Working together to stop bullying

One step beyond is the first Antibullying Roundtable for children and young people in NSW.

Image: Attending the first Antibullying Roundtable (left to right) NSW Deputy Premier, Paul O’Toole, mother of Matilda Rosewarne, Emma Mason, NSW Minister for Education and Early Learning Sarah Mitchell and NSW Minister for Mental Health Bronnie Taylor.

Bullying can impact any child and young person: from those who are bullied, those who bully others, and those who witness bullying. The level of distress caused by bullying to students, their families and schools is significant.  

An Antibullying Roundtable held its first meeting this week, to work out agreed actions to combat bullying of children and young people in NSW - inside and outside of school. 

The roundtable was established by NSW Minister for Education and Early Learning Sarah Mitchell after she met with the parents of Matilda (Tilly) Rosewarne, whose struggles with bullying led her to suicide at age 15.

Representatives and experts from across NSW school sectors, youth mental health organisations, social media organisations, government and community leaders; teachers, parent/carers, and student representatives were in attendance.  

Lachlan Gillis, a Year 11 student from Smith’s Hill High School, attended the meeting as a Student DOVES (Department of Student Voices in Education and Schools) representative. He said bullying of any form is completely unacceptable.

“We all really need to work together to reduce the impact of bullying and bring about change to bullying of young people,” Lachlan said.

“The Antibullying Roundtable meeting was a step in the right direction. It had key people and representatives who are really invested in making a real change to bullying of young people.

“Change needs to happen from the ground up and in partnership with students. Working directly with the students who are impacted, the victims, perpetrators, and bystanders will go a long way in helping to bring about the change to combat bullying of young people.

“Students need to hear from those who have directly experienced bullying -whether it simply be their peers in an informal peer-to-peer support group or a presenter who has been through the same situation themselves. Those stories stick.”

Minister Sarah Mitchell said the discussion explored strategies to strengthen responses to bullying of children and young people in NSW inside and outside of school.  

“Solutions to bullying are not simple. Bullying prevention and anti-bullying approaches that show the most promise confront the problem from many angles and involve the entire school community to create a culture of respect, acceptance, and inclusion,” Ms Mitchell said. 

“Our schools are aware of the real and potentially harmful effects of bullying, including online bullying (cyberbullying) on children and young people and take reports of bullying very seriously. 

“Following the Roundtable, school resources will be developed for staff, parents, carers and students to improve awareness of bullying in and out of schools offline and online.”

The NSW anti-bullying website brings together resources and information to support practice in schools and provide updated information for teachers, parents, carers, and students.

If you or someone you know is in crisis, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14, Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800 or call 000 if your life is in danger. You can also talk to your GP, local health professional or someone you trust.

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