Opinion: Relationships & sex education now mandatory in English schools – Australia should do the same

Jacqueline Hendriks,The Conversation, September 9, 2020 6.07am AEST

Relationships and sex education became compulsory throughout schools in England at the beginning of September 2020. In primary schools the course will focus on relationships, while secondary schools will include topics such as managing intimate relationships, consent and online behaviour.

Schools — including government, independent and faith-based — must also develop a specific relationships and sex education policy that reflects their community and involves engagement with families.

In contrast, Australia’s relationships and sex education response is not clearly directed or regulated. Its delivery varies widely and often fails to support the personal and social development of young people.

 

The Experience of International Students Before and During COVID-19: Housing, work, study, and wellbeing

 University of Technology Sydney, Australian Research Council study (DP190101073),

International students’ experience of renting accommodation in Australia is a crucial but overlooked determinant of their wellbeing, which has been brought into stark relief by the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This report is based on two surveys of international students in the private rental sector (PRS). The first survey was conducted in the second half of 2019, before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the second survey in June and the first week of July 2020, during the pandemic.

The findings of the first survey show that a substantial proportion of international students were already in a precarious situation before the pandemic.

The second survey reveals the various impacts of the pandemic on international students in the private rental sector and the extent to which their circumstances have deteriorated.

The report also draws on data from the initial stage of the qualitative component of the study – semi-structured in-depth interviews with international students conducted between April and July 2020. Quotes from some of the 26 semi-structured interviews conducted thus far, are presented alongside the survey data evidence that follows.

Although the focus is on the experiences of private renting, the report has taken a broader sociological approach to student housing problems and, as such, it offers wider insights into the wellbeing, employment, and income situations of international students at a crucial turning point for the Australian higher education sector

Embracing Community this International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexism and Transphobia (Media Release)

SHINE SA Media Release: 15 May 2020

International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexism and Transphobia recognises the strength and community spirit of LGBTIQA+ people, allows for broader community support, while at the same time acknowledging the stigma, discrimination and violence faced by LGBTIQA+ individuals.

A sense of community can contribute to self-worth and acceptance as well as address isolation. A safe and welcoming community for LGBTIQA+ people provides essential support. This is especially true given that sexuality, gender identity and intersex status aren’t necessarily visible. Having a community provides a voice to ensure that LGBTIQA+ people’s needs and concerns are being heard.

In this time of social distancing for all of us, it’s more important than ever to maintain a sense of community. For many LGBTIQA+ people the current environment makes it difficult to physically connect with their communities, which is especially important if individuals are in isolation with unsupportive people.

For those that identify as LGBTIQA+, there are many groups and spaces available to stay connected with communities in South Australia. Some of the online spaces and services include:

  • qsOnline, a discord based social space for LGBTQIA+ people ran by The Queer Society. It has a range of different channels allowing people to talk about any and all of their interests.
  • Trans Femme SHINE SA and TransMascSA, private Facebook groups for transgender people to socialize and discuss their personal experience.
  • Moolagoo Mob & Blak Lemons, a social space for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who identify as LGBTIQA+, including sistergirls and brotherboys.
  • SHINE SA’s Gender Wellbeing Service and Gender Connect Country SA provide free peer-based support over the phone and can help provide connections through groups and other safe spaces for those that identify as trans, gender diverse or gender questioning.

Awareness and support for LGBTIQA+ people should also extend into our workplace. LGBTIQA+ training is key to providing an inclusive workplace, to learn more you can visit SHINE SA’s LGBTI Inclusion Training page.

SHINE SA celebrates International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexism and Transphobia and recognises the particular strengths LGBTIQA+ people bring to all of our communities.

For further information and media enquiries contact Tracey Hutt, Director Workforce Education and Development 

 

Developing LGBTQ programs for perpetrators and victims/survivors of domestic and family violence

Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety, 2020

Developed under the guidance of a project reference group comprised of key academics, clinicians and researchers in the areas of LGBTQ theory and practice, domestic and family violence interventions and social work practice, this research highlights the need to support the LGBTQ community in developing readiness to recognise domestic and family violence, and then seek support.

Identifying and responding to LGBTQ DFV/IPV can present specific challenges.

Key findings:
  • DFV/IPV in LGBTQ relationships can be difficult to identify and understand due to the “heterosexual face” of domestic violence.
  • DFV/IPV in LGBTQ relationships can involve unique tactics of abuse, including identity-based abuse.
  • Trauma from discrimination and stigma (minority stress) impact experiences of DFV/IPV for LGBTQ community members, but are not directly causal.
  • LGBTQ community readiness to recognise DFV/IPV and seek support, as well as service responses to LGBTQ people experiencing DFV/IPV, must be strengthened.

 

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COVID-19 Impact and Response for Sex Workers

Scarlet Alliance, 2020

STATEMENT OF IMPACT

Sex workers throughout Australia have been devastatingly hit by the impact of coronavirus. As a workforce, sex workers are predominantly a mixture of precarious workers and the self-employed, being independent contractors who work in or for sex industry businesses, or sole traders who work independently for themselves. As such sex workers are particularly marginalised in terms of the impact of the coronavirus and many will still be excluded from the stimulus packages announced by the government.

While we welcome the announcement that from 27 April 2020 sole traders are included in the government’s Economic Response to the coronavirus, many sex workers will still be left without financial support.

Read more here

Providing safe and remote services to LGBTIQ people due to the impact of COVID-19

Rainbow Health Victoria, April 2020

We would like to acknowledge the difficult time we all face with the current public health crisis caused by coronavirus (COVID-19). Overall, older people and those with underlying health conditions are more at risk. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) communities are known to have significant health disparities, which might influence disease outcomes. These include a greater risk for HIV, certain cancers, asthma, obesity and cardiovascular disease, and higher smoking rates.

Accessing available health and community support services is more important than ever for LGBTIQ communities. But barriers to accessing services – for example, expecting or experiencing discrimination – may be heightened at times of stress and upheaval. Rainbow Health Victoria has created this tip sheet to assist in providing safe and inclusive remote services to LGBTIQ people due to the impact of COVID-19.