Sexuality and relationships education: Why it's so difficult to implement the programs young people keep telling us they need

Monday, 17 May 2021 - 6:00pm to 6:30pm
One of the placards at the March-4-Justice rally in Canberra March 15th 2021 Photo courtesy of Judith Peppard

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.




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Monday 6:00pm to 6:30pm
This show casts a critical eye on the myriad ways in which we communicate with each other in our increasingly interconnected, multi-media platform world. Each week we mix down the who, the what, the where, and the how of particular communication events, messages, trends and technologies, and then consider: what impacts and what consequences?


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