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De-Secularisation—A History from Queensland

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Chapter Summary

Queensland became the only Australian state to remove the secular clause entirely from its education statutes. Queensland is the only state to not offer any General Religious Education in primary school social science curriculums and in which no public high school offers a senior Studies of Religion elective. Queensland's first parliamentarians spoke of "extreme liberal democracy" and "free exercise of religious tolerance", and viewed themselves as "the pioneers of civilisation. Queensland Parliament was to cut off church aid. Queensland's initial approach to school governance was based on notions of equity, so religious and state school boards were combined into a single entity. Queensland is the only state in which the Department of Education provides Bible lessons able to be delivered by state teachers. At enrolment in a Queensland public school, parents nominate a religion for their child, or are classified as having opted out of Religious Instruction (RI).

Keywords: Queensland; religious instruction (RI); religious tolerance; secular clause

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