Sue Webeck, author of the Australian version of Consent Matters, was born in Queensland, Australia but soon moved to the nation’s capital ‘Canberra’ and has called it home ever since. She started working in the youth sector at eighteen, and has had a colourful career across the not-for-profit sector, working in relationships education, sexual violence prevention and response, and LGBTIQA+ communities. She now uses this wealth of experience in her role in the Tertiary Education sector to embed Respectful Relationships into all that we do. Sue still lives in Canberra, happily raising twins with her wife.
What do you consider your career highlights?
Often we go to talking about big systemic wins or actions which land in the media, like participation in Marriage Equality in Australia, or early in my career work in developing responses and accountability measures for an out of home care review, while these and many other large scale reforms are amazing my highlights will always be the connection with individuals. The ability to support someone through what can be the most difficult situation of their lives and ensuring they get to the care and support they want and need. That they feel heard and respected and that they trust me to support them, well that is a remarkable position to be in and one I deeply respect.
Why did you decide to collaborate with Epigeum on Consent Matters?
We need ways in which we can provide a base level of information about consent in our communities. Our education system doesn’t have a uniformed or equitable approach to relationships education and products like Consent Matters are a way of reaching a broad group of people with the base of information about consent which can then be built on through other initiatives like face to face education and campaigns. I wanted to collaborate with Epigeum because the intent is good and the work they do to create a broad reaching piece of the primary prevention pie is about growth, learning and adaptability.
What was the most satisfying part of working on Consent Matters?
The ability to collaborate with others working in these spaces and to see tangible improvements in the program. Also getting to engage with people for whom Consent Matters is the first opportunity they have had to explore the issues of consent, bystander intervention or have a dedicated moment to think not just about the law and consent but about their values around consent. Many people take it for granted that they have opportunities to explore these ideas and issues in their schools or homes but for many people Consent Matters is their first encounter with the subject matter. Consent literacy shouldn’t be a privilege, but the way our current relationships education systems in schools are set up it can often be a privilege which is afforded only to some schools.
What are you currently working on outside of Epigeum?
I am currently working at the Australian National University in the Respectful Relationships Unit responding to sexual violence and working to prevent it. I am also continuing to work with the MATE Bystander program out of Griffith University. Bystander intervention is a key component to changing the underpinning values which enable gender based violence to occur in our society, so I am a keen advocate for that work.
What do you do in your free time?
I am a huge believer in contributing to the community you belong to, so I use some of my free time to volunteer, sitting on my little ones’ school board as well as being a member of the ACT Government LGBTIQA+ Ministerial Advisory Council. I also like to cook and entertain our family and friends, but most importantly my favourite thing to do is just be with my wife and children. Whether we are watching a movie, doing chores, going on adventures or listening to music, by far my favourite thing to do is anything with them!
Developed under the guidance of an expert panel of advisors, authors, and student and staff reviewers, the new edition of our award-winning Consent Matters: Boundaries, Respect, and Positive Intervention course has been updated to provide current, inclusive, and scalable training on sexual consent, communication and relationships, and bystander intervention.
To find out more about Consent Matters, and to request free trial access for your institution, please click the button below.