The issue of sexual assault brought women into the streets across Australia to demand change and over forty thousand people have signed a petition calling for consent education to be included in sex education programs in Australian schools earlier. The teaching resources have been devloped, so why is it so difficult?
In February this year Chanel Contos launched a petition calling for consent to be included in Australian Schools' sex education earlier. As of May 17th over 40,000 people had signed the petition and over 6000 provided testimonies. And a number of politicians and school principals have contacted Chanel Contos to discuss what needs to be done. The attention to the issue is welcome, and people who have advocated for comprehensive sexualities and relationships education in schools are hoping that at last we will see real change. One of those people is Deb Ollis.
Deb Ollis is an Associate Professor in Education at Deakin University, specialising in sexuality and relationships education. During her career that spans over 30 years, she's worked as a secondary school teacher, policy officer, curriculum consultant, curriculum writer, teacher educator and researcher. Deb has co-authored two national frameworks in health and sexuality education and written curriculum resources for state and federal governments. Most recently she's written a respectful relationships curriculum for Victorian secondary schools.
Deb speaks with Communication Mixdown about her work in sexuality and relationships education, the barriers to putting curriculum into practice and her hopes for the future.
John Langer, Reema Rattan, Liam Armstrong