Human Rights Education about sexual orientation & gender identity in Australian schools, post-marriage equality

Event status:

A headshot of a lady with glasses on a plain background. ARCSHS invites you to a research and practice seminar with Monash's Professor Paula Gerber, exploring the impact of the marriage equality plebiscite 'No' campaign on education, four years on.

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Wednesday 17 August 2022 04:00 pm until Wednesday 17 August 2022 05:00 pm (Add to calendar)
Dr Alexandra James & Dr Tom Norman;
Presented by:
Professor Paula Gerber
Type of Event:
Current Student: Undergraduate; Current Student: Postgraduate; Public Lecture; Seminar/Workshop/Training; Public

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Human Rights Education about sexual orientation & gender identity in Australian schools, post-marriage equality

Australia achieved marriage equality in 2017, following a controversial and divisive postal survey which invited all Australians to ‘vote’ on whether same-sex couples should be allowed to marry. The ‘No’ campaign focused on the alleged negative impact of marriage equality on children’s education. Scare-mongering television clips claimed that boys would start wearing dresses to school and radical sex and gender education would become mandatory. Four years later, it is timely to consider the legacy of the ‘No’ campaign on education. An analysis of developments since marriage equality was achieved, reveals that LGBTQ+ students have become more vulnerable to discrimination and there is less human rights education (HRE) about diverse sexual orientations and gender identities.

This presentation explores the legacy of the marriage equality ‘debate’ on the Safe Schools program and the national curriculum. It considers the extent to which Australia is currently complying with its international treaty obligations regarding human rights education pertaining to sexual orientation and gender identity and concludes with recommendations for reforms.

About Professor Paula Gerber

Paula Gerber is a Professor in the Faculty of Law at Monash University and a leading expert on protecting and promoting the human rights of LGBTIQ+ persons. She has written numerous journal articles and book chapters on issues relating to persons of diverse genders and sexualities, including, most recently,

Professor Gerber is also the editor of the 3-volume research series Worldwide Perspectives on Lesbians, Gays and Bisexuals, (2020) and the 2-volume collection Critical Perspectives on Human Rights Law in Australia (2021) (with Melissa Castan).

Professor Gerber is a former member of the Board of the Victorian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission and is the immediate Past President, and current Director of Kaleidoscope Human Rights Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation working to protect the human rights of LGBTIQ+ persons in the Asia-Pacific region.


This event will be live captioned and transcribed. An Auslan interpreter can be made available on request; please let us know as soon as possible to allow for interpreter bookings.

Online – Zoom Webinar

La Trobe University



17th Aug 2022 1:51pm

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