Review of the Discrimination Act 1991 (ACT)

A Voice for Christian Education

Review of the Discrimination Act 1991 (ACT)

31 January 2021

In October, the Justice and Community Safety Directorate of the ACT Government (the Government) released a Discussion Paper which outlined areas for reform and posed questions about amendments to the ACT’s anti-discrimination laws. This latest review looks at reforms proposed by the Law Reform Advisory Council back in 2015. These reforms were partly implemented in 2018, via the Discrimination Amendment Act 2018 (ACT). The Government called for submissions in response to this second stage of reforms. These submissions will assist the Government in deciding which reforms to the Act will be implemented.

On 29 January, AACS made a submission to the Government addressing many of the questions from the viewpoint of our Christian schools and how the proposed reforms may affect our unique educational model. Through this submission, and a meeting with public servants on 18 January, AACS and our ACT principals, made it clear that many of the reforms would have an irreversible effect on Christian schooling. We submitted that it is important for a mature, pluralistic, liberal democracy to acccommodate a range of views and beliefs when it comes to certain matters. We pray that the final report and recommendations will reflect this. You can read our submission here.

We thank ACT principals, Erik Hofsink (Emmaus) and Martin Keast (Covenant), for making themselves available for meetings and for their valuable input into the submission.