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Calls to strengthen Anti-Discrimination Act after controversial student contract

By Kace O'Neill | |5 minute read
Calls To Strengthen Anti Discrimination Act After Controversial Student Contract

Citipointe Christian College has issued an “expression of regret” two years after requiring parents to sign an enrolment agreement stating that homosexuality is a “sinful” act.

A Christian College came under fire back in 2022 for proposing a new enrolment contract that included comments classifying homosexuality as “sinful”. After the community backlash, the contract was withdrawn, and the school’s pastor, Brian Mulheran, resigned.

The college has acknowledged wrongdoing, saying that comments made in the contract “were distressing to members and allies of the LGBTIQA+ community”.


“We regret any distress or concern which was caused to students, parents and guardians of students or prospective students of the college, which includes those within the college community that are members of the LGBTIQA+ community, and their families and their allies,” a statement on the college website said.

This statement had to be made after a mediation occurred between the Christian Outreach Centre, which runs the school, and parents who referred the statements made in the contract to the Queensland Human Rights Commission.

“We are hoping as a result of the settlement that a situation such as the enrolment contract will not happen again at the college or any other faith-based school,” a joint statement from both sides said.

It’s an overwhelming victory for the parents, who went as far as withdrawing their children from the school in protest against the treatment of LGBTI.

According to John Henderson, a partner at global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright (which represented and acted for the group of parents on a pro-bono basis in the anti-discrimination cases brought against the college): “The college has issued an expression of regret that acknowledges its support of inclusion and commitment to the continued education of its staff and students on how to be respectful and to value all people, regardless of race, religion, sex, age, disability or sexual orientation or gender identity.”

“The resolution reached shows that, notwithstanding differences in beliefs and faiths, consensus and common ground can be reached under our anti-discrimination laws.”

Jo Sampford, director and principal solicitor of LGBTI Legal Service, which advised and assisted the parents in the matter, believes that the Anti-Discrimination Act could be stronger and called on the state government to ensure that their previous commitment to pass a revised act was completed.

“Queenslanders should be rightly proud of these laws, but there are still gaps in protection and opportunities to strengthen protections and streamline complaint processes,” Sampford said.

“Importantly, there are no equivalent protections for LGBTIQA+ teachers, who can be fired for who they are and who they love.”

A new Anti-Discrimination Bill was open for community consultation until March, and the Queensland government is set to review and consider all submissions.

“Community members and organisations have contributed thousands of hours to consultations on these laws, but we have yet to see the bills. Two years on from the report, and with the election drawing closer, the window to introduce these laws for the benefit of all Queenslanders is closing,” Sampford said.



According to the Australian Human Rights Commission, discrimination occurs when one individual or group of people is regarded less favourably than another because of their origins or certain personality traits. When a regulation or policy is unfairly applied to everyone yet disadvantages some persons due to a shared personal trait, that is also discrimination.

Kace O'Neill

Kace O'Neill

Kace O'Neill is a Graduate Journalist for HR Leader. Kace studied Media Communications and Maori studies at the University of Otago, he has a passion for sports and storytelling.