27 September 2023

Educators learn about consent education

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The Education Directorate and the University of Canberra (UC) joined forces recently to host a meeting of ACT education providers aimed at assisting them to teach respectful relationships and consent education in the region’s schools.

The one-day event, held at the university’s Inspire Centre, welcomed representatives from public, Catholic and independent education providers.

Executive Dean of UC’s Faculty of Education, Barney Dalgarno said the aim of the event, which included keynote speakers and a spotlight session to identify the sector’s top priorities, was to develop a deeper understanding of the key issues in the teaching space.

“The collaboration is a collective commitment to scrutinise our curricula and teaching practices, and to work towards improvements by addressing the key issues,” Professor Dalgarno said.

He said the keynote address, Ignorance is not Innocence: Safeguarding sexual wellbeing through relationships and sex education, was delivered by Katrina Marson, a criminal lawyer specialising in gendered issues and sexual violence prevention.

Lecturer with UC’s Faculty of Education, Michael Davies said the topic was an important one as stigma, taboo and cultural behaviours remained embedded in the fabric of society whether or not people chose to acknowledge and accept them.

“These conversations, and a systematic response, are therefore vital if true generational change is to occur,” Dr Davies said.

“By presenting all the facts and different perspectives, we will empower school students to make their own informed decisions to build healthy relationships, a sense of identity, resilience and confidence, which the Australian Curriculum intended,” he said.

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