Beyond the Basic Sex Education in Australian Secondary Schools
Who We Are
Welcome to The Reproductive Realities Project - We are on a mission to enhance the sex education curriculum in Australian secondary schools. We are an early-stage campaign that is committed to advocating for realistic, inclusive, and empowering reproductive education for all young people. We believe that everyone deserves access to foundational, age-appropriate education regarding reproductive health, fertility, pregnancy loss, grief, and that education plays a crucial role in shaping a society that respects, understands, and values the diverse reproductive journeys that individuals and couples face every day.
Through research, advocacy, and collaboration, we aim to bridge the gaps in reproductive education, break down taboos, challenge stereotypes, and encourage open conversations about these important reproductive health topics. Our mission is to have them integrated into the secondary school curriculum, with the hope that the next generation doesn't have to walk their reproductive journey alone.
Together, we can drive change, break down barriers, and ensure that reproductive education becomes apart of every student's learning experience.
Explore our website and get involved today!
The RR Project aims to advocate for inclusive age-appropriate sex education in Australian secondary schools, incorporating important topics like baby loss and fertility challenges, empowering young individuals with knowledge and empathy to navigate their reproductive journeys.
Why is this important?
By equipping young people with accurate and age-appropriate education, we can help them navigate these challenges with empathy and understanding, reducing stigma and ensuring that no one feels alone in their experiences.
Reproductive health education plays a crucial role in empowering young people to make informed decisions, develop healthy relationships, and navigate the complexities of reproductive experiences. However, current sex education curricula in Australian secondary schools often overlook important topics such as baby loss, fertility challenges, and the emotional impact of isolation during these experiences. This lack of comprehensive education leaves young people ill-prepared to understand and cope with these challenges, perpetuating stigma, shame, and misinformation.
In Australia, approximately 6 babies are stillborn every day, making stillbirth a significant public health issue. (Source: Stillbirth Foundation Australia)
It is estimated that around 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage.(Source: The Royal Women's Hospital)
Exact statistics on TFMR (Termination for Medical Reasons) in Australia are not readily available, but it is an emotionally challenging experience faced by some families due to severe fetal abnormalities or health risks to the mother.
Around 1 in 6 Australian couples face difficulties conceiving naturally and may require medical assistance or fertility treatments to achieve pregnancy. (Source: The Fertility Society of Australia)
Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) usage in Australia has been increasing over the years, with approximately 5% of Australian births resulting from assisted reproductive techniques like IVF (In Vitro Fertilization). (Source: The Fertility Society of Australia)
What needs to be done?
We need to persuade the government to initiate an official inquiry (or alternative suitable action) into the current state of secondary school sex education. In doing so, it should include a research component to gather evidence and data on the effectiveness and shortcomings of the current curriculum.
Once the government (hopefully) initiates the inquiry and research process, we hope to collaborate closely with relevant authorities and experts to contribute our insights and expertise. We envision a cooperative effort wherein our campaign can provide valuable input and recommendations to help shape an improved and inclusive approach to high school sex education. By working together, we aspire to co-create a curriculum that addresses sensitive topics like baby loss, fertility challenges, and other crucial reproductive experiences, fostering a supportive and empathetic learning environment for young individuals across Australia. Our commitment is to engage constructively, share evidence-based findings, and actively contribute to the development of a more comprehensive and empowering sex education curriculum for the future generations.
So where do we start?
We begin our campaign by laying a strong foundation through preparation and research. Our first step is to focus on surveys, research, and the collection of personal stories. We aim to build a compelling evidence-based case that highlights the urgency and importance of comprehensive, age-appropriate sex education.
To amplify our impact, we will forge partnerships and collaborations with like-minded organizations, stakeholders, and individuals who share our vision. With a dedicated team of passionate volunteers onboard, we address potential concerns and setbacks proactively, ensuring we are well-prepared to overcome any challenges. To raise awareness and garner public support, we leverage communication strategies such as social media, our website, and media outreach. Through these initiatives, we lay the groundwork for engaging with decision-makers, advocating for an official inquiry, and providing teacher training to create a lasting impact on the future of sex education in Australian secondary schools.
Our mission is to advocate for sex education in Australian secondary schools, to go beyond the basics ensuring that essential topics, such as baby loss and fertility challenges, are integrated into the curriculum in an age-appropriate and empowering manner.
Our vision is a future where reproductive education is realistic, available, inclusive, and empowering for all young people in Australia, creating a generation that is empathetic, and better equipped to navigate their reproductive health journeys with a level of understanding..
Tayla Lewis - Founder
Advocate for the inclusion of baby loss and fertility challenges in the sex education curriculum.
Seek government support to prioritize enhanced sex education for Australian secondary schools.
Collaborate with relevant organizations and stakeholders to amplify impact.
Ensure teacher/facilitator training to deliver sensitive and accurate sex education, in an age-appropriate way.
