Joanna Brislane


Joanna oversees a team of staff within Our Watch who are leading a pilot of a whole-of-school approach to respectful relationship education in primary schools, in partnership with the Victorian Department of Education and Training and the Queensland Department of Education. Prior to this, Jo directly supported schools that participated in the Victorian Government’s Respectful Relationship Education in Secondary Schools pilot and co-authored Our Watch’s evidence paper on respectful relationships in schools.


Primary Prevention through Respectful Relationships Education – Policy to Practice (Policy Think Space)

Combining the wisdom of family violence prevention policy experts and educators who have experience implementing respectful relationships education, this session will present practical information for a broad range of policy makers about how evidence-based respectful relationships education can be implemented in schools across Australia.

As Change the story, Australia’s national framework for the prevention of violence against women shows, gender inequitable attitudes, norms, structures and practices create the necessary social conditions for violence against women to occur. Because violence against women has such direct and significant impacts on children, preventing it can also prevent associated harm to, and consequences for, children. There is strong evidence that whole-of-school respectful relationships education can be an effective way to prevent violence against women, by creating more gender equal and respectful attitudes, behaviours, structures and practices across the school culture. And, at the same time, positively influence children and young people’s understanding of respect and respectful relationships.

Supporting schools and teachers to deliver age-appropriate and evidence-based respectful relationships education to all school children is an action under the Third Action Plan of the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children (2016-2019). As such, this discussion will explore how, in the context of respectful relationships education, evidence-based policy translates to practice and conversely, how the evidence-based practice can translate to policy. The session will be presented by Our Watch, Australia’s national independent organisation working to prevent violence against women and their children.

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