Weekend Wrap for 11 September 2022

Following a week that included the death of Queen Elizabeth II and a subsequent two week observance by the Australian government -- including a suspension of Parliament -- we welcome you to the NSL Weekend Wrap for 11 September 2022, where you can catch up on the latest secular-related news from around the country.

Don't forget to have your say on the National School Chaplaincy Program!

Do you have any news items, campaigns, petitions, webinars or other event notices that could be added to our weekly Wrap? Let us know at wrap@nsl.org.au.

At the National Level

A new guide on gender and identity has been published by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference to support Catholic schools in responding to the individual social and pastoral needs of students. Created and Loved: A guide for Catholic schools on identity and gender outlines a pastoral approach shaped by the theological, medical and legislative context in which Catholic schools operate. (6 Sep 2022)
Read more at the Catholic Leader

The death of Queen Elizabeth II, and the ascension of King Charles III as sovereign, has reanimated republican debate in Australia, as the country formally pays tribute to its longest-serving monarch, “a symbol of stability, inspiration and servant leadership”. (9 Sep 2022)
Read more at The Guardian

Around the Country

VIC: Catholic schools have been urged to resist rushing to affirm students who are going through gender transition and instead offer them psychological and family care and counselling, in the hope that a child’s feelings of gender variance will “pass safely”. (6 Sep 2022)
Read more at the Sydney Morning Herald

NSW: Fees at Sydney’s private schools have risen by an average of more than 50 per cent in the past decade – far exceeding inflation and wage growth – and could hit $70,000 annually at some of the city’s most expensive schools within 15 years. (8 Sep 2022)
Read more at the Sydney Morning Herald

VIC: Leading private schools and churches are being pushed being to the brink due to spiralling numbers of historical child abuse claims costing up to $3m each. Schools around the state are dealing with hundreds of new abuse victims, along with old settlements, which are being overturned in favour of multimillion-dollar payouts. (10 Sep 2022)
Read more at the Sydney Morning Herald

QLD: The Queensland Human Rights Commission (QHRC) has recommended an overhaul of the state’s three-decade old anti-discrimination laws to protect vulnerable groups, including LGBTQI students and employees in religious schools. The recommendations have come months after Brisbane’s Citipointe Christian College issued anti-LGBTQI student enrolment and staff employee contracts. The school subsequently withdrew the contracts after a public outcry. (10 Sep 2022)
Read more at the Star Observer

Commentary and Analysis

Neil FosterAn Anglican “lifeboat” for Australia: "In recent years there has been a debate within the ACA as to the extent to which the Anglican Church can recognise, or bless, or even solemnise, same sex marriages. The traditional view of the Bible’s teaching is only marriages between a man and a woman represent God’s purposes for humanity. When Australian law was changed to allow same sex marriages, the changed legislation made it clear that ministers of religion would not be obliged to conduct same sex wedding services. But in more recent days a number of bishops have expressed their wish, not to directly contravene this statement by solemnising same sex marriage, but to allow a “service of blessing” to be provided in the church to same sex couples who have married under the general law." (4 Sep 2022)
Read more at Law and Religion Australia

Adam WesselinoffTerritories decision looms – "The debate over the Restoring Territory Rights Bill has begun in the Senate, bringing the introduction of euthanasia in Canberra and the Northern Territory one step closer. ... Prior to the Senate debate, progressive think-tank The Australia Institute released poll results showing high levels of support for voluntary assisted dying/euthanasia, including among Christians." (8 Sep 2022)
Read more at the Catholic Weekly

Martyn IlesIndigenous voice denies we are all one race - human: "...a nation divided by race is exactly the desired outcome of those seeking to enshrine an Indigenous voice to parliament in the Australian Constitution. ... The result of the voice will be a Constitution claiming that I, as a white man, am inescapably an oppressor to people of colour. It is a permanent statement that our nation is irredeemably segregated by a barrier to our shared humanity that cannot be scaled – our race." (9 Sep 2022)
Read more at the Australian Christian Lobby

Peter HartcherWhy Albanese won’t race to a republic following Queen’s death: "The death of the Queen presents Australian republicans with the opportunity for which they’ve long planned. Is Anthony Albanese about to pounce and launch a campaign for constitutional change? ... The [recent] eccentric transactions between a prime minister and a governor-general have given republicans new cause to champion change to the constitutional set-up." (10 Sep 2022)
Read more at The Age

Events and Campaigns

The Department of Education is conducting an independent evaluation of the National School Chaplaincy Program for the years 2019 to 2022. The independent evaluation will assess the program’s effectiveness in supporting the wellbeing of school students and the broader school community. Get more details and make a submission here. Submissions close 13th September.

The Bill to overturn the ban on NT/ACT's ability to pass VAD laws is still being debated. Ask your state Senators to support territory rights!

Just.Equal Australia has launched a new petition calling for an LGBTIQA+ Human Rights Commissioner. The Senate will debate the issue when it returns in September. View and sign here.

Humanists Australia have launched a Change.org petition calling for full separation of church and state in Australia. View and sign here.

A new petition from the RSA is aiming to build enough momentum before the federal parliament resumes to put the issue of Christian prayer rituals on the agenda of newly elected representatives heading to Canberra. Sign the petition here.

A petition currently running on change.org calls for private schools to pay back their unnecessary Jobkeeper payments. View the petition here.

The Australian Education Union is running a campaign calling for “every school, every child” to receive fair education funding. Support the campaign here.

Funding for public schools has been cut in the latest budget but funding for school chaplains has been assured. A change.org petition is currently calling on the federal government to fund youth workers rather faith-based chaplains in our public schools.

The Human Rights for NSW alliance has launched a campaign calling for NSW to pass a Human Rights Act.

That's it for another week!

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