14 November 2023

Historic Collaboration Launches Parliamentary Friends of Religious Schools & Faith Communities

Canberra, Australia: In a remarkable display of unity and collaboration, the Islamic Schools Association of Australia has joined forces with Christian Schools Australia and the Australian Association of Christian Schools (AACS) to establish the Parliamentary Friends of Religious Schools & Faith Communities in the Australian Parliament in Canberra. The official launch of this groundbreaking initiative took place where Br Abdullah Khan, Chair of the Islamic Schools Association of Australia, delivered a powerful speech. The event was graced by the presence of esteemed members of Parliament and Senators, including the honorable Senator Fatima Payman. The group is co-chaired by Senator Deborah O’Neill and Mr Julian Lesse MP.

Br Abdullah Khan’s speech emphasized the pivotal role of faith-based schools in Australia’s educational landscape. He highlighted the remarkable growth of Islamic schools, a testament to the trust and confidence parents place in these institutions. The growth reflects a strong demand for education that integrates faith, culture, and academic excellence.

The Chair underscored the importance of parental choice in education, advocating for the freedom of parents to choose educational settings that align with their values. He expressed gratitude to the members of the Parliamentary Friends of Religious Schools & Faith Communities for recognizing the significance of faith-based education in Australian society.

Br Abdullah Khan conveyed the commitment of Islamic schools to providing high-quality education while nurturing a strong sense of community and belonging. He emphasized the empowerment of students with skills and knowledge, coupled with the instillation of values such as empathy, kindness, and integrity.

The establishment of the Parliamentary Friends group marks a monumental achievement, providing faith-based schools with a vital platform to advocate and lobby for shared interests within the Australian Parliament. The collaboration aims to ensure that every child in Australia, regardless of their faith or background, has access to high-quality education that nurtures their mind, body, and spirit.

As the Parliamentary Friends of Religious Schools & Faith Communities takes its first steps, the collaboration between Islamic and Christian schools signals a commitment to building a future where diversity is celebrated, understanding is fostered, and respect for one another prevails.

This historic initiative is poised to contribute significantly to the dialogue surrounding education, faith, and harmony in Australia, paving the way for a brighter and more inclusive future for all.