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Media Release by The Hon Tanya Pibersek MP

Helping improve young people’s relationship skills

Tanya Plibersek and South Australian Minister for Education, Jane Lomax-Smith today launched the evaluation of Keeping Safe at Black Forest Primary School.

South Australia’s Keeping Safe child protection curriculum, the first update in more than two decades, was rolled out to the State’s schools and preschools in 2008. Every teacher was required to undergo training before the program was taught in the classroom.

Through its new Respectful Relationship Program, the Australian Government is investing $9.1 million over five years to test and evaluate best practice respectful relationships education programs with school-aged young people across the country.

Programs will be tested in school and non-school settings and will address the diversity of young people, including those with intellectual disabilities, young people who have left school, and young people living in remote communities.

It is expected that over 8,000 young people will benefit from the education and support that will be provided through the life of the program.

The Australian Government is investing $130,000 through the Respectful Relationships program to build upon South Australia’s successful Keeping Safe program.

“To reduce violence against women and children, it is important young people are taught the skills to build and maintain respectful relationships for life,” Ms Plibersek said.

“The Rudd Government is determined to work in partnership with all levels of government and the non-government sector to prevent violence against women and their children.

“We are evaluating this program which is being delivered to young people in South Australia as part of the Rudd Government’s increased focus on primary prevention.”

Dr Lomax-Smith said while Keeping Safe had been a resounding success, the evaluation will identify areas where improvement can make the program even better.

“One of the key benefits of this evaluation is that it will provide a platform for program improvement.”

Keeping Safe is recognised as the most far-reaching respectful relationships education approach being delivered in any state education system across the country,” Dr Lomax-Smith said.