The Youth Affairs Council Victoria (YACVic), the state peak body for young people, today expressed strong concern over the state government’s decision to move Safe Schools Coalition Victoria (SSCV) operations within the Department of Education and Training (DET) from term one 2017.  

This decision has been made without consulting SSCV staff or management who will now lose their jobs, said YACVic CEO Georgie Ferrari. YACVic is concerned that this decision will greatly compromise the program and, more importantly, the outcomes for same-sex attracted and sex/gender diverse (SSASGD) young people in Victorian schools.

Following a sustained attack by media and critics throughout 2016, the Andrews Government has announced it will take sole control over the delivery of SSCV, a community-devised program co-founded by Roz Ward almost seven years ago.

SSCV is a thoroughly researched, evidence-based program that works primarily with teachers and school welfare staff to eradicate bullying and make schools welcoming and inclusive for SSASGD students, staff and families. The organisation has worked hard over the past six years to develop strong relationships and expertise that ensure its success.

Today YACVic and 14 other key organisations and individuals in the SSASGD sector have requested an urgent meeting with Minister Merlino to discuss concerns and seek assurances about the future of the program.

We are very concerned that DET does not have the appropriate expertise to effectively deliver this program, said Ms Ferrari. I’m particularly worried about the management of gender confirmation support plans, which assist young people, parents, students and teachers with the transition a young person makes, often between year levels, into their confirmed gender.

Rainbow Families Victoria shares YACVic’s concerns. “Many of our families have been supported by the fantastic staff of SSCV and we applaud their commitment to supporting our families and children for so many years, said Felicity Marlowe, convenor Rainbow Families Victoria. Despite the information provided about the incorporation of the program into the Department, Rainbow Families Victoria remains concerned that the messages of family diversity and inclusion, and the timely individual family support, will be lost once the program is in DET.

For further comment: 

Georgie Ferrari
CEO Youth Affairs Council Victoria
0411 484 428

Felicity Marlowe
Convenor Rainbow Families Victoria
0411 593 607