I am sure that most will have seen the recent media reports about the sexual assault of girls and young women, following the petition organised by Sydney woman Chanel Contos. The petition was aimed at promoting better education around responsible sexual conduct and consent, and elicited a large number of accounts of girls having been assaulted, often in association with drinking and social events. Whilst the focus was initially on schools in the eastern suburbs of Sydney, similar stories have now emerged throughout the country.
Given the seriousness of this matter, and our particular responsibility as a single sex school, over the last fortnight we have been looking at what we might do in response to these matters. In the first instance, we have formed a working party, led by Deputy Headmaster/Head of Secondary School Mr Greg Atterton, to explore all aspects of these issues and develop a set of responses.
The working party has held its first meeting, to which we invited an expert in relationships and sexuality education, Dr Tessa Opie, who has worked with a number of other schools in developing programs across different year levels and stages of education. Dr Opie will assist us in reviewing what we are currently doing in this area and in developing a comprehensive educational program to meet the needs of our students across the different levels.
Whatever we do will be research-based, to ensure that it will be effective and appropriate for the stages of development at the different levels. In due course, we intend running workshops for students, staff and parents and will provide further details as they are developed. We are very conscious that this is an area where there needs to be consistency of message and language between school and home.
In the meantime, if anyone would like to speak about these matters or provide feedback, please feel free to contact Greg Atterton or me.
Swimming sports feedback
Following the Secondary School House Swimming at the Adelaide Aquatics Centre last Friday, I received an email from the Principal of an Adelaide primary school, as follows: