New respectful relationships program for schools

Published Saturday, 20 February, 2016 at 06:32 AM

Minister for Education and Minister for Tourism and Major Events
The Honourable Kate Jones

Education Minister Kate Jones today encouraged all Queensland schools to adopt the newly developed Respectful relationships education program.

Ms Jones said the school-based program was a key part of the Palaszczuk Government’s campaign for cultural and attitudinal change on domestic and family violence.

“The new Respectful relationships education program has been developed in response to the recommendations made in the Domestic and Family Violence Taskforce’s Not Now, Not Ever report and is available to all schools this term,” she said.

“The program aims to clearly convey the message to Queenslanders from a young age that domestic and family violence is never acceptable, and that everyone has a responsibility to act.

“We are committed to increasing awareness and reinforcing intolerance of domestic and family violence through education and community engagement.”

Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence Shannon Fentiman said the Palaszczuk Government was committed to helping students gain the skills they need to develop respectful relationships free from violence.

“We know the attitudes and behaviours that underpin violent behaviour in relationships are formed early on,” Ms Fentiman said.

“Research by Our Watch shows that one in six 12-24 year olds in Australia believes ‘women should know their place’ and more than 25 percent of young people believe ‘male verbal harassment’ and ‘pressure for sex toward females’ are ‘normal’ practices.

“That’s why it is so vital to start young to educate our boys and girls about respectful relationships to prevent damaging attitudes forming, which will in turn help to break the cycle of domestic and family violence.”

The Respectful relationships education program will give students opportunities to improve their self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationships, ethics, values, knowledge of social norms, stereotypes, human rights, and risk, as well as responsible decision-making.

Whites Hill State College Principal Paul Robertson said the school welcomed the new curriculum materials.

“We’ve been teaching our students about respectful relationships through our school-wide positive behaviour program called CARES for some time now,” Mr Robertson said.

“CARES stands for cooperation, achievement, respect, enthusiasm and safety, and our whole school community has embraced these values and behaviours.

“These new curriculum materials will complement and support this important work, and will be underpinned by the values and ethos of our school.”

Ms Jones said the new Prep to Year 10 teaching resources had been developed from the Department of Education and Training’s Curriculum into the Classroom (C2C) materials for Health and Physical Education.

“The program also includes new materials for students in Years 11 and 12 to build and maintain respectful relationships, self-respect and understand gender equality while focusing on healthy power balances in relationships,” she said.

“I will be working with the non-state sector to encourage the adoption of the Respectful relationships education program in our Catholic and independent schools.”

Media:            Minister Jones’ Office 0408 998 940

                       Minister Fentiman’s Office 0437 336 232