Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash.

Clonard has participated in the Respectful Relationships initiative since 2019, as a partner and lead school in the Barwon area.  Respectful Relationships continues to be a key focus area at Clonard through the promotion of diversity and inclusivity, child safety, and the Resilience Rights and Respectful Relationships (RRRR) and Building Respectful Relationships (BRR) curriculum – resources developed by the University of Melbourne for the Victorian Department of Education and Training.

Respectful Relationships education is all about embedding a culture of respect and equality across the entire school community and is part of the Victorian Government’s commitment to address family violence and promote gender equality through education.

A whole-school approach to Respectful Relationships Education at Clonard

Our RRE is embedded into our Wellbeing and Health and PE curriculums and works by building students’ social and emotional skills and challenging negative attitudes such as prejudice, discrimination and harassment that can limit opportunities for children and young people, regardless of gender. Promoting gender equality and respect has benefits for everyone. One of the 8 key topics of the curriculum which is included in our curriculum is outlined here:

Topic 8 Positive Gender relations

Evidence Base – There is a strong rationale for focusing efforts on preventing gender-based violence and fostering respectful relationships among children and young people. Schools are a key site in which to do this. Studies show that when delivered as part of a broader whole school approach to building respectful relationships, classroom programs can have a profound and long-lasting impact on student attitudes and behaviour.

Research on the efficacy of these programs shows that effective programs employ participatory and interactive pedagogy. Participatory methods allow students to practice and develop skills that they can employ in their lives.

Research highlights that one of the most consistent predictors of the perpetration of violence against women, at the individual level, is a traditional view about gender roles and relationships. Men who are hostile towards women’s non-conformity to gender roles and to challenges to male authority, have a particular tendency towards violence. Students need to know and understand what violence, gender violence and bullying look like. They need a clear understanding of types of violence, and to know the words to explain what is happening to them or to others. Students also need to understand the negative effects that violence (in all its forms) has on those experiencing it, and the observers and perpetrators.

For more information in regard to the Respectful Relationships initiative and framework, visit: Respectful Relationships | (

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash.