Culture / People

Resources to understanding consent that are entirely better than the Government’s ‘milkshake’ attempt

consent resources

This week, the Australian government released a video that attempted to clarify the bounds of consent. It was ruthlessly cringe-worthy at best, and highly problematic at worst. The video, which attempts to correlate a link between permission to share a milkshake with somebody and permission to engage in sex, was released as part of a platform worryingly dubbed The Good Society. It's part of the Federal Government's "Respect Matters" campaign, and features hundreds of videos designed to assist in teaching sex education, consent, and assault prevention in schools, with a mission statement saying it will teach children about "safe, healthy and consensual relationships".

A sentiment that feels like a faraway reality, considering the tools on offer include a video that doesn't mention sex, consent, assault, or rape at all, and is both more confusing to fully-fledged adults than any other consent resource available, and immeasurably condescending. At its bare bones, it does the most lacklustre job of navigating the nuances of consent and makes light work of trivialising an issue as serious as sexual assault and consent - signalling the very notion that sexual assault and consent is as trivial as portrayed when the Australian Government is concerned, and has been dealt with, with as little tact and care as the Morrison government is expected to at this point.

The rest of the content is reportedly equally as dire, and rife with heteronormative language, moralising notions, gender stereotyping, and even victim-blaming. A comprehensive collection of concepts that align with the opposite way to deal with the conversation around consent.

What the Morrison government has made clear it so earnestly cannot understand, is that consent is a non-linear and deeply nuanced concept that cannot be plastered over by milkshake metaphors. It is complex and transient, and the only way we can teach young people to understand just how so, is to not only name it as what it is and what it can become if not handled with care, but to develop these kinds of campaigns and initiatives with victim-survivors and experts.

Below, are a few top-line resources that clarify consent and all its complexities.

Listen to:

Consent Is Not a Synonym For Permission: Talking Comprehensive Consent With Sarah Casper

Share The Load Podcast


Consent educator Mia Schachter's Consent Iceberg and Yes-to-No spectrum


The Pleasure Centre's short video on consent


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Share The Load's education recording, Boundaries and Consent Intro: Sex.

Share The Load's Boundaries and Consent Workbook.


These resources are a non-exhaustive way to begin learning about consent. If you are having further trouble understanding, please seek further resources and education.

If you or someone you know is dealing with sexual assualt, call 1800RESPECT  (

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