UnitingCare Cutting Edge diversity project community worker Damien Stevens welcomes Victorian Opposition leader Daniel Andrews' promise to have same-sex education program in every government school.ALEXANDRA BOLKAS February 18, 2014 4:04am
A Shepparton gay rights advocate has welcomed Victorian Opposition leader Daniel Andrews’ pledge to roll out the Safer Schools Coalition Victoria initiative in every government school.
The coalition aims to provide more teacher training and resources to support same-sex, intersex and gender diverse students, teachers and families.
Mooroopna Secondary College is the only school in City of Greater Shepparton signed up to the voluntary program of 122 schools Victoria-wide.
Mr Andrews made the pledge at Melbourne’s Pride March this month.
‘‘Young people expressing their identity are too often subject to stress, fear and harassment at school,’’ he said.
‘‘The SSCV program uses the power of education and information to create a supportive, respectful and safe environment for all young people.’’
UnitingCare Cutting Edge diversity project community worker Damien Stevens said he had been in talks with schools across the region to adopt the program.
‘‘In principle they agree students should be free from bullying, whether it be about their perceived or identified sexual orientation, race, religion or colour.’’
But he said schools stopped short of signing up to the coalition program.
‘‘It’s telling of the extra difficulty that sometimes comes when you live in a regional or rural area where attitudes can sometimes be more conservative than in the big cities,’’ he said.
Mr Stevens said the program was an important tool to shatter the stigma and fear associated with varying sexual orientation.
‘‘We’re really keen to continue conversations with schools across the Goulburn Valley,’’ he said.
‘‘To get the program in all state schools is a must.’’
Mooroopna Secondary College wellbeing co-ordinator Aileen Watson said the student body nominated the school to sign up to the coalition program two years ago.
‘‘It was easy for us to adopt, we are very aware of inclusive practice — it’s never been a huge issue,’’ Ms Watson said.
‘‘We value students and families no matter their sexuality, we support their individuality.’’
Benalla P-12 College has also signed up.
Shepparton’s Declo Bisimwa firmly believes education is the key to a better life.
Beautiful weather greeted Tungamah residents for the 18th running of the Tungamah Lions Ten Thousand on Sunday.
When Keith and Marion Grumley and their growing family moved to Tatura on January 18, 1968, little did they know that it would be the start of a long and lasting connection to the town.
Garners Boxing Gym in Echuca is encouraging young people to get active with weekly boxing/cardio classes.
Rochester Rotary Club has celebrated its 50th birthday in style.
Sorting future of Campaspe pools
A theatre production with a difference is coming to Seymour.
Local athletes will go head-to-head with some of the best competitors from around the world in swimming and athletics in December.
District residents and visitors will be able to enjoy some of the region’s most beautiful private gardens on Sunday.
The 116th annual Cobram Show went off with a bang at the weekend, drawing in crowds from far and wide for two days of fun.
Tomorrow is a Total Fire Ban day in Deniliquin, meaning no fires can be lit in the open and all fire permits are suspended.
Fifty new full-time jobs will be created at Tatura with a multimillion-dollar expansion of the abattoirs expected to be announced today.
Remembering Australian political giant Gough Whitlam who once called on Benalla police to stop then Treasurer Frank Crean on his journey up the Hume to phone the PM.
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.