August 21, 2015

Victorian Minister for Education James Merlino has announced that Special Religious Instruction (SRI) will be removed from school hours in 2016. SRI will be taken out of class-time and treated as an elective.

Instead, children in Victorian public schools will be taught about the major religions which make up our multicultural community, together with secular humanism and ethics – by class teachers as part of the official curriculum.

This is the prize we have been working for since FIRIS formed in 2011. And today the dream is a reality! FIRIS is grateful to the thousands of parent supporters. CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL!


  • Maintain an inclusive school curriculum that does not require any student to withdraw from class on account of different religious beliefs, or none.
  • Formally cease the practice of volunteer-run Religious Instruction (SRI/SRE) during school hours.
  • Follow an objective, fair and balanced comparative syllabus for education about religions and beliefs.
  • Treat all religious organisations who wish to use the school facilities outside of the school day with transparent and equitable policies.

FIRIS is a parent-driven grassroots effort.  



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Fairness In Religions In School

John Kaye MP, is fast emerging as the leading voice on SRE reform in NSW - here he uses a bullhorn to get his message out! We hope more legislators will see the wisdom and logic of defending the secular character of public education - and learn how to defend our way of life. It is gratifying that this issue was firmly connected to its roots in the problems around SRE in state law in NSW. Lets get legal reform on the agenda and move on from this horrible school policy ... chalking rainbows on Channel 9 - OK, but what we need a strategy to write legislation and changing the law is serious work. Let's go! ... See MoreSee Less

For more info visit - Burwood Girls High School & 30 other NSW schools have been banned from showing the document...

4 hours ago

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Fairness In Religions In School

In all this frippery where anti gay clergy swear that they are not trying to suppress things (gay things) because they don't like them - the claim keeps getting repeated that it is the "coercion" that is at issue. Rather than be seen campaigning against homosexality (by stamping out Wear It Purple Day at an all girls school in Sydney) - clergy like Mark Powell and Michael Jensen want us to believe that they are really campaigners for freedom of conscience. Powell is quoted as claiming that just as he is against "forcing" students to see Gayby Baby - that he (would be) against any policy which required students to "dress up like moses" and "watch a film about the ten commandments". This seems reasonable. But it's not. It's a radical agenda that slashes at the very meaning of education and especially a liberal arts education. A world in which ideologues can reach into a public institution (like Burwood Girls High School) and demand that the principal be sacked because of some perceived slight ... is madness. FIRIS advocates for education about religions. This means that we believe that Australian children should all learn about various religions. Why? Because we believe that the subject of religion is integral to educational philosophy that underpins our society. The reason Australia built a system of public education, is so that its citizens could take an active part in civic life. Let us pray that students, regardless of their socio cultural background are obligated to learn about Moses and lets also pray that if you walk up to a graduate of Burwood Girls High, and ask them what the Ten Commandments are - that they don't stare at you blankly - because failure to know these things would indicate that you've not gotten a very good education. It is important however that we don't confuse a liberal arts education with what Evangelicals and other extreme religious ideologies are doing. Namely, they are using the valid argument that it is important to learn "about the bible" - with their agenda - which is generally speaking to believe that "the bible is true" and that "your salvation and life after death depend on your faith in Jesus Christ". Mark Powell's comment that he thinks there should be an "opt out" provision for "The Ten Commandments" and that if a school has a "dress like Moses Day" that this would be some form of oppression - is crazy, and it shows just how unserious and disingenuous he is about education. One of the strongest reasons to get rid of "Special Religions Education", besides the fact that Mark Powell is for it, is that we should trust educators to teach about religion in an academically valid way - teaching about the Ten Commandments is not the same as insisting that they are true, or that no one is allowed to work on the Sabbath because of what is contained in said commandments. It is trivially easy to separate learning "about" religions and instructing children to follow any particular one of them. As Australians, we have every right to expect our citizens to not be ignorant of "The Ten Commandments". So no, you do not get to "opt out" of learning about something because you "disagree with it". . ... See MoreSee Less

7 hours ago

Fairness In Religions In SchoolThis entire nonsense that learning about things obligates you to also believe that they are true - is insane. This is why we need a policy change in Australia, where educators step up and assert their professional role as being in charge of our schools - and if anyone should be competent to stand up and debate these culture warriors - it should be teachers.7 hours ago