Brisbane all-girls school rejects 12-year-old transgender girl

trans girl carinity education southside
Images: 7News (inset), Supplied

The mum of a 12-year-old transgender girl has filed a legal complaint after a Brisbane all-girls school rejected her daughter’s application.

The mum and her daughter, who is named Harley, have gone public with the dispute with Carinity Education Southside in an interview with 7News (above).

Harley’s mum said staff assured her Harley’s sex assigned at birth would not be a “problem” for the application.

“I said, ‘She’s a female. She identifies as a female and is on hormone blockers so she can transition. I don’t see the problem’,” she told 7News.

“I wanted to make sure, I didn’t want to set it up to get hurt.”

At the time the mum was also seeking to enrol for her 13-year-old daughter at the same school, at which she said her family has a history of schooling.

But while the school accepted her other daughter’s application, Harley’s was rejected.

The mother claims the following day, the school called her and told her that they “were not taking Harley because she’s a male,” the mum has claimed.

Mum says daughter ‘just happens to be transgender – and pretty awesome’

Speaking to 7News, the family’s long-time social worker Erin Oostenbroek backed up the family’s claims.

Initially, Harley’s mum said she unsuccessfully pleaded for the school to reconsider.

But now the family has escalated the matter to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal. The family is currently awaiting a hearing.

“[Harley] has the right to be who she wants to be and no one has the right to judge her for that and question that,” the mum said.

“She’s not hurting anyone. She’s just being a 12-year-old kid. She just happens to be transgender – and pretty awesome actually.”

Speaking on 7News, the 12-year-old’s mum told her daughter, “I think you’re amazing, and so does everyone else.”

Brisbane school Carinity Education Southside denies discrimination

However in response, Carinity Education Southside has denied the claim Harley’s sex assigned at birth affected her application at the Baptist-associated school.

Instead, the school claimed they rejected Harley’s application because she didn’t meet the enrolment requirement for the special assistance school.

“These requirements include potential students not being enrolled at or attending another school,” the school said in a statement.

“Carinity Education is supportive of transgender students. Across our schooling network we have a number of students who identify as transgender.

“We were sadly unable to offer this student the opportunity to enroll at our school as they did not provide us with evidence that they met the requirements for admission to a special assistance school.”

The school added that their “hearts go out to this child and we would like to work with the student’s parents to find a schooling environment where their child will thrive.”

If you need someone to talk to, help is available from QLife on 1800 184 527 or online at, Lifeline on 13 11 14, Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800, or beyondblue on 1300 22 4636.

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Jordan Hirst
Jordan Hirst

Jordan Hirst is an experienced journalist and content creator with a career spanning over a decade at QNews. Since 2012, the Brisbane local has covered an enormous range of topics and subjects in-depth affecting the LGBTIQA+ community, both in Australia and overseas. Today, the Brisbane-based journalist covers everything from current affairs, politics and health to sport and entertainment.

QNews, Brisbane Gay, App, Gay App, LGBTI, LGBTI News, Gay Australia

1 Comment

  1. Paul
    18 August 2022

    Queensland the transphobic state of Australia. It’s 2022, my my gee whiz Queensland!

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