CSA CEO, Daniel Pampuch and Mark Spencer, Executive Officer Policy, Governance and Staff Relations, along with Erik Hofsink from AACS, met with Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Attorney-General Christian Porter in Canberra earlier today.
The Prime Minister and Attorney-General listened carefully as we outlined the concerns of Christian schools in relation to our religious freedoms.
We reiterated that Christian schools had not, did not, and did not want the right, to expel students simply on the basis of their sexuality.
As we have indicated consistently through our discussions with MPs and Senators, we have only ever sought the ability for our member schools to be genuinely Christian schools, seeking to:
- ensure our staff share our faith, our values and beliefs and can share that in their life and relationships within the school;
- teach from a Biblical perspective, including about issues or morality, sexuality and sexual conduct – but not limited to them;
- enforce behavioural standards within our community consistent with our faith, values and beliefs.
As a parent of children in a Christian school the Prime Minister indicated that these were the rights that he would be supporting in the school for his family. Both he and the Attorney-General demonstrated a clear understanding of the concerns raised with them and many of the nuances which needed to be protected in legislation.
The Prime Minister reiterated his commitment to introduce legislation dealing with students this week. The Attorney-General indicated that discussions remained ongoing with the Shadow Attorney-General seeking to ensure bi-partisan support for any changes.
Thank you to the many schools we know were praying for this meeting. It was a very positive and constructive conversation. We also had an opportunity to pray briefly for the Prime Minister before leaving, which was a special privilege.
Daniel and Mark, again accompanied by Erik Hofsink from AACS, will be meeting with Opposition Leader, Bill Shorten on these issues on Thursday.
We are asking that schools continue to pray for
- The Prime Minister and his staff working on sensible legislative proposals
- The Education Minister and Shadow Minister, and Attorney-General and Shadow Attorney-General as they try to ensure colleagues support sensible policy protecting religious freedom
- MPs and Senators in both major parties and the cross benches who are seeking to act in good faith and ensure religious freedoms are protected