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Media Releases

Settlement of proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia, Victorian Division (Casey Jenkins Sh v Australia Council for the Arts VID187/2021)

Following the settlement of proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia, Victorian Division, Creative Australia issues the following statement.

The statement concerns Casey Jenkins Sh (hereinafter referred to as “Casey”) and the project IMMACULATE.

The Australia Council, now known as Creative Australia, acknowledges that:

(a) Casey’s description to the Australia Council of IMMACULATE was clear and honest;

(b) Casey’s grant variation including IMMACULATE was considered by the Australia Council, was deemed by Australia Council staff to be in keeping with their original peer assessed grant and was validly approved;

(c) Casey’s artwork was to document an aspect of their lived experience – their process of trying to conceive via self-insemination – and not “bringing a new life into the world, as an arts project”;

(d) there was and is nothing illegal concerning Casey’s personal process of trying to conceive via self-insemination as a queer single person using donor sperm;

(e) there was and is nothing illegal concerning Casey’s artwork documentation and presentation of this process;

(f) it had no reason to believe that Casey acted with anything but the utmost ethical integrity both in their personal process of trying to conceive and with their artwork documentation and presentation of this process;

(g) it discussed details of Casey’s grant application with third parties outside its normal practice and without Casey’s permission;

(h) it shared with a third-party advisor a personal document, provided to it by Casey on condition of confidentiality, without Casey’s knowledge and against Casey’s clearly expressed wishes that it not be shared with anyone or retained on file;

(i) it directed Vitalstatistix to halt expenditure of a portion of previously awarded funding because of IMMACULATE’S inclusion in the arts organisation’s program, with no evidence of any wrongdoing from either Casey or Vitalstatistix;

(j) subsequent to rescinding its support for IMMACULATE it has unreasonably subjected an unrelated grant application from Casey to a higher than usual level of scrutiny and processing;

(k) in its communications concerning IMMACULATE it referred repeatedly to concerns for a ‘future conceived child’, ‘potential child’ and ‘child’, with the understanding that Casey was not pregnant, and with no reason to cast aspersions on their parenting ability; and

(l) it has been aware from the time it suspended its support, to when it rescinded its funding and posted a public statement regarding IMMACULATE, that as a result of its actions Casey suffered considerable distress.

The Australia Council (Creative Australia) unreservedly apologises to Casey for the actions that have necessitated the above acknowledgements.