One of the largest events in the fight for consent education this year is taking place on September 16, 2021, with key stakeholders and decision-makers coming together to hear directly from young people affected.
With the deadline for a scheduled review of Australia’s school curriculum approaching at the end of 2021, an event that occurs once every 6 years, sexual consent activist Chanel Contos has convened an expert roundtable to discuss how respectful relationships, sex and consent education can be best embedded in the National Curriculum.
Having founded teachusconsent.com earlier in the year to host the testimonies of 6,500
Australians and a petition for earlier and more holistic consent education, Chanel Contos has said that she is determined to mandate consent in Australia’s national school curriculum and that this roundtable may be one of the final pushes as decisions are set to be made in October.
“We can’t wait six more years. If we do that, knowing what our country knows now
about the prevalence of sexual assault in Australian school children, we are
failing a whole generation,” Contos has said.
The online event will bring together 60 invitees, including politicians, academics specialising in sexual assault, sexual assault survivors, and members of the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA).
The event will be facilitated by Hayley Foster who is the CEO of Rape and Domestic Violence Services Australia.
The invitees include Anne Ruston, the Minister for Families and Social Services, Tanya Plibersek, the Shadow Minister for Education and Training and Women’s Safety, Andrew Smith, CEO of Education Services Australia (ESA), David de Carvalho CEO of ACARA, Julie Inman Grant, Australia’s eSafety Commissioner, and Kate Jenkins, the Sex Discrimination Commissioner and member of the Australian Human Rights Commission.
The Representative for Wentworth, Dave Sharma and Anne Hollands, the Children’s Commissioner will also be there.
The Minister for Education and Youth, Alan Tudge, will not be in attendance, but his senior advisor Simon Puckett will be there
The roundtable aims to provide a safe space, where young survivors of sexual assault have the opportunity to speak to key stakeholders around the country. It also enables key decision-makers to hear from survivors about their lived experiences. The group aims to
brainstorm solutions and developments to Australia’s school curriculum based on a
combination of personal experience and expert advice.
“What our children learn needs to be informed by young people and experts. Our country is pleading for consent and sexuality education to be more explicit, mandatory, and taught from a younger age, it’s the time for decision-makers to hear this loud and clear,” Contos said.
“We need a national minimum standard of mandatory consent education across Australia.”
All schools across the country are bound to both the Australian curriculum and the curriculum of their respective state or territory however independent schools are not bound by state curriculum.
The roundtable will not be recorded and there will be no media present, as many young
survivors of sexual assault will be sharing personal experiences with attendees.
Rape and Domestic Violence Services Australia has partnered with Teach Us Consent to
provide services to attendees prior to, during, and following the event.