BREAKING: UWA has cancelled the planned Australian Family Association event, citing insufficient risk management plans

Students woke today to find yet another email from UWA Vice-Chancellor Dawn Freshwater in their inbox regarding the controversial event by the Australian Family Association at UWA.

The event, which was set to be held today, has sparked widespread backlash against the university due to the presence of prominent anti-trans speakers Dr Quentin Van Meter and Mr Patrick Byrne.

As outlined in the Vice-Chancellor’s email, the vocal opposition to this event and planned protests it has sparked, have elevated the risk level of the event. As a result, the hirers were asked to provide additional documentation for risk assessment and the management of that risk.

The deadline for doing so was 5pm on the day before the event, and they failed to provide such documentation. Essentially, the event hirers have had their booking voided for failing to comply with the conditions of hire.

The event has ignited an ongoing debate over the tension between free speech and hate speech. It must be understood that the University has not changed its stance on justifying the event in the name free speech. The Vice-Chancellor’s email states:

“The University holds firm on the principles of freedom of expression and maintains its position that it does not wish to set a precedent for the exclusion of objectionable views from the campus.”

More to come.


Cormac Power | @cormac_power

Cormac writes for Pelican just so he can say he ‘broke’ news. 

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