Webinar: Respectful relationships education
“These programs are crucial for students. I believe they need to keep running and evolving with students to ultimately make a change. Respectfully relating is a social issue and the education system is given a captive audience to lead social change. It is needed for a safer world.”
– Brenna Stojcevski , Year 9 Student, Victorian Student Representative Council
Disclaimer: ANROWS webinars bring together a diverse range of speakers on a particular topic, informed by the evidence base, lived expertise, and policy and practice knowledge. The views expressed by speakers or other third parties in ANROWS webinars and any subsequent materials are those of the speaker or third party and not, necessarily, of ANROWS.
When implemented faithfully, comprehensive respectful relationships program has positive impact on student wellbeing, behaviour and attitudes.
This webinar discussed new evidence on the effectiveness of holistic and inclusive respectful relationships education (RRE) programs, and what is needed to support schools and teachers to implement them.
Many young people are experiencing the intersecting effects of increasing mental health distress, enduring gender inequality, and high rates of gender-based violence. This webinar discussed concrete findings on how RRE programs can work to counter and prevent these impacts and what factors influence the success of these programs.
This webinar began by presenting an overview of research findings from a project examining the implementation of a comprehensive RRE program. New insights into classroom dynamics and how these can impact student wellbeing, attitudes and behaviours were shared. The researchers were joined by a panel of experts to discuss the implications of the findings, and how they can be incorporated into programs and services nationally to improve outcomes for young people.
This webinar was facilitated by Michele Robinson (Director, Evidence to Action, ANROWS) with:
- Emeritus Professor Helen Cahill (University of Melbourne)
- Angie Wan (CEO and Co-founder, Consent Labs)
- Patty Kinnersly (CEO, Our Watch)
- Megan Kelly (Executive Director of Curriculum and Reform, NSW Department of Education)
- Briony Scott (Principal, Wenona)
- Brenna Stojcevski (Year 9 Student, Vic Student Representative Council)
- Taj O’Donnell (Year 10 Student, Vic Student Representative Council)
This webinar was designed to support all people working in and adjacent to the education system, as well as policymakers, peak bodies and researchers working in prevention of violence against women.
Participation certificates are available for attendees who wish to count this webinar towards their professional development.
Emeritus Professor Helen Cahill
Emeritus Professor Helen Cahill is from the Graduate School of Education at the University of Melbourne, where she leads a body of research addressing child and youth wellbeing. She is a leading innovator of Australian wellbeing interventions addressing mental health, social and emotional learning, resilience, respectful relationships and drug education. She has authored over 100 publications, including over 40 wellbeing prevention education programs for schools and communities. She is lead author of the Resilience, Rights and Respectful Relationships program.
Patty Kinnersly is Chief Executive Officer of Our Watch, a not-for-profit organisation established to drive nationwide change in the structures, norms and practices that lead to violence against women and their children. A leading health, welfare and education professional, Patty was Chief Executive Officer of Women’s Health Grampians for nine years, before joining Our Watch in 2015 as Director, Practice Leadership. She was appointed to the Chief Executive role in June 2018. Patty has extensive governance experience, serving on the boards of Ballarat Health Services, the Australian Women’s Health Network, Rural Northwest Health, and Child and Family Services Ballarat. She is currently Vice President of the Carlton Football Club Board, the first Board Director to oversee its women’s football programs. In 2023 Patty was appointed as Expert Advisor to the working group advising the federal government on strengthening university governance, and she is also the inaugural Chair of the National Respectful Relationships Education Expert Working Group. Patty lives in regional Victoria.
Angelique Wan is the co-founder and CEO of Consent Labs, a youth-led not-for-profit she co-founded when she was 19 years old. Consent Labs works to end gender-based violence through the delivery of evidence-based and inclusive consent and respectful relationships in schools and universities across Australia. To date Consent Labs has delivered programs to more than 60,000 students, parents and carers and educators nationally. Angelique has been recognised as the 2023 Women’s Agenda Agenda Setter of the Year, the 2022 NSW Young Woman of the Year and a 2022 40 Under 40 Most Influential Asian-Australian.
Megan Kelly is the Executive Director of Curriculum and Reform at the NSW Department of Education. The NSW Curriculum Reform is a program to deliver a new curriculum for Kindergarten to Year 12 from 2024. The Curriculum Reform is an opportunity to support teachers in NSW Public Schools to implement and teach the new curriculum with a focus on evidence-based pedagogy and assessment practices. The Curriculum and Reform team provides comprehensive implementation support to teachers, school and system leaders which includes professional learning, advice and resources.
Dr Briony Scott (Principal, Wenona School)
Dr Briony Scott (BScAgr, MEd, EdD) is Principal of Wenona, a Kindergarten to Year 12 independent girls’ school. Dr Scott is President of ACEL National (2023), Director with the Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, Chair of the USYD Stem Teacher Enrichment Advisory Board, and a member of the AISNSW Advisory Committee. In 2022, she was named Australian Principal of the Year (non-government), was listed on the Educator’s 2022 Hot List, and named as one of the Australian Financial Review’s Top 5 Most Powerful People in Education in 2022. She is the recipient of the Phyllis Evans Medal from the Teachers’ Guild of New South Wales for 2023. Dr Scott is a writer and speaker, and has been in the media on matters covering adolescence, consent education, gender equity, and social discourse.
Brenna is a year 9 student from metropolitan Melbourne. She is incredibly passionate about gender equality and loves public speaking. Being part of VicSRC (Victorian Student Representative Council), Brenna has been able to speak at events like the National Education Summit 2023 and Our Equal State strategy and action plan 2023. Brenna is absolutely thrilled to have the opportunity to be a part of this upcoming webinar with you all!
Taj is a year 10 student from metropolitan Melbourne. Sitting on the VicSRC (Victorian Student Representative Council) Student Executive Advisory Committee for 2023, he has been involved in representing the thousands of students across Victoria in discussing issues ranging from mental health and wellbeing to consent education. Taj sits on the Victorian Department of Education’s Respectful Relationships Advisory Group and has recently appeared on a panel at the Victorian launch of the Make It 16 campaign.