Govt acts on student consent issues

Published Wednesday, 10 March, 2021 at 11:51 AM

Minister for Education, Minister for Industrial Relations and Minister for Racing
The Honourable Grace Grace

The Palaszczuk Government will move to examine whether existing education adequately addresses sexual consent and reporting in Queensland schools.

Education Minister Grace Grace told Parliament today that the move followed ongoing reports by young people of their experiences in state and non-government schools. 

“Young Queenslanders have been sharing their personal stories of disturbing behaviours, including sexual violence, during and after their school years,” she said.

“It is a responsibility of parents, carers and society more broadly to educate and support young people in addressing issues of sexual harassment, assault and consent.

“Education can play a role, and Queensland introduced compulsory respectful relationship education into state schools in response the Not Now, Not Ever report of the Special Taskforce on Domestic and Family Violence in Queensland. 

“I have asked the Director-General of my department to work across the non-government and state education sectors, P & Cs and school communities to explore whether current Australian curriculum and respectful relationships education adequately address all issues, including consent and reporting.

“Queensland has a strong record of stepping up on issues affecting our young people, including acting on cyber bullying and domestic and family violence.” 

Ms Grace said the education measures would include:

  • examining respectful relationships education to ensure it adequately addresses   sexual consent and reporting.
  • examining the Australian Curriculum to ensure the health and physical education curriculum is addressing the needs of students in relation to these issues. 
  • seeking the views of young people on respectful relationship education through the Minister’s Student Advisory Council.

Ms Grace said she has also asked that the issue be added to this week’s agenda of the Government’s Sexual Violence Prevention Roundtable, which includes representation from the Department of Education. 

She urged any victim of sexual violence to make a report to police and seek support or advice by calling DVConnect’s sexual assault helpline.