When you fight for something you believe in it’s a bit like being on a continual roller coaster – you have ups, and you have downs. When you have an up, you realise you need to seize that moment and roll around in it, drinking it in and allowing it to power you up for the fight that’s still ahead.
So, in that spirit, allow me to roll around in our latest win!
Change across the state
The Education Department of WA contacted our WA rep, Krystina Myhre on Friday, to advise her that the state Dress Code would be changed. The code will now explicitly state that all state schools must allow girls the choice of shorts and pants as part of their every day school uniform.
Hallelujah! What an excellent outcome, that all girls in WA who attend state schools will no longer be discriminated against by being forced into dresses and skirts. Of course the next step is to enforce the change in the actual schools, but GUA will be there monitoring schools and putting pressure on any that think they may avoid compliance.
Working together for the greater good
It is also important to acknowledge that change like this does not occur by the efforts of any one person alone – social change never does. This change has occurred because Simone Cariss and Amanda Mergler joined forces to tackle this issue across the country.
This change has occurred because Krystina Myhre joined GUA and fought for her daughter. Krystina endured the difficult conversations with school leadership teams and P&Cs, and wrote emails and letters to many different people and organisations. Krystina battled her nerves and her doubts and challenged herself to stand up against powerful forces that told her she was wrong and blowing things out of proportion.
Krystina and her daughter wrote a letter to the Education Minister and the Equal Opportunity Commissioner, and met with both to outline their case. Krystina talked with Simone and Amanda about the best way forward, and they all, along with the other members of GUA, spent hours of their time gathering research so they could present meaningful evidence.
It takes courage and commitment
Krystina, and her daughter Sofia, stood up and spoke out when the easier path may have been to accept the injustice and sit down. In holding on to their beliefs and weathering the storm, they have generated a change that will positively impact on all girls that attend state schools in WA far in to the future.
Every single person who has supported GUA in any way, be it our official supporters, our behind-the-scenes partners, and all of you who Like, Share, Comment on and Retweet our social media messages, are part of this victory.
Social change is never achieved by one person alone. It takes a village. We here at GUA are incredibly thankful for ours.