The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) released a draft national Health & Physical Education (HPE) curriculum in December 2012. It is now being considered in detail by the Commonwealth Minister for School Education, the Hon Peter Garrett MP, and his state and territory counterparts.
The draft curriculum does not even include the terms lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex (LGBTI). Even though it acknowledges that “same sex attracted and gender diverse” students exist in all schools, it does not guarantee that each and every classroom will be inclusive of LGBTI students and their health and physical education needs. And it cannot, as it claims, “ensure teaching is inclusive and relevant to the lived experiences” of LGBTI students, if the document itself cannot even name them.
The draft curriculum only includes one line on detailed sexual health education, and it reads “investigating practices that support reproductive health and wellbeing”. This excludes same-sex sexual activity, ignoring many of the sexual health issues of LGBTI students (indeed, it excludes many heterosexual sexual activities as well), and does not guarantee that all students will learn what they need to prevent STI transmission.
Finally, the draft curriculum does not even include a single reference to HIV. While new treatments mean that the health outlooks of people living with HIV have significantly improved, an HIV diagnosis remains a serious thing. It is negligent for a national HPE curriculum to omit all mentions of HIV, therefore excluding important HIV prevention messages.
Please support this petition, to the Commonwealth School Education Minister and State and Territory Education Ministers, to help ensure the national Health and Physical Education curriculum includes, and caters for, the needs of LGBTI students in every classroom across Australia.