About the Growing and Developing Healthy Relationships website

Growing and Developing Healthy Relationships (GDHR) is a long-standing educational curriculum and teaching resource funded by the Western Australian Department of Health (WA Health). The website is designed to support WA teachers, school nurses and schools to provide positive and comprehensive sexual health and relationships education (SRE).

The materials in this website:

  • incorporate the guidance and direction of both the Australian Curriculum and Western Australian Curriculum in Health and Physical Education.

  • reflect a philosophy where abstinence from sexual activity for school-aged students is the key focus.

  • emphasise a positive preventative approach and safer sex strategies and takes care not to normalise sexual activity for school-aged students.

  • reflect current research and knowledge about attitudes to, and patterns of, behaviour in young people’s development, sexuality and the range of relationships in their life; and

  • accept sexuality, sexual feelings and relationships as a normal aspect of young people’s development.

Introduction to the GDHR website

High-quality school-based SRE is a priority public health strategy for WA Health and forms part of a comprehensive approach to the prevention of sexually transmissible infections and unplanned pregnancies in young people. The education sector is an important and key area for promotion and delivery of evidence-based SRE in WA schools. Teachers and schools are essential partners in preparing and equipping young people with the knowledge, confidence and skills to enjoy happy and healthy relationships.

The GDHR Curriculum Support Materials1 have been available to all schools in WA since 2002 and available online since 2010. GDHR was reviewed, rewritten and upgraded in alignment with the contemporary State and Australian Curriculum during 2012-2015 but continues to be under constant improvement and update. This website provides a range of age-appropriate learning activities and background information to assist teachers to plan and deliver quality SRE programs including: 

  • K-10 learning activities aligned to the current Curriculum in Health Education.

  • Comprehensive Guides: including Background Notes, Essential information about Teaching SRE and other need-to-know information.

  • Resources including booklets, brochures, illustrations, guidelines, research, reports, websites etc.

  • Online question box to support teachers, use of multimedia such as YouTube videos, and other technologies that can be used in the classroom.

  • Notice about current professional learning opportunities and workshop events in sexual health and relationships education.

The Health Promoting Schools Framework2 is also acknowledged as a guiding policy within GDHR given its’ wide recognition as a best practice model for promoting health within a school community. This framework suggests that positive health outcomes are much more likely when classroom health education is complemented and reinforced by a supportive school environment with effective links to family and the community.

The GDHR website strives to provide relevant, useful and easily accessible online support for health teachers, other educators and school communities. The GDHR website seeks to encourage teachers and schools to incorporate SRE as part of any comprehensive health education program. 

1. Western Australian Department of Health. Growing and Developing Healthy Relationships Curriculum Support Materials. Perth, 2002.

2. World Health Organization. Promoting Health Through Schools – The World Health Organization’s Global School Health Initiative. Geneva, 1996.

GDHR is funded and developed by the Sexual Health and Blood-borne Virus Program (SHBBVP) of the WA Department of Health.  The mission of the SHBBVP is to coordinate the prevention and control of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), human immunodeficiency virus and blood borne viruses in WA.