Religious Educational Institutions - ALRC Inquiry

Every Australian should be able to live free from discrimination. Just as nobody should be treated unfairly because of their gender, disability, sexuality, age, or race, we do not believe anyone should experience discrimination because of their religious beliefs.

The Government remains committed to changing the law to:

  • prevent discrimination against people of faith, including anti‑vilification protections;
  • protect all students from discrimination on any grounds; and
  • protect teachers from discrimination at work, while maintaining the right of religious schools to preference people of their faith in the selection of staff.

As the Prime Minister reiterated on 14 February 2023, Labor made its position clear a long time ago that faith-based schools can employ people of their own faith.

We will proceed carefully, responsibly, and with the goal of bringing people together. To that end, the Government intends to engage constructively with people in the community and with the Parliament.

The Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) is an independent Australian Government agency that provides recommendations for law reform to Government on issues referred to it by the Attorney-General of Australia.

The ALRC has been tasked with conducting an inquiry into exemptions for religious educational institutions in federal anti-discrimination law.  As part of this inquiry the ALRC invited all interested members of the community to make submissions in response to its consultation paper.  Submissions closed on 24 February 2023. 

This inquiry is a crucial first step towards implementing the Albanese Government’s commitment to extending anti-discrimination protections to more Australians, including to people of faith and to staff and students in religious schools. 

The ALRC will provide its advice to the Government before the end of the year.  When that advice is provided the Government will consider its response.

Strengthening our anti-discrimination laws in this way is an opportunity to unite the nation, rather than to divide it.