Australian federal curriculum to include mandatory consent education after explosive Chanel Contos campaign

It’s a moment Chanel Contos has been campaigning since February of last year, and last week, in the dying hours of the last working day, all of his hard work finally paid off.

Acting Federal Education Minister Stuart Robert confirmed Friday afternoon that next year, respectful and Mental Health will be added to the physical education program.

“It’s an absolutely massive victory,” Contos, 23, who briefed federal, state and territory education ministers at Friday’s meeting, told 9Honey.

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Chanel Contos has been pushing for consistent, mandatory and holistic consent education across Australia since February last year. (Liliana Zaharia)

“I’m keeping my fingers crossed that if all goes to plan, the exact demands we had in February last year will be implemented into Australian program policy in April next year.

“Hopefully we will see the tangible changes that have been promised now in April.”

Australia’s Federal Curriculum for Kindergarten to Grade 10 students, which is administered by the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA), is set to be officially approved in April for use in schools across the country next year. .

Minister Robert said at Friday’s meeting that there was unanimous support behind including respectful relationships in the program.

“There is broad and unanimous agreement from all jurisdictions on the inclusion consent-based [sex] education as part of the health and physical education curriculum,” he said.

Scott Morrison sent his regards to Contos through Minister Robert, who said the Prime Minister had approved the inclusion of respectful relationships in the federal program.

Contos also told 9Honey that she is has yet to meet the prime ministerand met his adviser.

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Teach us consent, Chanel Contos
In November, Teach Us Consent launched a call for mandatory consent education in all Australian schools around Sydney. (Teach us consent/provided)

The development comes after a tireless 12-month campaign by Contos and Teach us about consentwhich the Kambala School alum founded early last year in response to an explosion instagram survey, in which 72% of respondents said that they or someone close to them had been sexually assaulted by someone who went to an all-boys school.

Contos launched Operation Vest informal reporting method with NSW Police in Marchand that same month, as a result of her lobbying, Victoria mandated consent education for state schools and Queensland revised its state consent curriculum.

In October, members of the NSW Parliament from several parties unanimously called for stronger education on sexual consent in state schools.

However, curriculum content varies between states and territories – and the independent schools, which around 15% of pupils in Australia attend, are not bound by state curricula – meaning the only way to have consistent, binding, holistic and early education consent recognized by all schools nationwide is to modify the federal curriculum.

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Contos’ mission with Teach Us Consent is not over, however, despite the promise to include respectful relationships in the program.

One of the shortcomings of the current education system is the fact that the federal curriculum can only mandate education by consent for students up to grade 10, before they graduate from high school with degrees such as the graduate certificate, as it is known in New South Wales and Victoria. or, in some schools, the International Baccalaureate – the programs of which are administered by separate governing bodies at state and territory or global levels.

“We know there is something fundamentally wrong with the Australian education system, which is that students in Years 11 and 12 are not getting proper education about consent,” Contos told 9Honey.

To combat this, Teach Us Consent will continue to share holistic resources on sexuality and consent education on social media, with the goal of making the right information easily accessible.

“We hope this opens the dialogue more generally and [starts] conversations about sex and rape culture,” she says.

Contos, and by extension, Teach Us Consent, also plans to open a gender equality center at the Australian Institute in Canberra, where she plans to measure the changes a revitalized consent education program will have on people. children’s experiences, and the broader mindset regarding rape culture.

This, in turn, will enable her to regularly develop in-depth and holistic educational materials, to continue her fight against rape culture.

If you or someone you know is having difficulty, please contact: Lifeline 13 11 14; beyond blue 1300 224 636; Domestic Violence Line 1800 65 64 63; 1800-RESPECT 1800 737 732.

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