Sydney Catholic school bans same-sex couples from formal

St Ursula's College
Image: St Ursula's College/ (inset).

Students at all-girls St Ursula’s College in Sydney, are asking for community support to protest a controversial policy that prevents same-sex couples from attending their school formal together.

Student Abbie Frankland started a petition in protest and labelled the policy “discriminatory”.

The petition has gathered over 3000 signatures in two days.

“My girlfriend and I, along with many other students at St. Ursula’s in Kingsgrove NSW, Australia, have been eagerly awaiting the school formal for months. We’ve purchased non-refundable tickets and outfits in anticipation of this event,” she wrote.

“However, we’ve recently discovered that the school does not allow same-sex couples to attend the formal together.

“This policy not only discriminates against LGBTQ+ students but also puts us in a difficult financial situation as we are left with non-refundable tickets and clothes that were bought specifically for this occasion.

Read also: Help students get to Brisbane Pride’s Queer Formal for free

“In Australia, 61.6% of people voted ‘Yes’ in a national survey on marriage equality (Australian Bureau of Statistics), showing widespread support for LGBTQ+ rights across the country. Yet, despite this clear public sentiment towards inclusivity and acceptance, schools like St Ursula’s continue to uphold discriminatory policies.

“We believe it is time for St. Ursula’s to align itself with these values by allowing all students – regardless of their sexual orientation – to bring their chosen partner to the school formal.”

St Ursula’s College parent expresses disappointment

A mother of a St Ursula’s College student called in to Ben Fordham Live on 2GB to express her disappointment.

The mother said her daughter had planned to take another girl to the formal.

“She automatically was upset – crying in the car,” she said.

Fordham pointed out that the woman’s 18-year-old daughter could legally marry a woman but not take one to her formal.

To sign Abbie’s petition, visit

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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Sarah Davison
Sarah Davison

After working in print and radio, Sarah has joined the team at QNews to expand their coverage into South Australia. Sarah has a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology, and a Masters in Journalism, Media, and Communications. Get in touch:

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


  1. Michael
    27 October 2023

    Same ol crap! Year in, year out! I recommend those this would affect to organise their own formal festivities, with friends & allies mixing from different schools gathering together in a space they can be even more themselves anyway. All those same people needn’t then have to go to what would pass as the formal on the school grounds. Within a year’s time it will fast becoming a distant memory. One hopes attending those is not essential to receiving your end of school certificate at these abominable institutions, continuing ever yet committed to encouraging discrimination & segregationist attitudes. All the while expecting to keep the general public’s respect as a basic entitlement! A resounding F-MAJOR to all or any schools that uphold this crap nonsense as fair reasonable or right!

  2. Stephy
    28 October 2023

    So maybe if religions organizations lost their BS Tax Exemptions & their schools lost their very very generous tax payer support, maybe they might pull their extremely privileged heads in ….

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