I wish you all a Merry Christmas and may you bring in the new year with joy and peace. May the holidays also offer you all the opportunity to recharge, rejuvenate and spend quality time with loved ones.
Happy Holidays everyone!
Head of School
Message to all in the SCEGGS Community
There has been some media coverage about the Bill in the Senate to remove exemptions from the Discrimination Act and the Fair Work Act for schools on the basis of their religious affiliations and beliefs. There is also attention on a quite different debate – consideration in the Synod of the Anglican Diocese of Sydney about the use of church property for a range of activities.
I think it is important to let you know what I think are the implications of these things for SCEGGS. I want to make it clear first of all, that I don’t want SCEGGS to have any exemption from any Discrimination Act or the Fair Work Act based on our religion. I believe that all people are made in God’s image and are loved by God, regardless of their sexuality and identity. SCEGGS welcomes all - regardless of age, race, sexual orientation or religion.
SCEGGS is operated by a company, SCEGGS Darlinghurst Limited. We are, however, proudly an Anglican School, and we have always had excellent relationships with the Diocese of Sydney. I expect that to continue. The Anglican Church is, and has always been, a broad Church, and there is a great diversity of views within it. I expect that we will be able to negotiate any issues with the same sensitivity and strength we have shown when controversial issues have been raised in the past. SCEGGS has always demonstrated an ethos which includes acceptance, respect, love, inclusivity, social justice, equal rights, courage.... We will continue to do so.
I know that we have students, staff, parents, and alumni who are members of the LGBTIQ community. Who they choose as their life partner, who they fall in love with, is a matter for them. They are warmly welcome at SCEGGS. I know we have students who are dealing with issues relating to their gender identity. They will be loved and supported. And I know there will be others in our community who view this differently – coming from a different interpretation of the Scriptures, a more traditional, evangelical outlook. We acknowledge and value their beliefs too. And of course, there are those within our community who are still trying to work out these sorts of issues for themselves! To everyone in the school community, we offer our hand in friendship. We will continue to encourage and support students who want to examine controversial questions, and to take a stand on important current issues. We will continue to encourage our girls to talk, to listen, and to learn from each other, to come to a greater understanding on the whole range of complex issues raised in the evolving society of today. We will continue to maintain our ethos of open-mindedness and inclusivity.