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Archbishop Mannix and State Aid (letter)
I entirely agree with Alan A. Hoysted's letter (October AD2000) regarding the people who should receive the credit for achieving financial assistance to Catholic and other Independent schools. However, one great man who should have been mentioned was the inspirational Archbishop Daniel Mannix.
Dr Mannix began campaigning for government funding for our schools almost from the moment he arrived in Melbourne in 1913. In 1955-56, the newly formed Democratic Labor Party made State Aid one of its main policies and used its second preferences to pressure the Liberal/Country Parties.
The breakthrough was eventually achieved, as Mr Hoysted stated, in November 1963. Unfortunately, Dr Mannix died shortly before the Liberal election policy speech, but it is believed he had been unofficially informed out of courtesy for his years of campaigning.
The three leading officials in the DLP, Frank McManus, Frank Dowling and Jim Brosnan, worked extremely hard, against bitter Labor Party opposition, to secure and extend State Aid, but never received the thanks they so richly deserved.
If the Catholic education system has a shred of gratitude, pictures of Archbishop Mannix, Senator McManus (representing the DLP) and Bob Santamaria of the National Civic Council, would be displayed in a place of honour in every Catholic school and educational administrative centre in this country.
T. A. RIGG
[The topic of State Aid is closed for the time being - Editor]
Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 17 No 10 (November 2004), p. 15
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