Preparation & Research Stage
Launch & Promote Surveys
Gather data, research & personal stories
This initial stage is all about laying the groundwork for the campaign.
Engage with Decision-Makers
Advocate for an Inquiry
Public & Media Engagement
The operations stage is when we put our strategic plan into action and where the majority of the campaign's activities and interactions with the public and stakeholders will take place.
2024 - 2026 focus
Evaluation & Reflection Stage
Measure the outcomes
Analyze the response from decision-makers and the public
Reflect on the lessons learned
This evaluation process will help inform future advocacy strategies and provide insights into the campaign's overall impact.
Here's why our approach can make a real-positive impact:
Provides real-life understanding
By incorporating these topics, it can help students grasp the reality that building a family is not always straightforward and may involve emotional difficulties and setbacks. This understanding can promote empathy towards individuals and couples facing such challenges.
Fosters emotional intelligence
Learning about baby loss and fertility challenges can contribute to the emotional intelligence of students. They can gain insights into managing grief, dealing with disappointment, and showing compassion towards others.
Promotes mental health
Providing accurate and sensitive information about reproductive experiences can contribute to better mental health outcomes for young people and their future experiences.
Empathy & Compassion
We strive to empower the next generation to approach reproductive challenges with kindness, respect, and a genuine desire to help others.
Nurtures a caring society that can provide support
Education on baby loss, fertility challenges, and related emotions can offer support to young people who might be dealing with these issues or who know someone who is.
By incorporating these topics, we hope it changes the way society views, discusses, and supports reproductive experiences. We believe that our efforts will contribute to a more informed, empathetic, and compassionate society for years to come.
Empowers decision making
Comprehensive education equips young individuals with the knowledge and critical thinking skills needed to make informed decisions about their reproductive health, relationships, and future.
We hope to contribute to a broader cultural shift that recognizes the importance of comprehensive and empathetic sex education. By fostering understanding and inclusivity, we can create a society that supports individuals through their reproductive journeys.
Emphasizes inclusivity & diversity
By incorporating these topics, the curriculum becomes more inclusive and acknowledges the diverse family structures and reproductive experiences that exist in society. This sends a powerful message of acceptance and respect for all individuals and families.
Increases future preparedness
Providing students with a deeper understanding of family planning and reproductive challenges prepares them for potential struggles they or their loved ones may face in the future. It equips them with knowledge to make informed decisions and offer support.
Equips students to navigate relationships in a healthier way
Comprehensive education can assist young individuals in understanding the complexities of reproductive experiences and building supportive relationships with their future partners.
Reduces shame & stigma surrounding reproductive health
Open discussions in schools can help break down the shame and stigmas surrounding baby loss, fertility challenges, and related experiences, fostering a more inclusive and compassionate society.
Potential Concerns or Setbacks
We understand the importance of addressing different viewpoints and concerns that may arise regarding the integration of baby loss and fertility challenges into the sex education curriculum. We believe in open dialogue and constructive conversations, which is why we have taken the time to anticipate and provide thoughtful responses to potential arguments or concerns that may be raised.
Some may argue that the scope of sex education should only focus on the basics
We completely agree that basic sex education has its place in the curriculum and serves as a fundamental aspect of reproductive health education. Although, we also believe that a comprehensive approach is necessary to address the diverse needs and realities of reproductive health. By expanding the scope of sex education to include topics such as baby loss and fertility challenges, we are ensuring that students have a more holistic understanding of reproductive health. This not only helps students gain a deeper understanding of themselves and others but also prepares them to navigate the challenges and decisions they may encounter in their own lives. Our approach is not intended to replace or diminish the importance of basic sex education, but rather to complement and enhance it.
We are asking these important questions..
Question 1: How do you think including these topics in the curriculum would benefit future generations in their reproductive health journey?
Question 2 & 3: What do you wish you had learned in sex education. How would it have made a difference in your life
Question 4: What do you remember learning in high school sex education classes, if anything?
Responses will remain anonymous. Click on the image to enlarge it. If you are feeling triggered please contact the SANDS 24/7 bereavement phone support line on1300 308 307
Trigger warning: Pregnancy loss, baby loss, infant loss, grief, fertility challenges
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Campaign Support Member
A Campaign Support Member refers to an individual or organization that actively participates in and provides assistance to our campaign. These members are crucial for the success of the campaign as they contribute their time, skills, resources, or expertise to further the campaign's objectives and goals. Campaign Support Members can be volunteers, sponsors, collaborators, or partners. They offer support in different ways to amplify the campaign's impact and outreach.
As a Campaign Support member, you will be an integral part of our movement. We are seeking dedicated and enthusiastic individuals and businesses who can volunteer their time, skills, and expertise to help us achieve our goals and who believe in the importance of reproductive education in Australian secondary schools. By joining forces, we can drive positive change, break down taboos, and create a future where realistic and inclusive reproductive education is accessible to all young people.