Newsletter June 2018

Message from the Chair

Welcome to supporters of ethics classes for children,

Primary Ethics is on the cusp of significant change. NSW Labor has announced that if they win the election, they will reintroduce the option for parents to enrol their child into ethics classes on the school enrolment form.

In doing so, families will no longer be required to navigate the current double-opt-out enrolment maze and schools will be freed from an enormous administration burden.

Education Minister Rob Stokes has indicated that the Government agrees that parents need to be able to make an informed decision. If both parties agree, we need to waste no time in making the change.

I ask that if you haven’t already, please consider making a tax deductible donation to Primary Ethics this financial year.

Thank you so much to those who have donated – your support is essential.

Please also sign our petition to encourage Rob Stokes to act now.

We’re pleased to introduce our 2017 Annual Report.

It gives an overview of the development of our program in the previous financial year, highlights experiences of students and volunteers, and plans for the future. Please take a look.

Thank you for supporting ethics classes for children.

Bruce Hogan, Chair of Primary Ethics


Primary Ethics comprises 2500 volunteers, and we know that they are an exceptional bunch! If you have been impressed by a Primary Ethics volunteer in your community, we invite you to submit a nomination for a certificate of recognition from The NSW Centre for Volunteering. We have a super-quick form for you to fill out and we’ll fill in the rest and submit on your behalf.

Nominate a Primary Ethics volunteer

In the media

“Every Friday morning I get a much-needed shot of optimism about the future of humanity. That’s because as a volunteer with Primary Ethics, I have the privilege of teaching ethics to a highly enthusiastic (and cheeky) bunch of year 6 students each week.”

This week’s opinion piece in the Sydney Morning Herald by ethics teacher and philosopher Tim Dean.


Our Volunteering Manager-South Rob Harden has supported hundreds of school ethics programs since joining Primary Ethics in 2015 and he will be missed! Rob was an experienced HR manager who helped us modernise and expand our volunteer support procedures, and was a calm voice during our frequent busy periods. We are pleased Rob will continue his role as ethics teacher in his local school and wish him well in his shift into Industrial Relations.

Steve Dolan is an ethics teacher from the Sutherland Shire and will be taking up the reins of Volunteering Manager-South next week. Steve has 40 years’ professional skills in business sales, marketing and management and is keen to help Primary Ethics thrive and grow.

Coral Sturgess will be our new Classroom Support Team manager, a role established to help develop and deliver support for our fast-growing group of volunteer teachers. A current ethics teacher in several schools, Coral has been a CST member for some time, and is also one of our teacher trainers. Coral’s background includes roles as a lecturer in teaching, an Education Department senior education officer, and a faculty head in a high school.

Coral is keen to help support teaching practices and satisfaction levels of our volunteer teachers.


PrimaryEthics@Home gives parents and carers background information on the topics taught in class and activities and stories designed to help continue the discussion at home. From our May edition:

  • Early stage 1 – kindergarten Supported, collaborative inquiry is one of the most effective means of bringing about understanding. But being curious and asking questions can take courage! Read more
  • Stage 1 – years 1 & 2 Why is it so important that our beliefs, decisions and choices (and the actions that flow from them) are based on good reasons? Read more
  • Stage 2 – years 3 & 4 Disagreeing respectfully – what an important skill that is! We are not always going to entirely agree with our friends or partners, children or colleagues on every issue – how do we take part in the give and take of reasoned argument in a respectful and considered way? Read more
  • Stage 3 – years 5 & 6 Students consider the important notion of human rights – what they are, where they come from and how they can be justified Read more

Spotlight on Port Macquarie region

Port Macquarie.jpgThe first ever Port Macquarie ethics teacher training session was held over the weekend! The 19 volunteers who attended will assist in launching programs at new schools in the region as well as establishing new classes at schools with existing programs. We’ve had some great stories in the local papers in the leadup. Get to know some our wonderful current volunteers from the region here:

Port Macquarie/Hastings

Nambucca Heads/Scotts Head

Taree West/ Manning Valley

Lake Cathie/ Camden Haven


Are you social with us? Please keep in touch on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Vimeo.


All supporters are welcome to join our Newcastle conference on July 28. Register for your free ticket here.

Thinking ahead for upload


Primary Ethics receives no government funding.
Donations to Primary Ethics
are welcome and are tax deductible. Thank you.