusiasm and energy of students …

the leadership of our school Principals and Executive staff …

the support and partnership of parents, carers and local communities.

We pray that our learning journey be inspired by a search for your wisdom and truth.

We pray that we never take for granted the learning opportunities that we have been given, and that we use the gifts of learning wisely and responsibly.

We ask that we use what we have learnt to create a better world for all people, particularly the most vulnerable and disadvantaged.

We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.


Madam Assistant Speaker Dunne, I do not think I need to tell you this, but certainly we as an opposition are dedicated to improving the lot of the Catholic system, but we

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