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Kids First launch learning platform launched as Consent Education becomes mandatory

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Consent education is now mandatory as part of the Australian curriculum, teaching children of an appropriate age about consent, and respectful relationships, and providing education on gender stereotypes, coercion and power imbalances. 

The move comes after years of consent education being available but left to the decision-makers in public and private schools around the nation as to whether it was taught. 

Respected child and family services provider Kids First Australia has co-designed with young people an online platform – ‘To Future Me’. 

It draws upon the organisation’s decades of sexual abuse prevention work and is designed to guide students through four e-learning modules, which feature a range of downloadable resources. 

“Students were interested in learning in a tech-based way. They liked the gamification of the content, and the graphic design and imagery were great. Students could grab some headphones and just get on with it, and work in groups in other sections. It is presented in a way that continued to keep students engaged,” said Lisa Dunne, Greensborough College Learning Specialist. 

Learning Specialist from Greensborough College, Lisa Dunne piloted the program with her year 8 class last year and emphasised the importance of its content for students, countering some of the information they hear with the correct knowledge. 

Co-designed with young people, and tested by students and teachers, the To Future Me program is aligned with the Respective Relationships National Curriculum.  

“As an organisation, we have experience over many decades, developing programs for children of all ages to ensure they grow up happy, resilient and ready for adulthood,” said Nicole Artico, Acting Kids First CEO.  

Artico highlighted that To Future Me is about what safe and healthy relationships look like, and what they don’t, and has been piloted across several Victorian schools, and received positive reviews. 

Over the past year, the Kids First team have worked with over one hundred young people to co-design an informed and relevant digital program, which uses relatable, diverse, and teen-driven content, to help empower young people in making healthy relationship choices. 

“We were relieved to hear that consent education had become mandatory and wanted to apply our expertise to resources which support the cause, transforming our previous face-to-face prevention program to an online version, – To Future Me.  It is evidence-based and ready for rollout.” 

Development of the platform was initially supported by Westpac’s Safer Children, Safer Communities grant, with additional support from the bank received to expand the program.  The grant will be used to create two new products, aimed at teachers and parents to help them feel confident about having direct conversations with students participating in the ‘To Future Me’ program. 

To Future Me is for Year 8 students and features accessible and inclusive content delivered through purpose-designed videos and quizzes across four self-guided modules. Modules provide students with help-seeking skills and a framework to understand consent. The platform also covers the topic of grooming and what it may look like, as well as exploring gender and sexual identities. 

Kids First has been a leading provider of educational, family and support services for children, young people and families for over 125 years. 

Related: Children First Outside Of School Hours Care Hub to open  

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Menchie Khairuddin is a writer Deputy Content Manager at Akolade and content producer for Third Sector News. She is passionate about social affairs specifically in mixed, multicultural heritage and not-for-profit organisations.

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