Consent education will now be mandatory in all of Australia, after education ministers from around the country unanimously agreed upon implementing a holistic and age-appropriate consent curriculum in schools.
The mandatory consent education will be implemented in 2023, and will operate from foundation to Year 10. It will reportedly include multiple topics that have been sorely lacking in Aussie sex education including information around gendered stereotypes, coercion and power imbalances. You bloody love to see it.
The decision comes almost exactly a year after Chanel Contos began to create awareness around the lack of consent education in schools via social media and her organisation Teach Us Consent.
Contos started petitioning for these changes back in February 2021 after she asked her followers whether or not they experienced sexual assault at the hands of someone from an all-boys school.
The results of the poll were overwhelmingly on the ‘yes’ side, which inspired Contos to create a petition for holistic consent education in all schools, as well as an online form for individuals to anonymously submit testimonies of assault.
As of today, Contos has amassed over 44,000 signatures as well as over 6,700 testimonies, and thanks to her incredible work since then, change is finally happening.
“This monumental change has only been made possible because of the tens of thousands of voices that have supported this movement over the last 12 months, the countless hours of volunteer support, and the foundation that was laid before by pioneering activists in this space,” Contos wrote on her Instagram.
“The next generation of Australian’s [sic] will now have consent education because of YOU.
“To everyone who submitted a testimony, signed a petition, shared a post or had a hard conversation with a friend or loved one: thank you, and congratulations. we did it.”
She also shared a post to Instagram reminiscing on the story she first posted that started it all. Incredible how much can change in a year.
It’s absolutely incredible that the future generations of Australians will be receiving comprehensive consent education, where so many people before received next to nothing. Finally a step in the right direction.