21 May, 2024 Community

St Michael’s applies to VCAT for exemption to ensure equal gender balance at the School

St Michael’s has made an application to VCAT for an exemption from the Equal Opportunity Act 2010.

Achieving and maintaining gender balance assists St Michael’s students to develop positive and respectful relationships with students of all genders while at school and beyond their schooling life.

We strive to deliver a co-educational experience where girls and boys, and young women and men, work together side-by-side and collaboratively towards meaningful and purposeful endeavours.

Respectful relationships lie at the core of the School’s philosophy of Dignity, Respect, Care and Compassion. As a co-educational school, we have an important role to play in the contemporary context, where society has advanced to a point where achieving gender equality is recognised as a critical issue.

This exemption is a standard procedure that we, along with many other independent schools, follow to assist us to achieve and maintain gender balance between students. St Michael’s applied for and received exemptions in 2007, 2010, 2013 and 2018, and so this exemption sought is essentially an extension of the exemption currently in place.

The purpose of the exemption is to allow St Michael’s, where necessary and appropriate, to:

  •  structure waiting and enrolment lists to target prospective girl students;
  •  advertise for prospective girl students in various year levels;
  • allocate student placements and enrolments to prospective girl students; and
  • grant scholarships and bursaries to girl students and advertise the offering of those
    scholarships and bursaries.

VCAT requires the School to inform all members of our community about the application. You can read the Notice issued by VCAT here.

The Tribunal will hear the application at 10:00 am on 16 July 2024.

If you want to make a submission to the Tribunal either for or against the application, you
must send it in writing to humanrights@vcat.vic.gov.au.
Please quote reference H383/2024.

The closing date for submissions is 25 June 2024.