I started my professional life as a primary school teacher and quickly found that I loved teaching about health and wellbeing. I took a sideways leap to community health education and found myself at the Port Kembla Sexual Health Education Unit which was a pretty big change for a country girl. I learnt how to demonstrate condom use in front of classes of teenagers and men on Probation and Parole without blushing.
I'm a former senior member of the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society, La Trobe University. I have worked for 20 years translating research into child and adolescent education materials, as well as books and campaigns for parents, teachers an health professionals. I started my career as a primary school teacher before I took a sideways leap into HIV and STI prevention and community education.
My recent work includes The Practical Guide to Love, Sex and Relationships for Years 7-10, which has achieved international acclaim for its fun videos explaining relationship skills, pornography, sexual consent and gender. I have also enjoyed working in partnership with the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation and the Centre for Excellence in Rural Sexual Health, Melbourne University to develop sex ed resources for families. In 2012 l was commissioned by the Department of Education and Training to develop Catching On Early, a primary school teaching resource for Foundation-6. My favourite work experience includes travelling around Victoria delivering professional development for teachers, community nurses and other agencies.
I remain committed to supporting communities to provide meaningful and relevant education for all children from the early years. Teaching kids age-appropriate messages about their bodies, their right to safety, challenging gender roles, and creating positive expectations of how sexual relationships are meant to be (ethical, mutual, consensual and pleasurable) is fundamental to the promotion of respectful relationships, and the prevention of sexual abuse, unplanned pregnancies and STIs/HIV.