A woman who has been in a three-year sexual relationship with a female teacher has convinced a tribunal their ‘convenient’ relationship does not make them a couple.
University student Amelia Bradley was last year refused Youth Allowance, a support payment to young students, apprentices, and job-seekers, when she told the authorities she lived with a Queensland State teacher, according to The Courier-Mail.
When told the teacher’s income would make her ineligible, Bradley appealed the decision.
Bradley denied they were a de facto couple, despite her sharing a bed and sleeping with the woman whom she often referred to as ‘her girlfriend’. There was simply not ‘a more nuanced’ alternative description than that of a couple, she complained.
Bradley argued she only rarely slept in her own room in a three-bedroom sharehouse. She moved into the house in 2010, four years after knowing ‘Ms Green’, a pseudonym, in a sporting team.
While Bradley had an exclusive sexual relationship, she told the tribunal it was more of circumstance than a conscious decision. To back up her claim, she said they probably would go their separate ways after the lease expired.
Bernard McCabe of the Association of Accounting Technicians said looking at the circumstances ‘as a whole’, he did not find Bradley part of a couple.
‘I acknowledge the ongoing intimate relationship is relatively unusual in individuals who are not members of a couple, but that aspect of the relationship must be seen in the wider context,’ he said.
The couple did not share assets or finances, nor did they show any commitment or support between members of a couple, he said, ordering the relevant government department to reconsider its refusal of social security payment.