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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 04 Hansard (Tuesday, 5 April 2011) . . Page.. 1371 ..

I would like to commend Craig Webber, the head of Scripture Union ACT, and also Dianne Priest, the Director of Chaplaincy Services, Scripture Union ACT, for the great work they are doing in making this work happen.

SU ACT is the largest provider of chaplaincy services in the ACT, with school chaplains in the participating schools providing guidance to not only students but families and staff on a regular basis. Chaplains at the schools complement the work done by the pastoral care coordinators, counsellors, psychologists and student services currently engaged at schools. Together, they provide a solid foundation for caring and supportive school communities in ACT schools.

The following schools have a chaplaincy service provided by SU ACT: Amaroo P-10 school, Black Mountain special school, Bonython primary school, Campbell high school, Canberra college, Caroline Chisholm P-10 school, Charles Conder primary school, Copland college, Erindale college, Evatt primary school, Gold Creek K-10 school, Gordon primary school, Hawker college, Isabella Plains early childhood school, Kaleen primary school, Lake Ginninderra college, Lake Tuggeranong college, Lanyon high school, Macquarie primary school, Melba high school, Narrabundah college, Ngunnawal primary school, North Ainslie primary school, Richardson primary school, Stromlo high school, Taylor primary school, Theodore primary school, Torrens primary school, Wanniassa Hills primary school and the Wanniassa K-10 school.

In 2006 the federal government, led by John Howard, established the national school chaplaincy program. The program continues to partly fund the placement of chaplains. However, some schools in the ACT have not been able to secure funding from the government and have partnered with local churches, community organisations and the Scripture Union to place a chaplain in their schools. Torrens primary school is a recent example of this venture, as is Taylor primary. I commend prime ministers Rudd and Gillard for continuing the program, and I hope funding can be secured well into the future.

New schools such as Gungahlin college and Namadgi school, the new super-school in Kambah, are keen to place a chaplain in their pastoral care teams to assist in meeting the ever-increasing needs of students and families.

I commend the individuals who take up work as chaplains as they make a tremendous sacrifice as they by no means get paid well when you compare it to other professions.

A couple of weeks ago I attended the Scripture Union’s regeneration dinner on 22 March at the Hellenic Club, a fundraiser which showcased the great work done by these chaplains. Mr Seselja and Mr Doszpot were also in attendance. I extend my thanks to the organisers and to the others who generously supported the evening.

The guest speaker at the dinner was the psychologist Dr Michael Carr-Gregg, founder of CanTeen, founding member of the National Centre against Bullying and one of the official ambassadors of the national depression initiative beyondblue, as well as

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