21 male-dominated culture with a history dating back centuries? The Dean of Melbourne and former Trinity College Chaplain, the Very Reverend Dr Andreas Loewe, holds a pragmatic view and stresses that sentiment needs to be backed by structure. ‘As an example, last year at the council of the Anglican Diocese we adopted a policy that 50 per cent of all our committee places should be filled by women,’ he says. ‘Putting a framework like this in place is not only important because it models what society looks like, but because it also changes the dynamic around the board table. We need to think about who’s missing around the table if we want to have socially responsible and ethical decision making in the church and in corporate bodies more broadly.’ To help explain the current imbalance, Dorothy says structures tend to propagate themselves, to the effect that appointing a male-dominated board or committee can sometimes be a matter of blind repetition. To this end, the issue might not necessarily be about gender as much as it is about shaking up the norm. ‘Unless people stop and think, “Hang on, there’s a bias going on in my head I need to allow for”, then nothing will change,’ says Dorothy. Although a strong advocate for policy development, Dean Andreas also believes a gentle nudge can help open up leadership pathways for the under-represented. ‘Sometimes people just need an invitation,’ he says. ‘For instance, as a chaplain, I could say, “Have you considered being a server in the chapel, or reading a lesson, or singing in the choir?” For some people, that’s a revelation and a wonderful offer. Others might say, “It’s not for me”, and that’s fine as well, but at least they know the door is open.’ THE HUMAN TOUCH To distil a multifaceted issue, Melissa strips it back to its simplest – it’s not about being male or female, it’s about being human. ‘We have to recognise that we as priests, deacons, bishops and archbishops are forever servant to the people to whom we minister,’ she says. ‘In order to get past the issues that some people have about women in the church, we just need to remember we’re here to serve all of humanity. Christians believe we’re created in God’s image and there’s male and female in the world, so maybe we need to think about what God’s image means. ‘Society will hopefully catch up with what I think God’s plan for the whole world is, and that’s for people to be people. If we can just consider ourselves people rather than men and women and all the spectrum in-between, I think the world will be a better place.’ What are your thoughts on this subject? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or start a conversation on Facebook at facebook.com/trinitycollegetheologicalschool Barry Marshall is a former Trinity College Chaplain and Theological School lecturer. A memorial lecture is held annually in his honour. FROM LEFT: The Reverend Canon Dr Dorothy Lee, The Reverend Melissa Clark, Archbishop Kay Goldsworthy AO. PAVING THE WAY FOR WOMEN Kay Goldsworthy is a Trinity alumna (TC 1981) and was installed as the 8th Archbishop of Perth in February 2018. She was one of the first women to be ordained a priest in the Anglican Church of Australia in 1992 and was made an officer of the Order of Australia in 2017 for being a female pioneer and role model.