What is The Good Society?
The Good Society is part of the Australian Government’s Respect Matters program. The program was funded as part of the 2015 Women’s Safety Package and is managed by the Australian Government Department of Education. The Good Society aims to change young people’s attitudes towards violence by providing informative and engaging respectful relationships education to build their ability to form healthy and respectful relationships.
What is respectful relationships education?
Respectful relationships education focuses on developing the necessary skills and understanding for students to interact positively and respectfully with people across a wide range of social situations. It also includes exploring, building and promoting gender equity in relationships and challenging gender stereotypes to ensure that all relationships are based on mutual respect.
Schools are a key setting where children and young people learn how to interact with others and work together in a respectful way. Schools that model respectful relationships can help students to understand that no one should be disrespected or abused.
Why respectful relationships education is important for your family
Parents are the primary influence on the values, beliefs and attitudes of their children, and play a key role in teaching them about respect and respectful relationships. All students should be able to develop healthy and respectful relationships with their peers, family members, teachers and other members of their community.
It is important that children and young people understand what it means to respect themselves, to respect others and to be respected. These are the foundations to creating a more respectful society.
Respectful relationships education supports families and communities to help students develop the skills and understanding to interact positively with others and to develop respectful relationships as they grow and become adults themselves.
How can parents and the community support respectful relationships education?
You never know when you may need to have a conversation with your child about respect. It could be in response to behaviour that you have witnessed that is disrespectful (for example, a situation depicted on TV, or behaviour by your child or another child) or it could be a conversation to check in about what your child thinks respectful behaviour looks like. These conversations are really important to have within your family and wider community. Every time you speak out against disrespectful behaviour you are taking steps to creating a more respectful society.
The respect.gov.au website has a range of resources that can help you start the conversation.
For support in having conversations about online safety, including bullying and cyberbullying, you can visit esafetyparents developed by the Office of the eSafety Commissioner.
Where can you get more information about why respectful relationships education is important?
Our Watch was established by the governments of Australia to raise awareness and engage the community in action to prevent violence against women and their children. You can find more information for parents at the Our Watch website.
Can I see what my child is seeing?
The Good Society is open to everyone. However, schools and teachers can use these resources in a variety of ways, so talk to the relevant teacher at your school to find out what parts of The Good Society they are using, and how they are using them.
Where can you find help and support if you need it?
If you, a child, or another person is in immediate danger, call 000.
Helplines and websites
The following organisations offer 24/7 telephone support and counselling services, and online chat, for specific community groups and for people in specific situations.
1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) https://www.1800respect.org.au/get-help/
National sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service. Open 24 hours to support people impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence and abuse.
KIDS HELPLINE (1800 55 1800) https://kidshelpline.com.au/
Kids Helpline is Australia’s only free, private and confidential 24/7 phone and online counselling service for young people aged 5 to 25.
MENS LINE (1300 78 99 78) http://www.mensline.org.au/
MensLine Australia is a national telephone and online support, information and referral service for men with emotional, family and relationship concerns.
NAPCAN (1300 766 491) http://napcan.org.au/urgent-help/
Go to the Urgent Help section of the National Association for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (NAPCAN) website for contact details of agencies which assist with reporting child abuse and neglect.