Speech by The Hon Julie Collins MP

The Line Campaign

Location: Canberra Grammar School

Good morning.

Before I begin I would like to acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land on which we are meeting on today and pay my respects to their Elders, past and present.

My thanks to Mr Smart and to all of your teachers for allowing you some time out for this event this morning.

Good morning also to my parliamentary colleague and Member for Canberra, Gai Brodtmann.

I’m looking forward to joining you in viewing a short, animated video and to listen to the singer/songwriter Eli Wolfe.

That’s coming up shortly – but before that, just a few words on an important subject.

Boys, and men, have a vitally important role to play in ensuring relationships between men and women are respectful.

The Australian Government is allocating $9.1 million to a national program called Respectful Relationships aimed at young people like you.

It seeks to prevent sexual assault and domestic and family violence through education programs.

Canberra Grammar is involved in this program, in a project specifically focused on raising awareness of how to prevent sexual assault.

Today I also wanted to draw your attention to another interesting project that is also part of the Respectful Relationships program.

It’s called The Line.

The Line

The Line highlights the fact that sometimes, when you are in a relationship – be that a friendship or something deeper – there is a fine line between behaviour that is ok and behaviour that is not ok.

Sometimes the line is crystal clear and sometimes it is not.

It all comes down to respect – respect for others and respect for yourself.

On The Line website, www.theline.gov.au, each Wednesday night from 7.00pm to 9.00pm, you can join live forum discussions on relationship topics.

The forum discussion for tomorrow night is: ‘Your girlfriend is driving you crazy via text, checking up on you 24-7. Where do you draw the line?’

We have a professional moderator, a psychologist, who moderates the forum discussion so that you can really have a heart to heart with someone who knows when to draw the line and seek professional help, for instance. Of course, you can choose not to give your name if you wish.

The Line also has a quarterly e-magazine, Between The Lines, which the budding journalists among you – or anyone else – can contribute to.

Between The Lines showcases original stories, songs, cartoons, poems, and photographs from young Australians aged between 12 and 20 that promote respectful relationships.

The Theme for issue 3 is: ‘It’s my Facebook and I’ll text if I want to’. The prize for best entry is an ipad2 which will be presented to the winner at the APRA song summit. Entries need to be submitted by mid-April.

The Line of course has its own Facebook page, where you can also join discussions with other young people about relationship issues.

Now we’ll now watch a short animated film from the Line website, one of five films uploaded, that deal with typical teenage situations relating to relationship issues.

You are able to interact with the short films, or ‘webisodes’, by making choices along the way, which gives you different endings to the story, based on your choices.

Let’s watch it now.

—–FILM —-

So what did you think? If I ask Shayne up in the control booth to run a couple of different endings, you’ll see what I mean about different outcomes to the story.


National Youth Week

I also want to tell you about an exciting competition you might want to get involved in.

This year The Line is partnering with the National Youth Week’s National Talent Competition.

The Shootit competition asks for five-minute films that deal with the issue of ‘crossing the line’ and how it can impact on others.

It would be fantastic if someone from Canberra Grammar enters a film.

The Line also has attracted 6 major and upcoming performing artists as ambassadors for the program.

One of these artists is here today to perform. Eli Wolfe is a singer/songwriter and guitarist.

I understand he’s going to play us something from his 5-track ‘Speak lovingly’ EP that he will shortly be promoting with a national tour.


Thanks Eli, and thank you all for listening. It’s been great to be here today to talk to you about The Line campaign.

I hope you all get involved.

And don’t forget to grab your complimentary copy of Between the Lines on disc on your way out.