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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 06 Hansard (Thursday, 7 June 2018) . . Page.. 2305 ..

(3) What was the nature of the advice provided by the groups and/or individuals regarding the SAIS initiative.

(4) Is bullying defined or addressed within the SAIS initiative or in any linked resource material; if so, what is it and in what way; if not, why not.

(5) Is bullying of ethnic groups and religious minorities addressed in the SAIS Initiative; if so, how is it addressed.

Ms Berry: The answer to the member’s question is as follows:

(1) The Safe and Inclusive Schools (SAIS) Initiative has been developed by Sexual Health and Family Planning in partnership with the Education Directorate. Input was sought from the Initiative’s Reference Group that is comprised of a range of education, parent, health/community and professional organisations, representing a broad membership including:

a. Australian Education Union (ACT Branch)

b. ACT Council of Parents’ & Citizens’ Association

c. Association of Parents & Friends of ACT Schools (APFACTS)

d. Youth Coalition of the ACT

e. Headspace Canberra

f. AIDS Action Council

g. Belconnen Community Services

h. Northside Community Services

i. A Gender Agenda

j. ACT Education Directorate - Public School Principal representative

k. ACT Education Directorate Support Office staff

l. Transformative Solutions (Project Consultant)

(2) Members of the Reference Group were consulted throughout the design phase of the Initiative. Consultation also included:

Discussions with school principals from public and independent schools.

Ongoing liaison with the Association for Independent Schools of the ACT and the Catholic Education Office throughout the design phase of the initiative to ensure alignment with relevant wellbeing frameworks utilised by these sectors.

Consultations and feedback regarding the experiences of school and educational programs within the ACT in responding to issues of sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex status.

(3) A summary of input provided by stakeholders included a range of recommendations:

The approach that schools should not have to “sign up” or become members of the Initiative was strongly supported;

Schools should determine engagement with the program and choose to request support if and when needed;

A capacity building approach was considered effective to support schools to develop knowledge, skills and confidence;

The Initiative should reflect the reality that school communities are diverse places and that the welfare and mental health of vulnerable students is a priority for parents; and

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