The Association has identified the following key issues of concern around the current governance structure and practices of Brindabella Christian Education Limited (BCEL) which we believe highlight the need for reform and change at a constitutional level.
AAT Court Orders
A review by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal of the Federal Education Ministers decision on 17 May 2021, that BCEL was not a fit and proper person to be the Approved Authority of Brindabella Christian College, recently concluded with new conditions agreed by BCEL and the Minister, documented in Court Orders dated 12 April 2023. These conditions, with strict deadlines, give the Board an opportunity to save itself and the school.
As a registered charity with the ACNC and an Approved Authority with the Department of Education,
BCC Directors have legislated obligations to provide transparency around the use of commonwealth funds and parent fees.
For the past three calendar years, the Board of Directors have failed to lodged BCC's financials as required.
A charity must take reasonable steps to be accountable to its members and provide them with
adequate opportunity to raise concerns about how the charity is governed.
Changes made to BCC's governing documents by the Directors has confined its membership to the
Directors alone, giving them sole governance and removing key accountability mechanisms.
Board Declared Unfit
Responsible Persons of a registered charity and the Approved Authority must be fit and proper persons.
A decision by the Federal Minister found the BCEL Board not to be fit and proper and imposed conditions
to improve its governance. BCC Directors lodged an appeal which is still ongoing.
Final Hearings in the AAT Canberra Registry start Monday 27th March 2023
Following a landmark court case in 2022 involving BCC, parents in non-government schools across Australia are now considered legitimate service recipients of care and education services under Australian Consumer Law (ACL).
School's are required to ensure their enrolment documents and terms protect the interests of both parties fairly and equitably.
Multiple adverse findings by regulators and ACAT concerning BCC's enrolment documents exist however and draft contracts circulated to parents in late 2023 have retained unfair and previously voided terms by ACAT placing families at risk.