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New WA-first program to address respectful relationships for students

Media release

Curtin University is the first university in Western Australia to introduce a tailor-made training program for students that raises awareness of respectful relationships, sexual consent and bystander interventions.

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The new Respectful Relationships program, which will be made available to Curtin’s students at the start of Semester Two, forms part of the University’s response to Respect. Now. Always, a national campaign to prevent sexual harassment and sexual assault across the university sector.

Delivered through Curtin’s online learning platform, the online and interactive training modules that address consent, relationships, support services and bystander interventions can be completed individually or in groups, taking about an hour to complete.

Curtin University Vice-Chancellor Professor Deborah Terry said the program would equip students with a clear understanding of what constitutes consent in relationships, and help them to effectively understand and communicate with other people regarding sexual relationships.

“Curtin’s Respectful Relationships program is designed to ensure students have access to all the support they need to understand all aspects of sexual consent, sexual harassment and sexual assault as well as identify their own responsibilities as bystanders,” Professor Terry said.

“This program, which is the first of its kind to be introduced at a Western Australian university, will form an essential part of the personal and professional development of our students.”

Professor Terry said the online training program provided further support to students to ensure they understood the range of services available to assist with trauma and personal wellbeing.

“This training program takes a contemporary approach to these very important issues, referencing popular culture, diverse genders and sexualities, gamification and comic book-inspired characters to ensure it appeals to students,” Professor Terry said.

The training program will be made available to students at Curtin’s Australian campuses for Semester Two, 2019.

The project to develop the tailor-made program was co-led by Curtin’s Academic Registrar Professor Jon Yorke and the University’s Student Experience Director Ms Michelle Rogers.

The content available in the online training modules was developed in consultation with the Curtin Student Guild, Curtin’s Diversity and Inclusion Team, Curtin’s Careers and Leadership Services, Curtin’s Counselling and Health Services, and the Western Australia Sexual Assault Resource Centre (SARC).

Curtin continues to work with Universities Australia to develop a sector-wide approach to training for staff in the wider higher education community.

Respectful Relationships is available online for Curtin students and staff via Curtin Challenge, the University’s online learning platform developed by Curtin’s Learning Futures team.

For more information about Curtin’s response to Respect. Now. Always, visit here.