Catch up on the background of National School Chaplains with this incisive summary by Ron Williams, Australian Humanist of the Year 2012, when he challenged the program’s constitutionality in the High Court of Australia – and won. (video, 17 minutes)

Ron returned to the High Court with a fresh challenge on 6–8 May 2014 and supplied the following update.

“My superb legal team presented our argument most powerfully, and the Court’s decision has been reserved.

“Within the LNP coalition budget announced on 13 May 2014, in spite of overall cuts to education funding, the top school spending outlay was $245 million to finance the National School Chaplaincy Program (NSCP) across five [financial] years to commence in 2015 [and finish in December 2018].

“This brings the total amount expended upon, or committed to the NSCP since 2007 to $668,000,000. A finding in my favour by the High Court would disallow this proposed funding via various sections of the Australian Constitution.

“A substantial amount to meet my legal costs and disbursements is yet to be raised. Furthermore, I am yet to be reimbursed any proportion of costs awarded within the High Court’s previous decision of 20 June 2012. Any assistance between now and the handing-down of the Court’s decision will be gratefully received. To those who have kindly and generously helped me to date, please accept my deepest thanks and appreciation.”

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Stephen Stuart

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