The Department of Social Services + BMF launch ‘Consent Can’t Wait’ behaviour change campaign


The Department of Social Services has launched a national campaign via BMF, ‘Consent Can’t Wait’, encouraging influencers of young people to take the first step in educating young Australians on sexual consent, by checking their understanding and speaking to their peers about it. Because learning, understanding, and talking about consent can’t wait.


The campaign highlights the importance of updating our understanding of sexual consent by showing how the questions we have need to be talked about, and answered, before moments of intimacy. ‘Consent Can’t Wait’ emphasises the need for people to get on the same page, so we can pass that understanding on to our kids.

The national behaviour change campaign aims to remove the fear and judgement surrounding conversations about sexual consent, and bring Australians into the conversation by turning the perceived complexity and inexperience surrounding the topic into an opportunity to learn about consent. Both for ourselves and for our kids.

‘Consent Can’t Wait’ features a diverse range of real Australian couples, as they highlight the various internal thoughts and questions many Australians silently hold about consent – questions the next generation need to know the answers to.

Says Christina Aventi, chief strategy officer, BMF: “Consent is a culturally loaded word, fraught with connotations, systemic inconsistencies, and media rhetoric. It’s also a personal and private topic, so people don’t talk about it unless they “need” to. But all across Australia, people are engaging in consent-relevant moments. Studies show that one in two of them are confused about consent and harbour questions about the topic that they keep to themselves. And, as long as we continue to hold our questions about consent silent – as long as we don’t know the answers – the next generation will too.

“We know consent is hard to define, but kids are learning more than we think, and we can’t leave it to chance and hope for the best. So, the first step is to educate ourselves and get to a shared understanding. Because before we can teach young people what’s right and wrong about consent, we need to get clearer ourselves.”

The Department of Social Services + BMF launch ‘Consent Can’t Wait’ behaviour change campaign

The campaign is rolling out on the 26th of May across the country and includes TV, cinema, online video, social, and OOH. In addition, the Department of Social Services and BMF have launched, a website where Australians can check their understanding of sexual consent and challenge what they think know about the topic. The website includes resources, conversation guides, and first nations resources.

Says Kiah Nicholas, associate creative director, BMF: “From casting real couples to an intimacy coordinator on set, to wardrobe autonomy, to consent over how the scenes were set; consent was integrated into every facet of the campaign process. It was critical to us that our campaign didn’t just talk the consensual talk but walked the consensual walk. After all, if we can’t act with consent, how can we expect the Australian public to?

“Revolver director Dani Pearce carried out the campaign idea and brought it life with the utmost consideration, collaboration, and respect. We were in awe of the level of craft and care that Dani and her team members put into the project.

“We hope this campaign inspires all Australians to take action and help make change possible by getting up-to-speed on, and improving their understanding of, consent. We can’t hold our questions about consent silent a second longer. Because if we don’t know the answers, how will our kids? – Learning, understanding, and talking about consent can’t wait.”

The Department of Social Services + BMF launch ‘Consent Can’t Wait’ behaviour change campaign

Client: Department of Social Services
Branch Manager, Campaigns and Strategic Communication: Mardi Stewart
Director, Campaigns: Turong Francis
Co-Campaign Manager: Nicole Bell
Co-Campaign Manager: Lauren Jeffrey
Campaign Officer: Laura Griffin

Creative Agency: BMF
Chief Creative Officer: Alex Derwin
Chief Innovation Officer: Tara McKenty
Group Creative Director: Tom Hoskins
Associate Creative Director: Kiah Nicholas
Senior Creative: Nathan Pashley
Head of Art & Design: Lincoln Grice
Chief Strategy Officer: Christina Aventi
Planning Director: Jess Sutanto
Chief Executive Officer: Stephen McArdle
General Manager: Richard Woods
Group Account Director: Victoria Venardos
Senior Account Manager: Anja Cherry
Head of TV: Jenny Lee-Archer
Agency Producer: Honae MacNeill
Finished Artist: Jayde Chan
Creative Services Director: Clare Yardley
Digital Lead: Sam Elliott
Digital Producer: Haydon Fanning
UI/UX Designer: Janet Tyler
Production Director: Karen Liddle
Integrated Producer: Simone Plaza

Digital Agency: Orchard

Production Company: Revolver
Director: Dani Pearce
Managing Director/Co-Owner: Michael Ritchie
Executive Producer/Partner: Pip Smart
Producer: Sarah Nichols
Director of Photography: Jeremy Rouse
Production Designer: Vanessa Cerne
Intimacy Coach: Polly Hemphill-Duchen
Wardrobe: Matt Stegh

Post Production: ARC EDIT
Editor: Phoebe Taylor
Sound Production: Cam Milne / Squeak E Clean
Music: Lydia Davies/ Squeak E Clean
DOP: Jeremy Rouse
Production Director: Sarah Nichols