Hanging upside-down from monkey bars, doing handstands, turning cartwheels – for years schoolyard play for young girls has involved pointless fussing with uniforms. Skirts or dresses aren’t always practical for girls.
The question of school uniforms has featured heavily in the headlines this year but, in terms of gender expectations and kids, it’s just the tip of the iceberg. In what other ways are entrenched ideas around gender limiting all our children and affecting their sense of themselves and their potential? And how can adults counteract stereotypes and be aware of their own biases when talking to kids – in the classroom, at home, on the sporting field and in the playground?
In this conversation, we’ll discuss recent and potential changes in policy as well as day-to-day tips for avoiding the traps of gender expectation. Join us for a practical, clear-eyed conversation about helping kids to be themselves.
Comedian and writer Sami Shah has been profiled in the New York Times and ABC's Australian Story, and appeared on BBC Radio 4, BBC Asian Network, TEDx, The Project and the Soho Theatre. He is currently based in Melbourne, Australia and is co-presenter of 774 / ABC Breakfast Radio.
Nelly Thomas has been described as one of Australia’s most natural comedians. An award-winning performer, she was listed as one of Australia’s 'most innovative thinkers' in the Age's The Zone and was featured on the ABC’s Big Ideas: The Smartest Stuff on TV, Radio and Online.
Ro Allen is an experienced and longstanding advocate for LGBTI Victorians and has held leadership positions in the community and government sectors. She has been recognised for extensive community service: in 2003, she received a Centenary Medal and in 2009 was inducted into the Victorian Government Honour Roll for Women.
Most recently, Ro was recognised in the Top 50 Public Sector Women (Victoria) 2017 and won Hero of the Year in the 2017 Australian LGBTI Awards.
Alyena Mohummadally is a Pakistani-Australian queer Muslim woman who spent many years as a community legal centre lawyer before recently retraining as a primary school teacher.
She is currently writing a cookbook on modern Australian cuisine with a Pakistani twist, and her two young sons are her favourite people to cook for.