The Andrews Labor Government is helping Victorian schools build a stronger culture of respect and gender equality and supporting students to more openly discuss their mental health, with new workshops coming to schools.

Member for Werribee Tim Pallas announced that two healthy masculinity pilot programs will be offered to government schools in the Werribee District from Term 2 – helping strengthen the teaching of consent education and promoting positive masculinity through the Labor Government’s Respectful Relationships initiative.

The government will fund ‘The Man Cave’ to deliver full-day workshops to students in 100 schools – providing 12-to-16-year-old boys with the opportunity to build their social and emotional skills, and to form healthy behaviours and relationships.

Since it was founded in 2014, the Man Cave has impacted more than 17,000 boys, parents and teachers across Australia with programs that allow young men to learn positive ways to look after their mental health.

A partnership with Jesuit Social Services will also deliver a pilot of its Modelling Respect and Equality program in up to 100 participating Respectful Relationships schools. This professional development program for school staff will build awareness, develop skills to promote respect and equality, and model healthy behaviour and attitudes in boys and young men.

These pilot programs support consent education in schools. Consent education has been mandatory in all Victorian government schools in an age-appropriate way since Term 2, 2021.

The Labor Government has acquitted a key recommendation of the Royal Commission into Family Violence rolling out Respectful Relationships to all government schools – and 378 non-government schools have also adopted the program.

Respectful Relationships helps schools to promote respect, positive attitudes and behaviours in all aspects of their culture – in the classroom, the playground, the staffroom, and the broader school community.

The Labor Government has invested $82 million in Respectful Relationships, to deliver training, support and funding to schools to implement the initiative.

Quote attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas

“We’re proud to be implementing every single recommendation of the Royal Commission into Family Violence – because Victorian lives depend on it.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino

“Respectful Relationships makes a huge difference in building a culture of respect and equality– these new pilot programs are another opportunity to support our schools to produce respectful, compassionate young adults, and to learn what we can do better in regards to respect and healthy masculinity in our education system.”