Respectful Relationships

Alia College has recently hit the one year mark for the implementation of the Respectful Relationships program. The school was accepted as a partner school in the Victorian State Government’s Respectful Relationships Initiative in 2017. Since then, we have worked with our lead school, Bialik College, to understand how this program may be most effective within our own, unique context. We have been diligent in auditing our policies, creating a pledge, adapting our induction process for new staff, and engaging our community in all things related to gender equality and family violence.

About

The Royal Commission into Family Violence identified the critical role that schools and early childhood education have in creating a culture of respect to change the story of family violence for future generations.
In 2016, respectful relationships education became a core component of the Victorian Curriculum from Foundation to Year 12, and is being taught in all government and Catholic schools and many independent schools, including Alia College.
The Victorian Government is implementing Respectful Relationships across Victorian schools and early childhood services through:
· A leading and partner schools initiative, providing intensive training and support to over 1000 Government, Catholic and independent schools to implement the whole school approach to Respectful Relationships
· The Resilience, rights and respectful relationships teaching materials for prep to Year 12
· A professional development program for early childhood educators
· A regional Respectful Relationships workforce to support schools and early childhood education settings to implement respectful relationships education and strengthen referral and response to family violence.
Further information on the initiative can be found here.

Goals and Action Plan

On average, one woman a week is murdered by her current of former partner [1]. This is a statistic we need to be committed to change. Since 2017, the Alia College Respectful Relationships Implementation Team has achieved the following elements of our Action Plan:
· Holding community evenings and opportunities for input/discussion on the Respectful Relationships Initiative, and the themes and resources it promotes
· Creating a Respectful Relationships pledge
· Opening discussions with students in Health classes and whole school meetings on real world examples and implications of gender in/equality, and other Respectful Relationships themes
· Undertaking surveys of staff practice relating to themes of the Respectful Relationships Initiative
· Auditing school policy and related documents to best promote gender equality
· Adapting the induction process for new staff to emphasise the goals of the Respectful Relationships Initiative
· All staff encourage student voice within the whole-school approach to Respectful Relationships

The Respectful Relationships Pledge that now hangs in the foyer.

News and Blog

Implementing the Respectful Relationships Initiative involves a whole-school approach, and there is often plenty to talk about and to share with parents, students, community members, and other educators. You can find out the things that have been happening in the roll out of the initiative through our blog.

Support

If you are concerned for your safety or that of someone else, contact the police, and call 000 for emergency assistance.
If you have experienced violence or sexual assault and require immediate or ongoing assistance, contact 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) to talk to a counsellor from the National Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence hotline.
For confidential support and information, contact Safe Steps’ 24/7 family violence response line on 1800 015 188.

Further support for issues connected to family violence and its impacts can also be accessed via the following services:
· Lifeline (13 11 14)
· BeyondBlue (1300 22 4636)
· Headspace
· Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800)