Respectful Relationships - Bystander Actions


Today, together with other neighbouring schools including Point Cook Senior Secondary College, 5 of our senior primary students and Assistant Principal Sundram Moodley, engaged in a workshop today to progress more of our Respectful Relationships work. Respectful Relationships is a Department of Education initiative informed by the Royal Commission on Violence towards women and children.

Specifically, Respectful Relationships Education (RRE) is the comprehensive approach to the primary prevention of violence against women in schools. Schools are both education institutions and workplaces that can generate universal change to address the drivers of violence against women. The extensive work of RRE practitioners in Victoria, Australia, and internationally has provided a sound evidence base for working effectively to prevent violence against women in schools. The evidence reveals that a whole school approach is the most important component in RRE (Department of Education and Training, 2014).

The focus of the workshop today, in particular, was on how bystanders may build relationships that are respectful through 4 identified ways:

Direct action - directly challenge the behaviour at the time of the (disrespectful) incident

Indirect action - enlist the help of others/support the target after the incident

Through distraction - non-confrontational; safe option

Through protocols - defer to pre-established group rules and expectations

Our 5 Featherbrook students Peata, Ryan, Roma, Shirlyn and Nathaneal represented the college very well, demonstrating the values we seek to uphold including respect, safety, high expectations and collaboration. They engaged in a range of RRE activities related to the 'actions' above, considering how their leadership may inform their contribution to our college's approach to building respectful relationship. As a new and establishing school, this is important work as we seek to build a respectful learning culture for all of our school community members.