Most of the students are relieved to have a safe space to ask questions. The workshop revolves around games as well, so often they end up being highly enjoyable sessions.
The outcomes are serious, but so are the consequences of gendered expectations going unchallenged. The impacts of gender stereotypes on young Australians can be very damaging. We want to free young people from the expectations that can lead to these sorts of issues.
It's also important to see this as prevention, not an intervention project. We hope that by giving them vocabulary and awareness around these issues, they'll become active bystanders, helping to ensure the world they grow up in is more equal and more open.
Our volunteers are trained on how to deal with these sensitive issues with care. They operate within comprehensive child protection policies and procedures, and we inform the schools we work in of the infrequent occasions when we experience disclosures or comments that seem worrying, to ensure the children or young people are protected going forward.