The Safe Schools Coalition Australia (SSCA) was a national network of organisations working with school communities to create safer and more inclusive environments for same sex attracted, intersex and gender diverse students, staff and families.
The Foundation for Young Australians (FYA) was the national convener of the SSCA and partnered with experienced organisations across the country to provide direct support for schools. The SSCA assisted hundreds of schools across the country in their efforts to actively promote safety and inclusion for the benefit of the whole school community. This included working in partnership with government and independent schools, schools in diverse geographic locations, and faith-based schools.
The SSCA received funding from the Australian Government Department of Education and Training between 2014 and 2017. It built on work by Safe Schools Coalition Victoria in 2010, and was funded by the Victorian Government. The Safe Schools Coalition Victoria was originally a joint initiative of FYA and Gay and Lesbian Health Victoria.
The Safe Schools Coalition Australia acknowledges the traditional owners and custodians of all country throughout Australia and their continuing connection to land, waters and community. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, elders and cultures.
The Safe Schools Coalition Australia (SSCA) worked with schools to help them become welcoming and safe for the whole community.
The SSCA offered a suite of free resources and support to equip school staff with knowledge, skills and practical ideas to create safer and more inclusive school environments for same sex attracted, intersex and gender diverse students, staff and families.
The SSCA worked together with schools from a range of diverse contexts to tailor support that met the needs of their school community. This included government and independent schools, schools in diverse geographic locations, and faith-based schools.
School membership and engagement with the SSCA was voluntary and school principals and teachers made professional judgements about accessing support and resources to suit their school.
Schools could request support in the following key areas:
Tailored professional learning
The SSCA offered a range of professional learning options for teachers and other school staff. Sessions could be adapted to the needs of the school and ranged from introductory sessions through to in-depth training around more complex issues. Training materials drew upon national and international research and feedback from schools to give school staff insight, ideas and confidence.
Guidance and consultation
The SSCA expert staff were available to support school leaders and teachers with tailored advice on inclusive practice across school operations. This included assisting school staff to explore the school climate and make improvements to school policies to be more inclusive. The SSCA staff also assisted school communities that requested support in the process of affirming the gender identity of a transgender or gender diverse student at the school.
Resources for school staff
The SSCA provided a range of high quality resources which helped school staff to respond to homophobic and transphobic behaviour and actively supported and included gender diversity, intersex and sexual diversity in school communities. The SSCA also produced an age appropriate teaching and learning resource aligned to the Australian Curriculum for use by school teachers called All Of Us.
The SSCA's official resources are available from the Student Wellbeing Hub.