Labor to extend Victorian school anti-homophobia program nationally
Federal Labor will commit $8 million to extend Victoria’s Safe Schools Coalition program across the country if re-elected.
Education Minister Bill Shorten, made the announcement at Fitzroy High School in Melbourne during Wear It Purple Day. He was joined by Finance Minister Penny Wong, Labor Melbourne candidate Cath Bowtell, and CEO of the Foundation for Young Australians, Jan Owen.
The funding will provide the Foundation for Young Australians to expand Victoria’s Safe Schools Coalition program by working closely with state and territory education authorities to provide education and support resources to teachers, parents and students across the country. The Safe Schools Coalition was established in partnership with the foundation and currently has 108 member schools across the state.
“I think it’s important that this election and the Labor government make clear that bullying is not tolerated at all in schools and homophobia in schools cannot be tolerated at all,” Shorten said.
Penny Wong said: “What these young people are telling us is that, because of their sexual orientation they are being subjected to abuse and most of it is in schools,”
She said the program would provide support in schools to stop that happening.
Bowtell said the program was a Victorian Labor initiate and was pleased to see Labor “flow it on federally.”
“It’s not just about combating bullying,” Bowtell said.
It’s about giving them the support that they need in a safe environment, and a school has to be part of that.”