Despite being aligned on opposite sides of the states politics, Mandurah’s Labor MLA David Templeman and Dawesville’s Liberal MP Zak Kirkup were united on the steps of Parliament House in their support of school chaplaincy.
On December 13, the pair jointly hosted 12 YouthCARE chaplains and volunteers from their respective electorates for a private lunch at Parliament House.
Mr Templeman said they wanted to honour the fabulous work chaplains do in their local community.
“The chaplains are playing a crucial role in our schools in the Mandurah and Peel area, they are magnificent supporters of the children, staff and families of the schools they work in,” he said.
“I know first-hand the impact they are having on lots and lots of kids in my schools – I’m sure it’s the same in Zak’s schools - and for me they are an integral part of the staff.
“I know the schools that my chaplains are at, the staff just honour them and value them so much because they know that they are playing a crucial role.
“That’s why we both wanted to honour our hard-working chaplains in our region and have lunch with them today.”
Mr Kirkup also expressed his strong support for school chaplaincy.
“That’s the beauty in Mandurah – David and I both recognise the importance of chaplaincy,” he said.
“Like a lot of politicians across our country, we put community before politics and that’s the most important thing.
“The chaplains here today are a reflection of our community.
“They are an integral part - especially considering the issues that Mandurah has faced in recent times.
“More than ever, there is a reliance on making sure our community has a robust and well-funded chaplaincy program in as many schools as possible.
“Obviously not just for Mandurah where David and I represent, but across the state so very pleased to be able to join with David at his invitation to be able to jointly host this lunch at Parliament House in honour of our chaplains.”
During the lunch chaplains were able to share about the needs and concerns in school communities that they regularly deal with, as well as stories of hope and triumph.