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Queensland Schools Will Introduce Consent Education Earlier, Courtesy Of Chanel Contos’ Petition

She’s sparked a real change.

In huge news, Queensland has announced they’ll be introducing more explicit sex education in schools at the end of this year. The change comes following a state government review of its respectful relationships program. 

Education Minister Grace Grace ordered for the review in March this year, after concerning claims of Queensland students sexual assault and rape experiences came to light. The testimonies were published by Chanel Contos, a 23-year old woman from Kambala who revealed hundreds of messages from former Sydney schoolgirls about their sexual assault experiences at the hands of their male peers. 

The distressing claims shone a light on the lack of consent education across the nation, with a high number of Queensland students coming forward to tell their stories. Contos has been petitioning since February for better consent education in Australian schools, and today, Queensland has responded. 

Along with the review, Grace Grace sought the feedback and opinions of young people from her student advisory council on the RREP. Speaking to the ABC, she said: 

“Their message to me was that they’d like more explicit, age-appropriate education on consent and the reporting of sexual assault. They also said this needs to start earlier. These needs will be reflected in the strengthened RREP.” 

Rachael Pascua, the program coordinator for R4Respect also spoke to the ABC, saying: 

“We believe with consent education it needs to be very clear that we use an affirmative model so that looks at understanding consent both verbally and nonverbally, taking away all the grey areas and what if’s that young people have.”

She believes these recommendations are a great start to what will undoubtedly be a long, ongoing process of change. 

The revised RREP will be released at the end of the year, with plans to have it in motion in 2022. It will be aimed at students spanning from Prep to Year 10, ensuring that they receive explicit and more effective education around consent from an earlier age. 

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