Life Ed Queensland welcomes the historic decision by education ministers across Australia to implement mandatory consent education in all schools from 2023.
The mandate means all schools must teach age-appropriate consent education - which includes coercion, gendered stereotypes and power imbalances - from foundation to Year 10.
It is vital to teach respectful relationships education to help prevent bullying, abuse and violence. Respect and empathy are fundamental for healthy relationships.
Children who lack these attitudes and skills, or who are themselves victims of bullying, abuse or violence, are at risk of being unable to form and maintain respectful relationships at school and as adults.
It has to be constantly reinforced and sustained, which is why Life Ed has a program that supports children to develop these skills throughout their school years, working alongside classroom teachers.
Renowned for its focus on children's physical health, social and emotional wellbeing and safety, Life Ed has returned to schools in 2022 with a new name and logo - featuring educational mascot Healthy Harold front and centre - and an increased focus on mental health, respectful relationships and consent.
Two of the charity's most popular programs, Relate Respect Connect and bCyberwise have been updated to meet the increasingly complex challenges children and young people face today.
Data from the Office of the eSafety Commissioner shows that one in four children aged 8-12 have experienced unwanted contact and content while online.
Based on the 'Recognise, React, Report' model, the updated learning modules empower students to be alert to their own body cues that something is "not right" or unsafe; develop the skills needed to react (for example, stop, block, ignore); and report or seek help, in an age-appropriate way.
In another innovation, Life Ed has also adapted its program for the classroom, as an alternative to delivery in the familiar mobile learning centres or Healthy Harold vans.
Moving our program into the classroom means we have more space to socially distance and implement small group activities.
- Life Ed Qld CEO Michael Fawsitt,
Vocational training for secondary students at Winton, Aramac, Blackall and Barcaldine State Schools has been thrown into disarray with the cancellation of the Big Red Truck campus visits in 2022.
I have lodged a Question on Notice in parliament asking what arrangements are in place for students to complete hospitality training certificates.
It is not an option to say it is not happening. There are impacts for the students and the communities who use the students and the Big Red Truck to cater to events.
There are impacts for western Queensland tourism and hospitality operators who rely on our young people completing TAFE certificates to staff local businesses and festivals in the tourism season.
The success of outback tourism has depended on access to a work force. Our young people can fill those entry-level jobs, provided they can complete TAFE Certificates such as the "Responsible Service of Alcohol" ticket".
Since we lost the backpacker workforce to COVID19 border closures, our own young people have kept the business going and are a crucial part of our local economies but they need access to training.
I have been advocating to have the mobile commercial training kitchen and the truck undergo maintenance.
I was delighted when Minister Grace Grace announced $2.9 million in May last year to ensure the program continued for our budding caterers, bar staff and waiters across the West.
But I struggle to understand why maintenance works will see the Big Red Truck parked up for the entire 2022 school year.
Member for Gregory Lachlan Millar.
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