News and Events

Doubling our sexual and reproductive health education for young people

Health & wellbeing

May 26, 2023

Boost funding received by the Victorian Government has doubled GenWest’s capacity to deliver sexual and reproductive health education to young people.

illustration of a young woman wearing a hijab, she is seated with backpack next to her

GenWest delivers sessions for young people on consent, healthy relationships, safer sex, pregnancy options and the law. We deliver these session in a range of setting including educational settings and youth services.

In 2022-23 we saw a 100 percent increase in requests for sexual and reproductive health education sessions, compared to previous years – including pre-pandemic years.

The increase coincides with the introduction of mandatory consent education and the respectful relationships curriculum in Victoria. There is an emerging need for young people to have access to timely, comprehensive and well delivered sexuality education.

The additional funding received from the Victorian Government has increased our capacity to develop ongoing relationships with education providers, and increased our ability to meet demand and deliver face to face sessions.

The funding enabled us to employ a new sexual and reproductive health coordinator who consults with young people and schools to understand their needs, develops educational programs, co-facilitates sessions, and contributes to program evaluation and continuous improvement.

“I’m very happy that I got information. I was a bit embarrassed at first but I’m happy now”

Student at WELS

Doubling the number of newly arrived students we can reach with essential sexual and reproductive health education

Human Relations is a five week program delivered to newly arrived migrant and refugee students at the Western English Language School (WELS) in Braybrook.

The program delivers culturally safe, tailored and in-language education on complex topics including puberty, healthy relationships, safer sex, pregnancy, body image and gender.

In term two this year, we delivered the program to 23 newly arrived Vietnamese students, in partnership with local council and community health services.

Youth, sexual health and gender equity experts facilitated workshops with students, with interpreters supporting students to engage with the content and their peers in their own language.

Feedback received from students has been excellent, and we have since received requests to deliver the program at other WELS campuses in Melbourne’s west.

The additional funding we received this year has enabled us to grow this valuable program, extending its reach across the west. We have grown our workforce to meet demand, and added new community health and youth services representatives to the partnership that delivers the program.

GenWest will be delivering the program in term three at two WELS campuses. This will provide around 60 newly arrived students with culturally safe sexual and reproductive health education that is tailored to their unique needs.

“I think that all students desperately need to get this learning because of how potentially life-affecting it can be… to ensure that these students not just get the message but get it in a format that is comprehensible to their level of English.”

WELS teacher

To find out more about the Human Relations program and our sexual and reproductive health work, visit our Health and Wellbeing section.

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1800 436 937

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317-319 Barkly Street


Naarm/Melbourne VIC 3011

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Hand with GenWest local government areas