Jo Haylen, the Member for Summer Hill, gave a stinging speech in Parliament today condemning the Minister for Education’s failure to act on a 2014 request from St John’s College to reform its council following the near-death of a student in 2012.

The student nearly died after ingesting alcohol, pet food, shampoo and Tabasco sauce.

The College requires legislation to change the make-up of its council and is still waiting for the Minister for Education to act two years after requesting reform that promised to weaken the “old-boy” culture at the College. 

Ms Haylen and the Shadow Minister for Education, Jihad Dib, have jointly written to the Minister requesting immediate action, citing the two year delay in dealing with the problem. 

They also call for widespread investigation into governance arrangements at colleges across the State. 

Ms Haylen gave notice of a motion in Parliament earlier in the year, calling on the Baird Government to introduce consent training at NSW universities to deal with the problem of sexual assault and harassment on campuses.

She today called for the Minister to immediately reform St John’s council and investigate governance arrangements at colleges across the State.


Quotes attributable to the Member for Summer Hill:


“We need concrete action to remove sexual assault and harassment from universities and we’re not getting it from this Government.

“Here is one example where the Government can exercise leadership and make a real change to deal with the problems in colleges and they’ve sat on their hands for two years.”

“The prevalence of sexual assault and harassment on university campuses is alarming and it’s not going to resolve itself.

“Let’s start by changing laws that lock in the old-boy culture at these colleges and then think big and act to deal with the underlying culture that makes our campuses vulnerable to this kind of behaviour.”


Quotes attributable to the Shadow Minister for Education


“This has been sitting in the Minister’s in-tray for two years.

“The Government says it is waiting for a survey of alumni, but why have they only started the survey weeks ago instead of dealing with the problem when it first arose?

“With universities acting to recognise and deal with the problem of sexual harassment and assault, the Minister has a responsibility to act now and show leadership.”



31 May 2016.  For media enquiries, please contact Mat Howard at 0426 626 166