★ Goulburn School Strike
The Goulburn school strike was a protest in July 1962 in Goulburn, New South Wales, Australia.
The protesters were families of students from St. Brigids elementary school, a school run by the local Catholic Church. All children enrolled in this school were withdrawn and enrolled in local public schools in the city, putting pressure on the resources available in these schools. The immediate purpose of the protest was to secure government assistance for the construction of a new toilet block in St. Brigids to meet state sanitary requirements. The protests came amid a heated political debate about "state aid" for Catholic schools and accusations of sectarianism. The strike, effectively a lockout, generated hostility in Goulburn and across Australia.
This action and its political implications led to a commitment by both major parties in Australia to support Catholic and other religious schools on a needs-based "basis, a step away from the previous philosophy of"free, secular and compulsory". Since then, the" state aid model has been maintained, despite some reform steps.
1. Background. (Фон)
Catholic education in Australia began in the early nineteenth century, and by 1833 there were at least 10 Catholic schools operating in Australia. These schools were funded by a combination of charity, fees, and, until the 1860s, some government support.
By the 1850s, there was strong community pressure in each of the Australian colonies to ensure that education was "free, secular and compulsory." The first colony to provide public education was Victoria, Australia, where the education act was passed in 1872. Along with providing public education, the law eliminated state funding for non-government schools, including Catholic ones. By 1893, all the Australian colonies had legislated to remove government funding for Catholic schools. After the introduction of free secular education, the Catholic hierarchy and laypeople decided to continue offering Catholic education. Without funding, Catholic schools relied on religious brothers and sisters as teachers.
Most Catholics in Australia were of Irish descent, and relations between these Australians of Irish Catholic descent and the mainly Protestant establishment were often strained. Sectarianism in Australia has made the subject of state aid to Catholic schools too politically risky for governments and the Catholic hierarchy to deal with until the mid-20th century.
After the Second world war, the growth in enrolment and the reduction in the number of religious brothers and sisters led many Catholic schools to the crisis. Classes with the participation of more than 70 students were held in inadequate conditions. Since direct public assistance to Catholic schools was prohibited, both the Federal and state governments provided some limited assistance, mainly in the form of scholarships paid directly to families and in teacher training. Direct assistance to schools in the form of teacher salaries or allowances is unacceptable.
2. Preparation. (Подготовка)
Goulburn had a large and growing Catholic population, and this put pressure on Catholic schools in the city. The crisis broke out in 1962 at St. Brigids elementary school, where by that time there were 84 students in one kindergarten class. Inspectors from the New South Wales Department of education found that in order for the school to continue to operate, it is necessary to install three additional toilets designed for the number of children studying. The school and the families of the children in training said that they could not afford the cost of additional toilets, and with the support of the auxiliary Bishop of the Archbishop of Canberra-Goulburn, John Cullinan, decided to take a definite position on this issue.
In his St Patricks Day speech on 17 March 1962, Bishop cullinane stated to Laurie Tully-a local member of Parliament and member of the government–that St Brigids might have to close. Local Catholics were denied a meeting with Ernest Wetherell, the New South Wales Minister of education, to discuss the issue. The New South Wales government has been advised that if they want the school to remain open, it can pay to meet their requirements. Local parents, paying taxes to support education, supported the bishops position. Bishop cullinane then invited the Minister to a public meeting in Goulburn to discuss the matter. Although the Minister did not appear, 700 local residents did so and voted 500 to 120 to close not only St Brigids, but also all six Catholic schools in Goulburn with 2000 students of those schools to be tasked with seeking enrollment in public schools.
3. Hit. (Удар)
The strike officially began on Monday, July 16, 1962, and was scheduled to last six weeks. On this day, 2000 children previously enrolled in Catholic schools in Goulburn turned up at public schools to enroll. Of these 2.000, there was only room for about 640 to be credited. The enrollment process itself was smooth, as both Catholic families and public schools operated in a spirit of mutual civility. The rest of them couldnt stay and didnt attend school at all. Many of the children who were lucky enough to enroll in a public school where there was a random draw for available places saw the change of schools as an adventure, while public school teachers did their best to meet their needs. Jack Plews, an English teacher at Goulburn high school, stated: "I said that I want them to enjoy their stay with us, no matter how long it was, and we will do our best to meet their educational needs. And I said that for both of us, I hope it will be a learning experience."
While the enrollment process was conducted in a polite manner, the strike itself led to deep divisions in the Goulburn community, both between Catholics and Protestants, and between members of the Catholic community with differing views on the strike. One Catholic child recalled being slapped in the face by a student at her new school, and the attacker said, "I hate Catholics."
Initial media coverage was hostile and led to threats against local organizers. Brian Keating, one of the organizers, stated: "the steering Committee members, Jack Mullen, Arthur Rolfe and I started getting threats, and they were real threats. They were a threat to our lives. We were told that if we didnt stop this rot, this impact, we would stop the bullet."
The tone of the coverage changed as soon as the tension in the local public schools became apparent. The fear of such a strike or even the collapse of the Catholic system as a whole has led to calls for "something to be done". A local Catholic priest explained to reporters: "for 80 years, we have tried to influence them with words and conversations. And we hope that by failing in this way, this action in Goulburn will help people see what we believe is fair and obvious."
Catholic parents were nervous about the impact of the strike on their childrens education, both before and during the strike. Before the strike one of the parents said: "she would rather March on the Parliament building than sacrifice her children - put them, so to speak, in the line of fire."A week later, when this issue was raised, the strike was called off and the Catholic schools reopened. Many of the enrolled children stayed in their public schools after the strike.
4. Heritage. (Наследие)
The campaign did not bring any immediate results to its participants. The Prime Minister of the Australian labor party of New South Wales, Bob Heffron, did not want to be forced to make a decision, but said that he was ready to listen to the concerns of the Church. Church leaders sought government assistance for such items as scholarships, teacher training and salaries, as well as capital funding for modern facilities such as science laboratories. The Australian labor party was "in crisis" with the NSW branch seeking to respond to community concerns, while the Federal branch, led by Joe Chamberlain, stood firm on party policy opposed to state aid.
In an effort to exploit this split, in 1963 the liberal party of Australian Prime Minister Robert Menzies, a Protestant, announced a new policy mandating Federal funding for science laboratories for all schools, public and non-public, and called early elections on this platform. The 1963 election was a success for Menzies, who increased his margin by 10 seats, winning another seven seats in New South Wales. This result was at least partly attributed to Catholic voters abandoning their traditional support for the ALP. Later, Prime Minister John Howard said of the result: "what really happened was that we first got Menzies Catholics in 1963 in a really big way. As a result, both sides began to move in the direction of state aid. While some in the ALP strongly opposed this concept, the pragmatic Gough Whitlam managed to lead his party to a compromise position where assistance to schools would be provided on the basis of need.
In response to this trend, a pressure group was formed in 1966 - the protection of public schools by dogs - to oppose funding for private religious schools. in 1981, he filed a lawsuit in the High court of Australia-attorney-General Vic ex-Rel black V Commonwealth-demanding that state aid to religious schools be declared unconstitutional under section 116 of the Australian Constitution. The case was lost when the Supreme court adopted a narrow interpretation of the s116 ban.
The issue of state aid to religious schools is still controversial. In 2010, the Federal government, under the leadership of Prime Minister Julia Gillard, commissioned David Gonski to present a report on education funding in Australia-the "Gonski report". The Gonski report identified a number of reforms in school funding to make the funding program more transparent. The implementation of these reforms required negotiations and compromises with the Catholic school system.
The school closed in 1976. As of 2012, the school and toilet block were still standing.
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