Two students from the Hastings have used art to take a stand against bullying with 45,000 other primary school pupils.
Kearn Roberts from Beechwood Public School and Ellyse O'Connor from Telegraph Point Public School were recognised at Government House Sydney for their entries in an anti-bullying poster competition.
Kearn's poster was chosen as one of 13 highly commended entries, while Ellyse's poster was chosen as a regional finalist.
Kearn said he really enjoyed taking part in the competition and getting to go to Sydney. His mother, Amanda, said that with all the negativity around bullying, it was a really good, positive promotion.
“Kearn and I enjoyed going to the ceremony and he got his photo taken with the governor and his wife, and met other kids from all over Australia which was lovely,” she said.
Ellyse also had a great time in Sydney, and her mother, Natassha Shearer, is delighted that she did so well.
“There were 33 regional finalists and Ellyse was one of them. She got to meet the governor and they got a little prize pack which was very informative about the campaign against bullying,” said Natassha.
Over 45,000 children registered for Interrelate’s ‘Say No To Bullying’ poster competition in 2018, now in its 5th year. The event for primary school students was run nationwide for the first time this year.
CEO Patricia Occelli says she was uplifted by the willingness of children to be involved in the anti-bullying conversation.
“We see far too often in the media the devastating news of young people who have felt that suicide was the only option they had left after relentless bullying. What these figures show is that victims of bullying are not alone and that there is in fact an army of other young people willing to stand beside them,” she said.
“We know that there is power in numbers and really encourage young people who see bullying behaviours in their schools to step up and let the victims know that it’s not the entire world against them. Let them know that they are worth standing up for and that you will stay with them until things change for the better.”
The competition’s theme was ‘Bullieve in yourself’ and focussed on self-belief, with ties to the hit 20th Century Fox movie Ferdinand.
The 33 finalists were recognised on May 11 at an awards ceremony at Government House in Sydney.
Interrelate’s competition aims to raise awareness of the issue of bullying and to assist schools to identify and address bullying behaviours in their school communities. The competition reinforces for children to:
- Stand up for what they believe in
- Not let others determine their value
- Encourage positive viewing of others to help people see their own capabilities
- 1 in 4 Australians in Years 4-9 report being bullied every few weeks or more, with the figures highest among students in Year 5
- Kids who are bullied are more likely to show symptoms of depression or anxiety disorders, to have self-harmed or attempted suicide
- Girls are more likely than boys to be the victims of both cyberbullying and traditional bullying
- Young people who bully are significantly more likely to later engage in criminal behaviour.
- Bullying peers at school increases by more than half the risk of later becoming an offender