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Statement: Australian Greens on new chaplaincy program

The Australian Greens have urged state and territory governments to think twice before signing up to reinstate the schools chaplaincy program, says Australian Greens spokesperson for schools Senator Penny Wright.

Senator Wright confirmed the Australian Greens opposed plans to put religious chaplains in Australian schools.

"The Australian Greens have consistently said that the time for amateurs is over and funding must be redirected to putting professional mental health workers in schools," Senator Wright said.

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Put mental health support in schools

I move that the Senate

1.       notes

a.       the findings of the Youth Mental Health Report by Mission Australia and the Black Dog Institute, which states 60 per cent of young people with a mental illness are not comfortable seeking information, advice or support from community agencies, online counselling or telephone hotlines

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Chaplains oversight gone as invalidated program continues

Penny Wright 23 Jun 2014

The Abbott Government's response to the High Court decision will see chaplains and welfare workers remain in schools without any Federal Government oversight, says Australian Greens spokesperson for schools Senator Penny Wright.

Senator Wright said the Commonwealth Government's explanation that chaplains and welfare workers would now be overseen by State governments was inadequate.

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Time for amateurs is over: Greens respond to chaplains High Court decision

The Australian Greens have challenged Prime Minister Tony Abbott to replace the invalidated chaplains program with professional mental health workers in schools.

Following the High Court's decision today, Australian Greens spokesperson for schools and mental health, Senator Penny Wright, said power to fund the chaplains program now sat with the Parliament.

"At a time when the government is ripping $30 billion out of schools - $250 million for chaplains was always a bad idea," Senator Wright said.

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Mental health must take priority over chaplain program

Funding for the National School Chaplaincy Program should be redirected to put qualified mental health workers in every school, says Australian Greens spokesperson for schools and mental health Senator Penny Wright.

"There is a youth mental health crisis in Australia - our students need to have access to qualified professionals," Senator Wright said.

"When teenagers are more likely to die from suicide than car accidents, it's time to make it as easy as possible for every young person to get professional mental health support."

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