Constituency Questions No 1137
59 Parliament First Session
Asked: 29 April 2021


MRS MCARTHUR — To ask the Minister for Training and Skills (for the Minister for Education): My question is for the Minister for Education. At a recent school assembly at Brauer College in Warrnambool all male students were asked to stand up and apologise to girls on behalf of their gender. Innocent boys were disgracefully made to feel like culprits for crimes they never committed. The political left in this country continues to perpetrate an insidious culture of collective guilt. Our schools should instead be promoting a mantra of personal responsibility. We saw recently a similar incident at Parkdale Secondary College, where boys that were white and Christian were told they were oppressors. Clearly this is becoming common in the Victorian education system under Labor. Minister, does your government endorse these actions of government schools, including Brauer College?
Answered: 24 May 2021

Mr MERLINO (Monbulk—Minister for Education, Minister for Mental Health):

The Andrews Labor Government is committed to ensuring schools provide a safe and inclusive learning environment for all students. The safety and wellbeing of staff and students in Victorian government schools is of the utmost importance to the Government and the Department of Education and Training.

Senior staff from the Department have spoken with Brauer College leadership and the College has acknowledged that this part of the assembly was not appropriate.

The Diversity and Inclusion program held at Parkdale Secondary College on the 21 April 2021, was presented by the Kingston Youth Services under the auspices of Kingston City Council. The school acknowledges that the component of the presentation you refer to was inappropriate, and they are extremely disappointed that it was included without their prior knowledge.

The school principal and School Council President have both written to Kingston Youth Services and Kingston City Council to express their disappointment. I have been advised that delivery of the program has been suspended by Kingston City Council while they conduct a review of what occurred.

I have been advised that a number of supports have been made available, through both Colleges, to any student who may have been impacted by these incidents.

The Department of Education and Training are working with both colleges to ensure situations like this do not occur again.