Women’s Health West, cohealth, Centre for Culture Ethnicity and Health, Maribyrnong City Council, Western English Language School
Human relations education program for newly arrived young people.
Human Relations is an innovative and unique five-week education program about sexual and reproductive health and respectful relationships for newly arrived refugee and migrant students attending the Western English Language School. It reflects the expertise of an enduring and effective 18-year partnership between Women’s Health West, cohealth, Maribyrnong City Council Youth Services and the Centre for Culture, Ethnicity and Health.
Staff from partner agencies collaborate twice a year to deliver weekly workshops to students, engaging them in discussion and activities about puberty, sex, conception, health, respectful relationships and sexuality. The program provides young people with skills, knowledge and resources to make informed decisions about their relationships and sexual and reproductive health. These topics can be challenging for newly arrived young people, who are already contending with significant changes in their lives, in addition to the risks associated with confidentiality, safety, trauma and disclosure that come along with sexual and reproductive health education.
The workshops are multilingual, and are delivered separately for boys and girls, with resources and referral pathways that students can follow up with. Evaluation of this longstanding program demonstrates that participants gain improved knowledge and understanding of sexual and reproductive health and healthy relationships, in addition to increased confidence accessing the Australian healthcare system.