Labor Member for Summer Hill today cautiously welcomed the introduction of long-awaited legislative reforms of governance arrangements at St Johns College at the University of Sydney.
The Minister for Education introduced the reforms in parliament today, three years after the College requested changes following revelations of endemic sexual harassment and the near-death of a student in a botched initiation ritual.
The reforms amend longstanding imbalances in board governance that privileged alumni members of the college. They promise to increase diversity of representation at the college, a key obstacle to cultural change.
A key provision broadens the definition of representatives of clergy to include lay members of the Catholic Church, opening the door to greater female representation.
Debate on the Bill will take place next year.
Ms Haylen has been calling on the State Government to enact reforms in the face of mounting revelations of sexual assault and harassment at university colleges.
Quotes attributable to Jo Haylen, Member for Summer Hill
“The fact these reforms have finally made it to the floor of the parliament is testament to the victims and activists who have been ignored for so long.
“Young women deserve to have confidence in the leadership of their residential college and I hope this Bill will start that process.
“So much more needs to be done to address the culture of sexual harassment and assault on our campuses, and I will keep fighting to make sure this is just the first step in a long journey to making our campuses safe.
“I also hope this Bill sparks a wider conversation about sexual assault in our campuses and I hope the Minister for Education will address those issues as the parliament debates the Bill.”