Ms TIERNEY (Western Victoria—Minister for Training and Skills, Minister for Higher Education) (12:08): Today I am proud to speak of Respect and Equality in TAFE, a project that I had the privilege to launch last week. At the heart of this project is ‘change the story’, and that is to achieve gender equality and prevent gender-based violence. And what better place to embed this practice than in our TAFE system. Respect and equality are something that this government are passionate about, and we will change the story. This clear message is brilliantly portrayed in the project’s short film.
This whole-of-institution approach to gender equality and the prevention of gender-based violence is an Australian first. Our Watch, a national leader in prevention of violence against women and their children, worked in partnership with Bendigo Kangan Institute, Chisholm Institute, Melbourne Polytechnic, SuniTAFE and Swinburne University of Technology to develop the project and great resources.
This is a strong step forward to drive and embed cultural change. It is about the prevention of discrimination and violence against women. It demonstrates what we can do through education and awareness. It recognises that everyone at TAFE and in all sectors of society has a role to play in promoting gender equality, and I am proud that Victorian TAFEs are leading the way in working towards gender equality. I am proud that this government recognises the role that TAFEs play in establishing standards, shifting perceptions and creating change. Now is the time to change the story, and I encourage everyone to visit the Respect and Equality at TAFE website and watch the short film that could start to change many lives in this country.