Media Releases - 14 April 2022

‘I think adults play a big role in this’

The Commissioner for Children and Young People Leanne McLean today launched ‘I think adults play a big role in this’, a consultation report on children and young people’s views of the importance of respectful relationships and consent education.

Ms McLean said the report, which emerged from her discussions with more than 40 CCYP Ambassadors from around Tasmania on the theme of Acceptance, Belonging and Feeling Safe, provides insights into the lived experiences of young Tasmanians in our community, about:
• how safe and accepted they feel in their everyday lives
• how the current approaches to education on respectful relationships and consent could be improved to address some of the problems they have identified
• the frustration many feel at their experiences and views not being taken seriously.

“’I think adults play a big role in this’ identifies some common and at times concerning attitudes and behaviours that children and young people experience in their everyday lives,” Ms McLean said.

“While confronting at times in their candour, I don’t think any of the issues raised by the children and young people in the report – from bullying and racism through to gender and sexual discrimination, to name a few – would come as a surprise to readers.

“What might be surprising to some though is the solutions-oriented approaches many of the young people took to tackling problems they identified.

“Young people identified these issues, and they want adults to take action to address them. They also want to be involved in finding solutions that will work for them. They live these problems every day.

“They also have first-hand experience of some of the approaches that have been implemented previously – such as respectful relationships and consent education – to tackle some of the issues. So, it’s not surprising that they also have good suggestions on what works, what doesn’t and how things might be improved so the approaches are received better by children and young people.”

Ms McLean says the report provides a foundation upon which to build ongoing dialogue between decision-makers and Tasmanian children and young people in the design and delivery of appropriate policy and programs to address issues that impact their lives while also, importantly, meeting their needs.