03 December, 2018 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 and 2013, 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:

  • advertise for prospective female students to enrol;
  • structure its waiting lists so prospective female students are favoured;
  • allocate student placements so female students are favoured; and
  • offer bursaries, scholarships and enrolments targeted at prospective and existing female students.

VCAT requires the School to inform all members of our community about the application. You can read the Notice issued by VCAT here. Until the application is determined, an Interim Order granting an exemption is in force.

VCAT will hear the Application at 10:00 am on 5 February 2019 at William Cooper Justice Centre, 223 William Street, Melbourne.

If you would like to make a submission to VCAT, either for or against the application, you must send it in writing addressed to Human Rights List VCAT, William Cooper Justice Centre, 223 William Street, Melbourne 3000, quoting reference number H347/2018. The closing date for submissions is 10 January 2019.