Openly gay penguin couple teaching NSW kids about same-sex relationships
| Last updated
Openly gay penguins at Sea Life Sydney Aquarium are helping to teach young kids across the state about relationships and sexuality.
Earlier this month, the NSW Teachers Federation announced they were excited to reveal a collaboration with Sea Life Sydney on a unit of work titled ‘Sphengic: Love in All Shapes and Sizes’.
The program is based on the story of Sea Life Sydney's most famous couple, Gentoo penguins Sphen and Magic.
It's designed to teach students from Kindergarten to Grade 2 about diverse and healthy relationships.
The penguin pair went viral back in 2018 when keepers noticed the two male penguins developing a strong bond with each other around breeding time.
According to Sea Life, Sydney’s cuddliest power couple are 'constantly seen waddling around and going for swims together in the Penguin Enclosure.'
The two loved-up penguins have been in a relationship for almost five years.
They’ve even fostered and hatched their own little baby penguins, with Sphengic in 2018 and Clancy Carpenter in 2021, causing hearts to melt across the country.
“They set a great example to the rest of the colony and we’ve noticed many of the newer penguin couples setting up their nests close to Sphen and Magic, which we think is them trying to learn from the best,” said Sea Life Penguin Keeper Kiera Ponting.
And now Sphen and Magic, being the stars of Mardi Gras that they are, are helping school students too.
The lessons, which are not compulsory, are designed to be taught in conjunction with an excursion to the Aquarium, though there are online elements as well.
“It’s segmented into pre-excursion, excursion or online excursion activities and post-excursion activities,” said the NSW in a statement on their Facebook account.
“The unit of work can be used in its entirety or learning activities can be used as stand alone activities or part of your program.”
With six lessons in total, the lesson will cover how diverse relationships look and function.
The program has been met with support from teachers across the state, with many praising the creative approach to relationship education.