Mr BUCHHOLZ (Wright) (13:34): I rise in the House to add my voice to the many voices advocating for our school chaplaincies and the National School Chaplaincy Program. The chaplains make a real difference in our school communities, and, with the support of the Scripture Union chaplaincy, our chappies bring their listening ears and their caring hearts to provide social, emotional and spiritual support to our young people, their families and school staff. The school chappies enrich the social fabric of their schools with breakfast clubs and food programs, lunchtime activities and one-on-one support. In 2014, the coalition government committed $243.8 million over four years to fund the program until the end of 2018. Since then, more than 3,000 schools have been able to engage the services of a chaplain as a result.
I am fighting to ensure that the funding extends beyond this year, and I'm asking for the help of my electorate of Wright and all Australians who know firsthand what a great job our chappies do. I've created an online petition and I encourage supporters to add their name so I can let the federal Treasurer and the education minister know how much our communities value the chaplaincy work. The local school chappies are great supporters of our schools, students, staff and parents, and now it's time for the community to show their support in return. Head to my website and sign my petition, and let's keep our school chappies.
Video of speech: https://youtu.be/Dzlk5AKWmAw