Open Letter to Hardie Grant Children’s Publishing

Att: Sandy Grant, Chief Executive & Chair and Fiona Hardie, Chair, Hardie Grant Media & Director


Remove harmful advice to minors on headless nudes from 'Welcome to Sex'

We the undersigned write to urge you as publishers of ‘Welcome to Sex’ (Dr Melissa Kang, Yumi Stynes, Hardie Grant Children’s Publishing, Richmond, Vic, 2023) to remove advice for minors re the sending of nudes.

While we support efforts to educate children and young people about bodies, sexuality, relationships and consent, we believe this advice fails child safeguarding standards and puts children and young people at risk.

In the section titled ‘Nudes, texting and online sex’, the authors write (p.174) “If we were talking to our own kids, we’d tell them to always crop their heads out of any photos, just in case…”

Australian laws make it a crime to possess, produce or distribute sexual images of minors. In some cases, there may be some limited exceptions and defences - but your readers, acting on the advice on headless nudes, may risk being charged with very serious criminal offences.

Criminal charges are not the only risk. There is evidence to suggest that boys in Australian schools play at guessing who the headless nude belongs to, causing distress among girls who fear they may be wrongly identified as the sender. In this context, boys play ‘swap the head’, superimposing a preferred head onto the image and sharing it among their groups.

We are also concerned about advice on p.175, “If you send a nude with someone you’re being intimate with, they aren’t allowed to share it with anyone else without your consent, and vice-versa – it can be a crime.” This advice is also misleading. In these cases, 'consent' may not be recognised as a defence or exception in criminal law.

We believe there is a significant risk that you have inadvertently published advice which may lead to the commission of an offence.

Children and young people – especially those skimming the book in school libraries without mediation of an adult who may understand the risks – cannot be expected to be across the legal ramifications.

For these reasons we call on you to remove this section of your title prior to the next reprint.

Who's signing

Martina Clemente
Kerstin Peters
Adele Grimes
Kristine Bartels
Mitch White
Meredith Argo-Stubbs
xXx Baby Gold
Helen St Luce
Anna McCormack
Tracey Jackson
Thorfin Wales
Jessica Telleman
Alondra Larenas
Trang Tang
Jill Williams
Melissa Haigh
Dee Beriya
Simone Gomez
Mel Ferrao
Elizabeth Harris
Margaret Bergen
Sharon Murphy
Samantha Bryan
Margaret Adams
Marvin Ramsawmy
Mark Brown
Alyse Anderson
Peggy Spencer
Anne Matthey
Deborah Monro
1,729 signatures

Will you add your name to the open letter?

Add your comment

  • Martina Clemente
    signed 2024-02-23 01:52:07 +1100
  • Kerstin Peters
    signed via 2024-02-22 14:25:20 +1100
  • Adele Grimes
    signed 2024-01-24 17:29:32 +1100
    A G
  • Kristine Bartels
    signed 2023-11-27 21:48:39 +1100
  • Mitch White
    signed 2023-11-16 18:18:32 +1100
    Protection of our children is the utmost priority we should have in this world.
  • Meredith Argo-Stubbs
    signed 2023-10-17 16:47:31 +1100
  • xXx Baby Gold
    signed 2023-10-06 03:54:53 +1100
  • Helen St Luce
    signed 2023-09-20 07:37:39 +1000
  • Anna McCormack
    signed 2023-09-10 12:49:45 +1000
  • Tracey Jackson
    signed 2023-09-03 07:34:48 +1000
  • Thorfin Wales
    signed 2023-09-01 10:28:12 +1000
  • Jessica Telleman
    signed 2023-09-01 08:48:25 +1000
  • Alondra Larenas
    signed 2023-08-31 22:06:21 +1000
  • Trang Tang
    signed 2023-08-31 18:32:02 +1000
  • Jill Williams
    signed 2023-08-31 12:00:52 +1000
  • Melissa Haigh
    signed 2023-08-30 14:46:54 +1000
    Please take note of this submission.
  • Dee Beriya
    signed 2023-08-30 14:10:35 +1000
  • Simone Gomez
    signed 2023-08-30 12:30:05 +1000
    As an educator for 25 years, not book is a form of abuse to our most vulnerable and innocent. Why are we confusing and abusing children? Remove harmful advice to minors on headless nudes from ’Welcome to Sex.
  • Mel Ferrao
    signed 2023-08-30 08:30:33 +1000
  • Elizabeth Harris
    signed 2023-08-30 06:40:34 +1000
  • Margaret Bergen
    signed 2023-08-29 15:46:22 +1000
    Our children should not be able to access books like this. Their innocence should be protected. Margaret Bergen
  • Sharon Murphy
    signed 2023-08-29 15:27:53 +1000
    It is a disgrace that our innocent children are being robbed of their childhood and being inappropriately sexualised by adult content
  • Samantha Bryan
    signed 2023-08-29 11:55:22 +1000
  • Margaret Adams
    signed 2023-08-29 08:50:25 +1000
  • Marvin Ramsawmy
    signed 2023-08-29 01:38:21 +1000
  • Mark Brown
    signed 2023-08-28 20:33:18 +1000
  • Alyse Anderson
    signed 2023-08-28 19:11:57 +1000
  • Peggy Spencer
    signed 2023-08-28 19:09:13 +1000
    Peggy Spencer
  • Anne Matthey
    signed 2023-08-28 18:24:08 +1000
  • Deborah Monro
    signed 2023-08-28 18:22:38 +1000