Today the Albanese Government is announcing the members of the National Respectful Relationships Education Expert Working Group that will support the delivery of respectful relationships education (RRE) in schools.
The expert working group will be chaired by the Chief Executive Officer of OurWatch, Patty Kinnersly, during its first year and meet for the first time next month.
Minister for Education, Jason Clare said, “Teaching respectful relationships education in schools assists students build the skills, values and attitudes required to develop and maintain positive, healthy, and respectful relationships.
“This expert working group will work to ensure that age-appropriate, evidenced-based respectful relationships school education is delivered.”
The group will guide national collaboration between states, territories, the non-government schooling sectors and experts to support the delivery of age-appropriate, evidenced-based and expert-developed respectful relationships in school education.
This is in line with Recommendation 10 of the Respect@Work: Sexual Harassment National Inquiry Report.
Minister for Social Services, Amanda Rishworth said, “Making sure all Australian children can access age-appropriate consent and respectful relationships education is an important focus of the National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children 2022-2032.
“Evidence shows that improving attitudes and understanding is a key way to prevent sexual harm and violence. If we want to see a societal shift in attitudes, we need to start with young people.”
“Young people are at a heightened risk for this kind of violence. Strengthening positive and equal relationships is vital to preventing it from happening in the first place,” Minister Rishworth added.
Advice from the group will support the implementation of the Albanese Government’s $83.5 million Consent and Respectful Relationships Education program.
The working group will guide a rapid review into existing delivery approaches of RRE in schools to identify best-practice and opportunities for improvement.
They will also oversee the development of a national framework to assist schools in selecting quality external providers of RRE.
National Respectful Relationships Education Expert Working Group members include:
- Patty Kinnersly (Chair), Chief Executive Officer of OurWatch
- Professor Peter Buckskin, Aboriginal Engagement and Strategic Projects, University of South Australia
- Chanel Contos, Teach Us Consent
- Heather Clarke, National Association of Services Against Sexual Violence
- Associate Professor Michael Alan Salter, School of Social Sciences, University of New South Wales
- Dr Fiona Martin, Educational and Developmental Psychologist
- Dr BJ Newton, Social Policy Research Centre, UNSW
- Katrina Marson, Relationships & Sexuality Education Alliance ACT
Minister for Women, Senator Katy Gallagher said, “The Albanese Government is committed to achieving gender equality, and we know that this starts with how young people learn to respect each other and treat each other equally.
“This important work to roll out respectful relationships education supports our efforts to drive equality across women and girls’ lives.”
The working group will also include a representative from the Australian Government, a member from each state and territory government, and representatives from the National Catholic Education Commission and Independent Schools Australia.
Education Ministers Meeting will receive regular updates on the implementation of the Consent and Respectful Relationships Education program.