Tasmanian media reject job ads for Catholic teachers
Tasmania's Catholic Education Office has had its teacher recruitment advertisements knocked back for requesting that applicants understand and support the philosophy and ethos of Catholic schools.
The Catholic Weekly reports that local media organisations have been advised by Tasmania's Anti-discrimination Commissioner Dr Jocelyn Scutt that the ads would be in breach of the state's recently enacted anti-discrimination legislation.
The offending passage is the requirement that teachers "are expected to have an understanding of the aims of Catholic education and a preparedness to support the philosophy and ethos of the Catholic college or school".
Tasmanian CEO head Paul Stevens has written to Dr Scutt asking her to clarify her interpretation of the act. Mr Stevens said that in his letter he had asked Dr Scutt to respond within a fortnight and if he received no response legal action to test the act would be taken.
"We thought we were protected. Our legal advice was that our interests were protected," said Mr Stevens said. "[But] the commissioner has taken a very narrow interpretation of the act."
Suggesting the situation raises questions of religious freedom, he likened the CEO's situation to that of an avowed racist applying for employment with the Anti-Discrimination Commission.