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Bright Futures QLD Workshop 2024

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Event description

Bright Futures workshops are a space for learning and building connections with the primary purpose of keeping children safe from abuse. Bright Futures’ workshops explore what harmful sexual behaviours are, their impact on children, and provide an opportunity to develop practical skills to confidently approach issues and implement effective outcomes.

Bright Futures workshops are designed for teachers and front-line professionals who directly interact with children or work with children or child safety roles within government and non-government organisations.

The QLD workshop is titled 'Porn is not the norm: Young people, neurodivergence and the impacts of porn' and is presented by Maree Crabbe and Dr Wenn Lawson.

Readily available and aggressively marketed online, exposure to pornography is now mainstream.

For neurodivergent young people, pornography’s influence can be even more challenging. For example, monotropism, the key characteristic of autism, can make autistic young people particularly vulnerable to the impacts of pornography. The messages conveyed by pornography can be a source of confusion and concern, and shape unrealistic and unhealthy sexual understandings and expectations. At its worst, pornography exposure can increase the likelihood of autistic young people becoming a victim or perpetrator of a sexual crime.

This full day workshop will explore pornography’s prevalence and influence, its implications for neurodivergent young people, and how we can support them to navigate respectful, consenting and safe sexuality and relationships in this new reality.


Maree Crabbe

Director at It’s Time We Talked – Young people, pornography and sexuality

Maree Crabbe is co-founder and Director of the Australian violence prevention initiative, It’s Time We talked.

She is Co-Producer and Co-Director of the documentary films Love and Sex in an Age of Pornography, broadcast in 36 countries, and The Porn Factor, broadcast in Australia. She is also author of In The Picture – a resource to support secondary schools to address the influence of explicit sexual imagery.

Maree has worked with young people – and on issues affecting young people – for over 25 years. She has developed and delivered programs focusing on sexual violence prevention, sexual diversity, pornography, sexting, and the prevention of sexually transmissible infections.

Maree’s contributions to public conversations about young people, sexuality and pornography include television and radio interviews, and articles in academic and news media.

Dr Wenn Lawson

(PhD), AFBPsS. MAPs – Autistic Consultant and Independent Researcher

Dr. Wenn is an autistic researcher (PDAer), has 3 autistic offspring and 3 autistic granddaughters. Wenn is also a lecturer, psychologist, advocate, and poet, sharing his experiences for almost 3 decades.

Wenn is published internationally, is an Associate Researcher with Curtin University (WA), and Macquarie University, NSW; Tutor Practitioner with Birmingham University (UK), a Board member for Autism in Adulthood, and the Australian Research Council, Ambassador for I CAN (Autistic Youth Advocacy) and has a Youtube channel and home page.

In 2008 he won 4th. place as Victorian Australian of The Year, in 2017 he presented to the United Nations on matters of Autism and ageing & in 2021 he won the Lesley Hall, disability leadership lifetime achievement award. Wenn is passionate about all things LGBTQIA+ and autism.

Porn is not the norm: Young people, neurodivergence and the impacts of porn

08:00 – 08:30      Arrival and Registration

08:30 – 08:45              Welcome

08:45 – 10:30              Workshop Session 1

10:30 – 10.45              Morning Tea

10:45 – 12:30              Workshop Session 2

12:30 – 1:00                Lunch

1:00 – 2:45                  Workshop Session 3

2:45 – 3:00                  Afternoon Tea

3:00 – 4:25                  Workshop Session 4

4:25 - 4:30                  Workshop Close

How to access the venue at UniSC:​​​

  • This event is being held in the Auditorium at the Innovation Centre at the University of the Sunshine Coast. ​​​​​​
  • Easiest access to the forum is via the main entrance off of Sippy Downs Drive.
  • Closest carpark to the event is P1 and P2.
  • Please note UniSC is paid regulated parking area, please ensure you visit the parking pay stations once you have parked, you will need to know the car registration number.

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