Sexual assault and sexual harassment are endemic. 1/6 women, and 1/25 men experience sexual assault after the age of 15, and the rate of reported sexual assault below 15 is similarly horrendous. Additionally, half of all women and a quarter of men have experienced sexual harassment. This workshop series has been developed because we know – from academic writing, media stories, countless conversations, and professional and personal experience - how important consent is for young people’s social and sexual wellbeing. We also know that the bulk of messaging young people get – media, public narratives, peer pressure – often leads them down harmful tracks, and that that the best way to deal with this is to provide unflinching counter-narratives grounded in the value of respect.
These workshops will help students understand, identify, prevent, combat, and deal with these issues. It stretches beyond that, however – equipping young people to have relationships and sexual experiences that aren’t just safe but healthy, fulfilling, and pleasurable.
There are three workshops, with age-appropriate material that reinforces the core themes.
 Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2020. Sexual assault in Australia. Cat. no. FDV 5. Canberra: AIHW.
 ABS 2017. Personal safety, Australia, 2016. ABS cat. no. 4906.0. Canberra: ABS.
Consent I - the Basics
Stage 4 | Years 7/8
The skill of communicating consent is not just relevant to sex, although laying the foundations early does pay dividends. In this fun workshop students are introduced to the language of consent, and practise the skills of seeking, expressing, and recognising consent in a safe space.
Introduce the language of consent, and the key concepts
Practise the skills of seeking, expressing, and recognising consent (or lack thereof) in various situations
Building critical media literacy skills by deconstructing media messaging around consent
Consent II - Sex
Stage 5 | Years 9/10
The rates of sexual assault are truly shocking. This in-depth workshop equips participants with the skills to navigate consent in complex real-world sexual contexts. During the course of the session participants will debunk common myths, talk about the practicalities of consent in real-world scenarios, and brainstorm ways of being an active bystander.
Navigating consent in real-world relationship scenarios, including online
Unpack myths around sexual assault and coercion
Identify positive roles that bystanders can play
Consent III - Consent Culture
Stage 6 | Years 11/12 - College
Understanding consent as either a 'yes' or a 'no' is a fine bare minimum - but how do you (or your partner) actually know if you want something or not? What if you don't know? How can we make spaces in which it's safe to figure it all out? This advanced workshop develops the concept of consent beyond a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’. It brings forth in-depth conversations around nurturing a nuanced culture of consent that includes deep introspection.
Freeing the notion of a ‘good sex life’ from the public narrative, and individualising it (e.g., can be ‘no sex’)
Reviewing what sexual misconduct is and looks like
Reviewing what consent is and looks like
Understanding how consent plays in to having fulfilling, positive relationships, and enjoyable sex