I really don't know why this is so hard. The federal government says that the chaplains that it is funding for schools are not there to preach their religious beliefs and nor are they there to give counselling to students. So, what does that leave?
Apparently, according to the interview with Peter Garrett tonight on The 7.30 Report, they are there to give some kind of "advice" to students that is somehow of a secular nature and somehow falls short of "counselling". Really? If such a category of advice exists (which is doubtful), and if that's what they're supposed to do, why do they need to be chaplains? The government can't have this both ways. It either provides chaplains, which John Howard told us was something the electorate understood, or it doesn't. If it is providing genuine chaplains, it is using public money to subsidise religious indoctrination in public as well as private schools. If it is not ... then what is the point of the scheme? If teachers need some help for this aspect of their job, it can be done by putting more money into providing people with the appropriate secular qualifications.