50 Years of CARE

               AARE Celebrates 50 years of CARE                 






AARE conducted many Biennial National Conferences and state events – so YOUR past participation is part of these celebrations.

The celebrations will be advertised, school & campus activities organised, as well as state events held at various locations.

The theme of these celebrations  ‘50 Years of CARE’  is both a synopsis of what was done, as well as commitment to the next 50 Years of CARE – by our Members for students in the many education levels & learning environments.

Share YOUR story of receiving and or giving C.A.R.E. === > Use the Contact Us page 


Chris Callus our AARE President for National WA committees, received a plaque from the Commissioner for Children and Young People Mr Colin Pettit … You may wish to share a picture of your ‘CARE Moment’ with us all?


50 Years of CARE 

2024 is the 50th anniversary of AARE.

We have been promoting and supporting the work  of Chaplains And Religious Educators in our schools – helping schools to fulfil their commitment to provide a holistic education that caters to the wellbeing needs of students.


Refer to the 50 Years of CARE intro letter or text below:

“2024 Celebrates our 50 Years of CARE”

Dear Chaplains and Religious Educators,

While our roots go back to the 1950s and 60s, the Australian Association for Religious Education will celebrate 50 years as a national association in 2024.

Rather than celebrate the Association, this has prompted us to celebrate those for whom the Association was formed to support. We are putting put a national call out to make 2024 the “Year of the CaRE” – Chaplains and Religious Educators. We seek your support in doing so.

It is a year to acknowledge, give thanks and celebrate the chaplains, the religious educators (with whatever title or focus) and their work.

In a world filled with division and conflict, genuine chaplaincy and authentic education in religion has the potential to nurture the best in the individual and in society. It has been our observation and experience that those who accept the call to – chaplaincy in loving and caring for the various needs; teaching about the religion in exploring our relationship the Creator, ourselves, each other and rest of creation; ministering to engage the young in the potential that such relationships offer; challenging and supporting those in the service of others in order to promote justice in this world – are people of great generosity, deep compassion and courage in responding to this call. They wish to help re-create the world as it should and could be. If allowed to flourish, their work will contribute to bring understanding, harmony and peace in the world.

The AARE has planned four foci for the year:

  1. Advocacy for the work being done in this sphere by promoting the activities and works being provided.
  2. Recognition for the CaREs and what they have done by providing an online platform for students and ex-students to express their appreciation and gratitude for a particular chaplain or educator.
  3. Create commemorative badges that can be worn by chaplains and religious educators. Rather than have these professionally designed, we wish to run a student competition to do this. Prizes will be provided for winning designs in both primary and secondary categories.
  4. Host celebratory dinners where chaplains and religious educators can gather, pray, affirm each other and share in the age-old custom of hospitality – a shared meal. Awards will also be conferred.

With all the challenges being faced by those who serve in these capacities, the AARE believes it is a good time to celebrate and support CaRE.

Blessings & Joy

Chris Callus

AARE National President

See our –

                        Vision, Mission, Works, Values, History                          

AARE Synopsis PDF


The Australian Association for Religious Education (AARE) stands as the preeminent non-denominational,  not-for-profit professional association dedicated to Chaplains and Educators engaged in the realm of religious  education across primary and secondary educational institutions, encompassing Government, Catholic, and  Independent schools. Additionally, the Association extends its reach to professionals from tertiary  institutions within the Australian educational landscape. 


The AARE is committed to achieving the following objectives: 

  1. Advocate for the recognition of Religious Education as an integral and valuable component within the  broader educational landscape. 
  2. Serve as a representative body to support, advocate for, and promote the interests of chaplains and  religious educators, fostering collaboration and understanding among them. 
  3. Facilitate continuous advancement and effective implementation of religious education and related  disciplines within diverse educational settings, including schools, universities, and other educational  institutions. 

The AARE is a unifying force for good. 


