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Creating Cultural Change Toward Gender Equality Through Education

Consent is not a yes or no. Consent is empathetic. It’s ever-changing, and it should be taught that way.

Chanel Contos founded Teach Us Consent, a grassroots campaign in Australia that exposed how many school students experience and perpetrate sexual violence, and advocated for holistic consent education for young people to prevent this.

It started on Instagram, and soon evolved to make consent education a political priority. Chanel has worked closely with politicians from across the political spectrum, including sitting and former Prime Ministers to achieve mandated consent education in Australia.

Chanel was the recipient of the Australian Human Rights Commissions Young People’s Medal in 2021 for this work, and in 2023 she was named NSW Young Women of the Year for her persistent efforts towards eradicating rape culture. Chanel continues to act as an Executive Director of Teach Us Consent as the organisation provides holistic consent education to the public, and advocates for structural reform to prevent normalised sexual violence. She sits on multiple government reference panels, and consults for multinational companies on violence prevention.

Chanel has been presented a Diana Award, which is named after Princess Diana and is the most prestigious accolade a young person can receive for their humanitarian work and in 2022 she was listed as one of BBC’s 100 inspiring and influential women worldwide. Chanel has a Masters in Gender, Education, and International Development from University College London and was recently appointed by Julia Gillard to Chair the Global Institute for Women’s Leadership’s Youth Advisory Committee.

Talking Points

Transformative Leadership: Galvanising communities to lead change

From sparking a petition to reshaping national conversations, Chanel Contos stands as a beacon of how purpose-driven leadership can challenge and transform society, institutions and culture.

In this presentation, Chanel unpacks how her mission to implement consent education at her high school evolved into a national movement revolutionising the education system and reshaping Australia’s discourse on consent. Audiences will be motivated and equipped with practical insights on leading and delivering meaningful change in complex environments.
Key Takeaways:
- Visionary Leadership: Understand what it takes to inspire and lead a national movement
- Harnessing Collective Power: Techniques for galvanising support and amplifying emerging voices to effect change.
- Resilience in Advocacy: Overcoming obstacles and leveraging criticism as a catalyst for growth.
- Empathy and Engagement: The art of connecting deeply, understanding stakeholders, and building bridges in advocacy.

Let's talk, enquire with Janika now

Janika Barnes

Senior Consultant - Saxton Speakers

Let's talk, enquire with Janika now

Janika Barnes

Senior Consultant - Saxton Speakers

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