Respectful Relationship program adopted in Ararat, Stawell

Stawell Secondary College
Stawell Secondary College

Ararat and Stawell schools will adopt the state government’s new domestic violence Respectful Relationships curriculum being rolled out in 2017.

The program aims to help students build healthy relationships and challenge negative attitudes that can lead to violence.

Stawell Secondary College is investigating how to adopt it in partnership with other schools and Ararat College will run the program.

Ararat College principal Geoff Sawyer said the program would create positive relationships for everyone at the school.

“It is about respectful relationships on all sorts of levels,” he said.

“The student-student relationship, the parent-teacher relationship and the student-teacher relationship.”

Mr Sawyer said the college has programs in place to build respectful relationships, but the government program would provide a formalised curriculum.

“We have a range of differed projects to get students being more respectful,” he said.

“It is one of things we value at the school.”

Stawell Secondary College principal Nick Lynch said the school has a tradition of building good relationships.

“We are investigating and looking to partner with other schools,” he said

Mr Lynch said the relationships between students and teachers was better modern schools.

“So many parent spoke to me about so many of the positive relationships our year 12 students have with their teachers,” he said.

“Parents reflected on their own school days, compared to being in fear of teachers, to the positive learning relationship we have now.”

Ararat’s Marian College principal Carmel Baker said the school already has programs in place and wellbeing officer that addresses respectful relationship issues.

Ararat White Ribbon Advocate Danielle Jenkins said she was excited about the new program.

“It has to start with our children,” she said.

“It is not just about ending violence, its the common courtesy of treating each other as human beings with respect and dignity no matter our gender.”