The AARE (WA) is committed to achieving its mission by: 

  1. Cultivating platforms for dialogue and knowledge-sharing among chaplains and religious educators. 2. Delivering professional development and sharing resources through various channels such as the  website, conferences, seminars, networking, professional learning activities, partnerships, and other  initiatives aimed at enhancing the quality of teaching and research in religious education. 3. Recognising and thanking chaplains and religious educators and celebrating their work at an annual  State AARE Dinner. 
  2. Commemorating the service and contributions of chaplains and religious educators through the  presentation of annual Awards of Meritorious Service, nominated by their peers or supervisors at the  annual AARE Dinner. 
  3. Promoting the endeavours of individuals and organisations aligned with the Association’s mission,  including but not limited to events such as the Governor’s Prayer Breakfast, Children’s Ministry  Network – Passing the Baton, YouthCARE, Council of Christians and Jews – Kristallnacht  Commemoration, The Christian Service Learning Network, HATS Production, Did You Know Education,  Youth Mission Team, Outreach & Church Ministries (OAC), Dialogue Australasia Network (DAN), Perth  Together – Gather Education, Destiny Rescue, Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting – Tree of  Hope, and Song & Dance Creative Family Ministries. 
  4. Establishing and maintaining a Religious Education Providers Registry for Government schools 7. Creating opportunities for chaplains and religious educators to actively participate in the direction and  activities of the Association through involvement in the Annual General Meeting and serving on its  Committee. 
  5. Providing contributions and representation to relevant government and educational authorities, such  as representation on the School Curriculum and Standards Authority’s Course Advisory Committee for  Religion and Life.


Members of the AARE Board of Management and the annually elected AARE Committee are dedicated to  advocating for the optimal interests of chaplains and religious educators. Their commitment involves  actively supporting the advancement and implementation of religious education, guided by the principles of  Service, Integrity, and Respect. 


After decades of informal discussions and deliberations by the Heads of several independent schools, the  Australian Association for Religious Education had its beginnings at the first national conference of chaplains  and teachers of religion in Canberra in September 1967.  

Following that conference, which was arranged by the Headmasters’ Conference (HMC), an Australian  Committee for RE was formed to foster continuing dialogue between those involved in Religious Education.  A small National Steering Committee was formed under the aegis of the HMC to guide the dialogue. The  Committee operated out of Victoria. In some States, separate committees were set up to work in cooperation  with the National Committee.  

Following the Fifth Conference held in Canberra in 1974 a meeting of State delegates took place in Melbourne.  That meeting resolved to change the name of the organisation to the Australian Association for Religious  Education (AARE) and set up a National Committee which elected a National Executive. Branches were  established in the various states and territories, including Western Australia. 

The Association: 

  • approved its first formal Constitution at the 1984 meeting of the National Committee in Melbourne.  • was incorporated in Victoria as a national professional association and promulgated at the  National Conference held in Perth in 1994. 
  • has held National Conferences in Victoria (Melbourne), ACT (Canberra), Western Australia (Perth), South  Australia (Adelaide) and Queensland (Southport and Brisbane). 
  • has served educators from all states and territories and 
  • has grown to include religious educators from a variety of Christian denominations and from the Jewish  and Islamic faiths.  

While existing as a national association, the AARE encourages and facilitates the formation and continuance  of State and Territory Branches of the Association. The WA Branch is a strong and vibrant part of the  national scene. 

Although the AARE is a professional association, the overwhelming majority, if not all, involved in these fields,  are faith-filled people who generously volunteer their time, expertise and energy to make a positive difference  in the lives of their students; for many, this is their vocation in life.  

The AARE has traditionally been composed of Christian educators. While remaining in harmony with our  origins and purpose, the Association has grown into a non-denominational professional association open to  all who work in the fields of religious education, chaplaincy, service-learning etc, whether it be in Christian  (Anglican, Baptist, Catholic, Evangelical, Uniting Church, etc), Independent, Islamic, Jewish or Government  schools. The AARE is a unifying force for good. 

The Association has grown and evolved over the years in order to adapt to the changing the educational  landscape of Australia. While honouring our Christian heritage and recognising that chaplaincy and most  religious education within Australia is delivered within the Christian context, the Association welcomes  religious educators of all religious faiths who seek to work in harmony with the Association’s original purpose. 

Over the years many members have found it an organisation that has supported them personally and  professionally, while helping them to enhance their own ministries and educational work.