Derryn Hinch at Radio 3AW interviews Victorian education minister, Martin Dixon on May 27th, over the ACCESS Ministries evangelist mission to convert public school students. ACCESS C.E. Evonne Paddison is on record as stating this is vital, that every student “desperately needs Christ in their lives” and that “Without Jesus our students are lost… let’s go for it!”.
Chairman of ACCESS Bishop Stephen Hale – co-architect of the ACCESS “Mission” – claims this is inaccurate and ACCESS Ministries is unfairly blamed over what seems an abuse of class time and curriculum. ”We believe we’ve been unfairly caught up in an issue that at heart is a government responsibility,” says Hale.
A number of videos here confirm parental complaints to both ACCESS and the education department. Hale denies ACCESS has received any such feedback.
Martin Dixon also denies complaints have been made. Ducking direct answers he does a poor job of defending ACCESS Ministries and the current fundamentalist content being fed to young children. Passing the buck to teachers over lost study time and “advice from theologians” (as to what proselytising is) Dixon still insists he has no intention of changing legislation but will await the outcome of an upcoming VCAT case – discussed here.
If ACCESS must remain a simple solution would be a major overhaul that must include removal of Hale, Paddison and their army of evangelist volunteers.