In March 2023 the Australian Education Union Federal Executive adopted a resolution opposing the AUKUS security pact and re-stating its position that:
The AEU is deeply committed to peace, opposes militarism and asserts that war should never be used to resolve international conflict. There have been too many times in history when warmongering and armaments build-up have led to international conflict, death and destruction.
And ‘On Peace’, an August 2023 resolution, contained a powerful rejection of the increasing intrusion of weapons companies into education. The Federal Executive condemned “the use of Australian schools” to draw children into “industries associated with warfare” saying that “private industries who attempt to use schools as a vehicle for promotion of their own products and profits hidden behind spurious educational benefits for students” have no place in schools.
The Federal Executive’s resolutions follow motions adopted by a number of Victorian AEU branches. Benalla, Inner City, Maribyrnong and Greater Glen Waverley branches, as well as the Virtual School Victoria, all determined to reject the interference of militarised interests in education.
In September 2023, the AEU South Australia also adopted an unequivocal position on weapons companies’ participation in education, calling on schools across the state to “reject and resist the promotion and implementation of war and weaponry programs and competitions in all their forms.”
Teachers for Peace congratulates union members and officials for their action to protect children from harmful influence.
STEM programs that associate with the weapons industry should be on notice: educators, their key constituents, do not accept the use of schools for the promotion of lethal industries.