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Australian-first anti-bullying conference puts parents at the workshop table

The world’s leading researchers on anti-bullying strategies and bullying behaviour will be in NSW this week for a series of Australian-first conferences that put parents, students and teachers in the same room as the experts.

The Anti-Bullying Strategy 2018 Conference begins in Sydney today, before heading to the regional centres of Wagga Wagga, Dubbo and Ballina later this week.

Education Minister Rob Stokes said the events were a unique opportunity for educators from the public, independent and Catholic school sectors to come together and share information and best-practice expertise on combating one of the most challenging issues in schools today.

“Bullying of any kind is unacceptable, no matter who you are or where you go to school,” Mr Stokes said.
“While NSW is leading the way in how we approach and prevent bullying in schools, there is still more we can do.”

The conference is the latest pillar of the NSW Government’s nation-leading Anti-Bullying Strategy, implemented last year, which has also included a range of new professional development initiatives for teachers and a new resource-rich anti-bullying website for schools, parents, carers and students.

“This year we’ve also launched a review into the use of mobile phones in schools and we’re addressing the ever-evolving issue of cyber bullying,” Mr Stokes said. Parliamentary Secretary for Education Gareth Ward said the conference would also be attended by Wellbeing Directors from Education Departments in each state and territory to ensure that the best-practice anti-bullying learnings were shared across the country to benefit students Australia-wide.

“This is about ensuring all those affected by bullying behaviours in schools are in the same room discussing real problems and hearing practical solutions,” Mr Ward said.

“By taking the conference speakers to regional centres we are showing that no matter where you live, you can be part of the solution to ending bullying in schools.”

Topics to be covered in the conference workshops will include: cyberbullying, sexting, supporting vulnerable youth, the bystander influence and evidence-based behaviour interventions that work.

The Anti-Bullying Strategy 2018 Conferences will be held in:

  • Sydney, Monday 29 October – Tuesday 30 October
  • Dubbo, Wednesday 31 October
  • Wagga Wagga, Wednesday 31 October
  • Ballina, Friday 2 November

The conference program is available at www.antibullying.nsw.gov.au

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