Apparently some of the religion providers subscribe to a voluntary code of practice (pp 4-5 CRE Fact Sheet, Aug 2011) not to proselytise during religious instruction although proselytising is quite legal during R.I. in Victorian Government schools (click here)?

As a result both discrimination and conflict of interest can occur.

Most providers, Baha’i, Buddhist, Catholic, Hindu, Jewish, Islamic, Orthodox and Sikh, are unfunded by government whereas ACCESS ministries is funded. $5,300,000 for school chaplains in 2010 came from the Federal Government, which forbids proselytising, whereas $675,000 for school religious instructors came from the State Government, which permits proselytising.

One course of action is for ACCESS ministries to split itself into two parts. Part A becomes a secular counselling service wholly independent of Christian churches but qualifying for Federal funding under the new chaplaincy/counselling rules in 2012 (click here). Part B preserves the ACCESS proselytising mission (click here) on a par with the other religion providers, but without Government funding and of course doing the proselytising outside of regular school hours. – HG

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