Greg Bondar, spokesman for Family Voice, has welcomed federal Labor’s commitment to the national schools’ chaplaincy program, which has been criticised in some quarters.
“I spoke to [Anthony] Albanese’s office yesterday and I got a statement saying they’re going to support the chaplaincy program with the additional option of having secular [pastoral care worker],” he told Eternity.
“I don’t want to force anybody to be Christian. That’s not my job. It’s the Holy Spirit’s job … Chaplaincy is about ethical, moral wellbeing, so it’s important that we have the program. Now if Labor comes up and says, ‘yeah, we’ll continue to fund it, but there’s also the option of a secular [officer],’ fine.”
Bondar welcomed an upcoming independent evaluation of the program by the Education Department as a good chance to improve the service.
“It gives the opposition the chance to wave their flag. I don’t mind – as long as it’s fair and balanced, which it should be.”
Bondar also updated Eternity on the organisation’s attempts to lobby both parties on the issue of religious freedom.