Trinity Grammar headmaster Michael Davies, right, with deputy headmaster Rohan Brown behind him. Picture: Aaron Francis/The Australian
Trinity Grammar headmaster Michael Davies, right, with deputy headmaster Rohan Brown behind him. Picture: Aaron Francis/The Australian

Headmaster gone after haircut saga

THE headmaster of one of Melbourne's most prestigious private schools has called it quits a month after students, former alumni and school parents demanded his resignation.

Trinity Grammar headmaster Michael Davies resigned shortly after 8am on Tuesday during a meeting with staff. In a statement, he said he was "content" having "successfully resolved some complex matters over recent weeks".

Those complex matters revolved around deputy headmaster Rohan Brown, who was sacked and later reinstated for giving a student a haircut in the schoolyard.

Mr Brown chopped the student's hair because it did not meet the standards set within the school's grooming guidelines.

Trinity Grammar students protested over the sacking of Rohan Brown. Picture: Jake Nowakowski
Trinity Grammar students protested over the sacking of Rohan Brown. Picture: Jake Nowakowski

 

School Council chairman Roderick Lyle wrote to parents after video of the incident surfaced, saying Mr Brown's action was "in contravention of school policy and was also inconsistent with community expectations in this day and age".

But Mr Brown's dismissal was met with unprecedented protest by those within the school community.

Students protested by wearing casual clothes and 50 former captains and vice captains at the school wrote a letter expressing "profound disappointment" and lamenting the direction the school had taken in recent years.

Billboards were erected outside the Kew campus featuring a giant image of the headmaster's face with a red cross over it. Next to it was the opening line from Jane Austen's Pride And Prejudice which Dr Davies published in the school community magazine The Trinity Grammarian in 2014, offending parents and students who identified as LGBTI.

 

Trucks with billboards outside the Trinity Grammar school in Kew. Picture: Aaron Francis/The Australian
Trucks with billboards outside the Trinity Grammar school in Kew. Picture: Aaron Francis/The Australian

 

Rohan Brown greets students as they return on their first day of school from holidays. Picture: Aaron Francis/The Australian
Rohan Brown greets students as they return on their first day of school from holidays. Picture: Aaron Francis/The Australian

 

"Men of Trinity, all in possession of a good fortune. A Trinity education - should heed the opening words of Jane Austen in Pride and Prejudice: It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife."

The electronic billboard then changed to read the following: "Our school community is far too progressive and inclusive for your 18th century values."

A town-hall style community meeting attended by more than 1500 parents, current and former students and concerned members of the community voted overwhelmingly in support of a push for Dr Davies to resign.

Dr Davies, who joined Trinity in 2014, will complete his fifth year in the role at the end of the school term and will not return. In a statement, the school council said it was disappointed in his decision.

"We have accepted Michael's resignation but are sorry to see him leave," Council chairman Robert Utter said.



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