It’s been exactly 12 months since former Kambala Girls school student now consent education campaigner Chanel Contos launched an Instagram poll that has now changed the face of sex education in Australia.
The poll, asking Sydney friends if they have ever experienced sexual assault from someone who went to an all-boys school, sparked an overwhelming wave of interest which Contos harnessed to build the Teach Us Consent campaign.
Lobbying education ministers and officials, who were in the middle of updating the national curriculum, Contos and the team have now officially managed to get the agreement of all state and federal education ministers on the inclusion of consent education.
Consent will be taught at an age-appropriate level from foundation through to year 10 starting with the implementation of the new curriculum in 2023.
Senator Jonathon Duniam, representing the Education Minister Stuart Robert, confirmed the move in senate estimates yesterday. Robert has previously announced that, while ministers were still debating on topics in maths, science, and the humanities, there was “unanimous agreement” on the need to include consent-based education within the curriculum.
Contos celebrated the news on Instagram last night, sharing a number of posts through Teach Us Consent in which she wrote that “this monumental change has only been made possible because of the tens of thousands of voices that have supported this movement.”
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The new curriculum is set to incorporate “comprehensive consent education”, including an understanding of gendered stereotypes, coercion and power imbalances, according to Contos, who has been at the heart of these negotiations with ministers.
“The next generation of Australian’s [sic] will now have consent education because of YOU,” Contos wrote.
“To everyone who submitted a testimony, signed a petition, shared a post or had a hard conversation with a friend or loved one: thank you, and congratulations. we did it.”
She is set to meet with Prime Minister Scott Morrison next week to discuss the details of her vision while education ministers are set to meet in April to finalise the curriculum that will be taught next year.