Marriage, Family & Relationships
The Marriage Family and Relationships (MFR) office exists to extend the pastoral and educational activities that the Church undertakes in relation to life, marriage and family issues. Particular attention is given to the promotion of a deeper understanding of the human person, human sexuality and the uniqueness of marriage compared to other forms of relationships. Relationship and sexuality education is an area of focus for the MFR team who offer a range of educational programs for students in Catholic schools as well as the parents of children approaching puberty.
The MFR team also offers Natural Fertility Education for couples wishing to achieve or avoid pregnancy, as well as for people simply wanting to have a better understanding of their fertility.
The primary objective of the suite of programs being delivered by the Marriage, Family and Relationships ministry is to empower young people to make positive decisions about their lives. The MFR team presents them with a bigger picture about relationships than the one they get from their peer group and media influences. The team encourages young people to consider these issues in the context of faith and what they want for their own futures. They are challenged to have high expectations of the quality of their relationships.
Primary School Programs
My Body, My Life
Years 5 and 6
My Body, My Life includes a 90-minute parent and student evening session, and a 90-minute classroom session about the physical, emotional, and social changes that occur during puberty. These sessions also address personal hygiene, mood changes, family relationships and friendships, withstanding social and peer pressure, baby development in the womb, and being safe online. These sessions aim to encourage discussion between parents and children about these topics, and to provide them with information and resources for the future.
Secondary School Programs
Choices, Decisions, Outcomes (CDO)
Years 7, 8, 9 and 10
This program is an Australian Relationships Education program, which supports Catholic values. It is delivered as a single 90-minute session in each of the first four year levels of secondary school and has as its main focus the development of healthy, positive strategies and decision-making skills in adolescents. Age-appropriate, small group activities that are led by trained facilitators encourage young people to consider the consequences of their relationship decision making and to seek out trusted adults to discuss their questions and concerns.
Years 10, 11 and 12
The True Love program provides students with knowledge and skills that will assist them in discerning positive, healthy relationships. Topics include: communication and negotiation within relationships, how to cope with relationship break ups, facts about contraception and sexually transmitted infections, and valuing the gift of their sexuality. This program also encourages students to seek reliable information from trusted adults before making big decisions in their relationships.
My Body, My Fertility
Years 9, 10, 11 and 12 (girls only)
This program aims to empower young women with knowledge and understanding of their bodies so that they can make informed decisions about their reproductive health. It covers basic reproductive physiology, the signs and symptoms of fertility, and the stages and changes of the menstrual cycle. The focus is to give girls an appreciation of the value of their reproductive system and their fertility. It provides girls with the skills to manage their fertility and protect it for the future.
Fertility Support and Family Planning
Fertility Aware provides fertility services to women and couples, educating in three modern, safe and effective fertility awareness methods. Fertility awareness is learning to understand the body’s natural indicators of fertility to avoid pregnancy or as the first step in diagnosing causes of infertility. For more information visit www.fertilityaware.org.au or call (02) 6163 4340 for confidential enquiries.
Marriage, Family and Relationships Coordinator
(02) 6163 4300