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    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Education and Training
    The Honourable Geoff Wilson


    Minister for Education and Training
    The Honourable Geoff Wilson

    Wednesday, September 02, 2009


    Education and Training Minister Geoff Wilson today jumped back in the saddle to help round up some extra funding for chappys in the bush.

    Mr Wilson returned to his country boy roots to launch Scripture Union Queensland’s Stock up for Hope Charity Drove in Brisbane.

    Over 500 donated cattle will be droved from Mitchell to Roma to support school chaplains in the bush as part of the SU fundraising drive.

    Mr Wilson said the Bligh Government was a strong supporter of school chaplains.

    “The Bligh Government has provided an extra $3 million over three years to support school chaplains,” he said.

    “I’d like to see chaplains in as many schools as possible throughout the state and that’s why I’m glad to be here today launching this great initiative.

    “Chaplaincy services reinforce school support services and help students through what may be a difficult time in their lives.

    “Since the first chaplaincy service was introduced in a Queensland state school in 1990, chaplains have been an asset to school communities.

    “They have been friends, mentors and positive role models to thousands of young people throughout the state.”

    There are more than 500 chaplains in more than 550 state schools.

    Mr Wilson said the chaplaincy community had recently suffered a major blow with the death of much-loved Sunshine Coast chaplain Alan Taylor and his wife Kari.

    “This couple touched the lives of everyone they met and helped many young people, just as all our school chaplains do every day,” he said.

    “Chaplains make a real difference in the lives of so many Queensland students and we want to make sure they can continue to do so.”

    The $3 million would allow more than 130 state schools to extend existing welfare programs such as guidance and counselling for an extra three years from mid 2010, he said.

    “These schools were larger schools in disadvantaged areas of Queensland,” Mr Wilson said.

    “Extending funding means they can continue to employ a chaplain, secular pastoral care worker or youth worker to give emotional and spiritual support to at-risk young people.

    “Schools with more than 410 students will receive another $30,000 over three years and schools with between 100 and 409 students will receive another $15,000 over three years.”

    The Drove will hit the road on 9 September, finishing in Roma on Tuesday 13 October.

    Media contact: Jo Crompton on 3237 1000

    September 2, 2009