Sex education will be beefed up to teach students about "respect and consent" after federal Education Minister Alan Tudge today praised schoolgirls for exposing a traumatic rape culture in schools.

Mr Tudge spoke of the "bravery and strength" of hundreds of young women who have detailed allegations of rape, sexual assault and harassment, in an online campaign by young Sydney woman Chanel Contos.

Education Minister Alan Tudge has announced sex education will be beefed up to teach students about “respect and consent”. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Sarah Matray
Education Minister Alan Tudge has announced sex education will be beefed up to teach students about “respect and consent”. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Sarah Matray


"Their voices have shone a light on an important issue and given it the attention that it deserves," Mr Tudge said in a speech to the Menzies Research Centre.

"They have alerted us to situations that are completely unacceptable.

"We must all redouble our efforts to ensure that girls and young women are safe and respected in schools."

Mr Tudge said the federal Education Department would roll out new teaching materials on consent and respectful relationships, through the Respect Matters program, in coming weeks.

"And through the Australian Curriculum review this year, we will consider feedback on where we can improve the teaching of these issues in schools - understanding that schools and teachers are ultimately the best placed to determine age-appropriate teaching within the framework of the curriculum," he said.

"I will be working closely with my state and territory colleagues on this issue, to listen to those who are speaking out, and consider further federal government action where it can make a positive difference."

Originally published as Sex ed shake up: Damning culture revelation sparks major changes


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