Recognition for sexual health and wellbeing at Carrum Downs Secondary College

Monday 3 April, 2023


Carrum Downs Secondary College has over 900 students and have been an active member of the Achievement Program since 2015. Their efforts have resulted in recent recognition of the Sexual Health and Wellbeing priority.

“Creating a safe and inclusive environment has been paramount and being recognised of achieving success in this space is very rewarding,” said Eve Koutsampasis, Wellbeing Leader.


What did they do?

The school recently developed and ratified their Sexual Health and Wellbeing Policy and has an up-to-date uniform policy which is gender inclusive, promoting self-expression.


The school has worked hard to create a healthy physical environment by visually displaying and promoting inclusion and diversity with LGBTIQ+ posters outside the wellbeing areas and on office doors. Staff display rainbow stickers on their laptops and wear rainbow lanyards to promote inclusion in a more subtle way.


Assistant Principal, Janette Kalatzis says, “To implement a whole school approach, having a member of the Principal Class team involved assists in gaining the momentum to drive initiatives and programs centred on health and wellbeing.” 


Student led action

In 2018, a student led action group completed an inclusion audit of the physical environment. The changes implemented included: Changing the colour of the female and male toilets from pink and blue to neutral shades, and the building of an inclusive toilet/changing space in the gym area.


The school supports a healthy culture and all Facebook posts promote messages of inclusion and diversity. A gender lens ensures all images shared with the school community do not perpetuate gender stereotypes.


Carrum Downs celebrates the cultural backgrounds and diversity within the school community through a range of activities. They celebrated IDAHOBIT and shared content on social media. The student leadership group, in partnership with the school’s Queer Straight Alliance group worked together to deliver a school wide activity where students were invited to create their own identity flag.


Their school-wide Positive Behaviour Matrix and reward system recognises students for respect, positivity and empathy. The school’s staff are supported through an EAP program and have access to a wellbeing toolkit.


Community partnerships

Carrum Downs has also implemented Respectful Relationships and delivered sexual health programs from 7-12 in partnership with the school nurse. The school also engaged Transgender Victoria to present to their year 7 students.


To achieve these activities Wellbeing Leader, Mrs Koutsampasis recommends, “Ensure you collaborate with others; staff, students, external agencies and organisations to further develop your knowledge and understanding.”


With support from the Health Promotion team at Peninsula Health, the school celebrates diversity and wellbeing days in the community, has links with Frankston youth services and shares inclusive content in their newsletters and across their social media channels.


“It has been an enriching experience reflecting on what we have embedded College-wide, as well as gaining further implementation approaches to enhance our school environment,” says Mrs Kalatzis.


Carrum Downs Secondary College are continuing their Achievement Program journey, by working towards their remaining health areas.