Adventist Review Online | Australia Church Leaders Discuss Religious Liberty Challenges to Education

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Adventist educational leadership conference fleshes out the latest developments.

While some experts consider the last Australian election result, in which the incumbent Scott Morrison was re-elected, was the best outcome for faith-based schools, nothing should be taken for granted, Seventh-day Adventist education leaders were warned on May 20, 2019. 

About 160 Adventist school leaders from around Australia are attending the “Setting the Course” educational leadership conference in Sydney — an Adventist Education initiative held biennially. The three-day event ends on May 21.

 

  • Hills Adventist College students led in worship on May 20, 2019 during the “Setting the Course” educational leadership conference in Sydney, Australia. [Photo: Adventist Record]
  • About 160 Adventist education leaders from across Australia attended the “Setting the Course” educational leadership summit, May 19-21, 2019, which discussed challenges and opportunities for Adventist education in Australia. [Photo: Adventist Record]

The May 20 morning session saw Michael Worker, director of Public Affairs and Religious Liberty for the Adventist Church in Australia, give a presentation on religious freedom.

“Religious freedom has become one of the hottest topics in Australia in recent years,” Worker said. “And while it didn’t receive a lot of mainstream media attention in the lead-up to the election that was held last weekend, we believe it was a significant sleeper issue for the political parties. There is no doubt that neither of the political parties wanted to address it, deal with it, have it on the front line, but as you no doubt have seen in the last few days of the campaign, it broke through.”

Worker said Australia is the only Western democracy in the world without any positive protections for religious freedom, a situation that is “quite alarming.”

“We have traded on societal goodwill until this point, and while we can breathe a sigh of relief with the election results on the weekend, there is still a long way to go to ensure positive protections for freedom of religion and freedom of conscience in Australia,” he said.

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