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.
Sami Shah is a multi-award winning writer, comedian, and broadcaster. He’s been profiled in the New York Times, ABC’s Australian Story, BBC Radio 4, NPR, and appeared on QI with Stephen Fry and The Project.
Sami has been performing award-winning and highly acclaimed comedy for over a decade, and used his acerbic wit to address world affairs and social issues, in comedy clubs and even international platforms like TEDx.
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 LGBTIQ Victorians and has held leadership positions in the community and government sectors.
Ro has been a member of three Victorian Government LGBTI ministerial advisory groups and chaired the ministerial advisory committee on LGBTI Health and Wellbeing between 2007 and 2009.
Ro is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) and a former Chair of the Adult, Community and Further Education Board, the Victorian Skills Commission, the Youth Affairs Council of Victoria (YACVIC), and the Hume Regional Development Australia Committee.
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.