Lesson effective in lifting respect

A new project is using music workshops to teach boys respectful relationships with women and girls.

Story appeared in: Torch | August 22nd, 2017

A BANKSTOWN project is taking a unique, youth-focused approach to Australia's domestic and family violence issues.
Focussing on early intervention, the RESPECT project uses music workshops to teach boys respectful relationships with women and girls. And it's seeing positive results.
RESPECT program coordinator Craig Taunton shared outcomes of the project when he spoke at the Cultural Shift conference at Sydney Olympic Park.
Mr Taunton explained how the project focuses on early intervention to domestic and family violence.
The project, he said grew out of a Bankstown Youth Development Service (BYDS) program, which targets primary school aged boys by running music workshops over 15 weeks.
Fourteen primary schools, including Bankstown, Georges Hall, Bass Hill, Wattawa Heights and Chullora Publics, have completed the program since its inception in 2013.
"We knew we were on a winner with this program from the beginning," Mr Taunton said.
"If we went into these schools lecturing, it would not be as effective. Music is a way of engaging students."
Mr Taunton says the process results in the production of high quality musical and vocal video clips espousing appropriate and respectful relationships with women and girls.
"We've seen the positive way the boys talk to women and girls after completing the program. We've seen changes in attitudes."
Mr Taunton's presentation at the Cultural Shift conference, was followed by a performance from Yagoona Public School students. 
The Settlement Services International conference was held over two days, exploring the needs of migrant and refugee families. For more information, visit ssi.org.au.

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Publication: Torch | Section: news | Author: Mick Roberts | Story ID: 130002 | Viewcount: 18769