Chanel Contos

Former Director, Centre for Sex & Gender Equality

Chanel Contos was the director of the Australia Institute’s Centre for Sex & Gender Equality.

Chanel started the ‘Teach Us Consent‘ movement in Australia which inspired an ongoing national conversation around sexual assault and the lack of education on consent and sex in schools. Her petition demanding holistic and earlier consent education gained 45,000 signatures and 6,700 people came forward to detail their experience of sexual assault while in the Australian school system. As a result, consent education is now mandatory in all Australian schools from Kindergarten until year 10.

Chanel holds a Masters in Gender, Education and International Development at University College London. She was awarded First Class in this degree for her research into how the Australian school system upholds gendered power structures, and her suggestions on how to change this. Prior to this, Chanel taught at the University of New South Wales, where she also studied two undergraduate degrees in Commerce and Arts.

Chanel was the 2021 recipient of the Australian Human Rights Award Young People’s Medal and her humanitarian work has been internationally recognised, with her being a recipient of The Diana Award in 2022. Chanel was granted a title of 2021 Women of the Year by marie claire alongside women such as Grace Tame and Ash Barty, named as one of the 21 people who shaped 2021 by Vogue, and listed among ‘the influential of the influential’ for 2021 in the Good Weekend magazine.

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