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Sexuality and relationships education on the agenda

A symposium dedicated to sexuality and relationships education (SRE) was recently organised and facilitated by Curtin University.

The specialised event engaged 150 teaches, community school nurses, pre-service teaches and organisations working in this area.
The specialised event engaged 150 teaches, community school nurses, pre-service teaches and organisations working in this area.

Titled ‘Growing and Developing Healthy Relationships 2017: Supporting schools to deliver effective sexuality and relationships education’, the specialised event engaged 150 teachers, community school nurses, pre-service teachers and organisations working in this area.

Participants were welcomed by enthusiastic agencies at the Stakeholder Showcase, which featured helpful resources from 12 agencies, including the WA Department of Health, Safe 4 Kids, Safe Schools Coalition WA and Sexual Health Quarters.

In the morning session, we were honoured to listen to Jenny Walsh from La Trobe University present about empowering children from K-10 through SRE. Dino Minalis and Antoniett Halden from the School Curriculum and Standards Authority spoke about a strengths-based approach to health education, and Maryrose Baker from WA Health (Sexual Health and BBV Program) delivered ‘The Teachers’ GDHR – ongoing improvement for our clientele.

A highlight of the day was the ‘Stories From the Field’ session which enabled delegates to hear from their peers about their approach to this very challenging area. Proving to be highly valuable, schools and teachers are encouraged to share their challenges and successes at the next symposium in 2019.

There was ample choice in the afternoon workshops, which allowed delegates to identify topics relevant to their needs, with plenty of practical ideas to teach biological concepts; social and emotional concepts; and protective behaviour concepts to students.

We wish to thank all the delegates who made a special effort to leave their classrooms and workplaces for the day to network with us; and to all the speakers for their highly engaging presentations. There was a definite buzz in the room that we need to continue to support this sector – so please watch this space for more professional learning opportunities.

Contributed by the SRE team, School of Public Health