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Santas wanted; white men only need apply

September 30, 1997

SYDNEY, Australia (AP) _ Wanted: 50 Santa Clauses for Australia’s largest chain of retail stores. White men only need apply.

That’s the approach the Myer group of stores is taking for Christmas this year. The company even asked the Anti-Discrimination Tribunal in Melbourne to waive the usual anti-bias laws in hiring.

``Santa, over history, is a male and a white male,″ said Myer’s Christmas recruitment coordinator, Stuart McNidder. ``If we needed a Mrs. Claus we’d recruit a woman. But we’re looking for a Mr. Claus.″

The Tribunal is expected to hear Myer’s application on Friday, but protests against the hiring policy have already begun.

``If a woman can dress up and look like Santa, I can’t see why she shouldn’t be able to,″ said aboriginal musician Dana McPadden. ``And any race ... should be able to fill that role.″

Myer has already received 400 applications _ some from women _ for the 50 jobs.