NCAB Conference: The Alannah & Madeline Foundation CEO calls for renewed focus on bullying

in Press Releases

Media Release - Thursday 28 July

The Alannah & Madeline Foundation CEO Lesley Podesta has warned that the community must maintain its commitment to combatting bullying from an early age.

Speaking at the seventh biennial National Centre Against Bullying ((NCAB) Conference, Ms Podesta said according to the New York Times, there had been 247 violent deaths in eight attacks across six countries during the past two weeks.

In at least two cases, the alleged perpetrators were also victims of bullying.

“It’s vital that our community appreciate the significance of the effect of bullying on widespread violence,” Ms Podesta said.

“Bullying drives a culture of violence permitting the most powerful to dominate the less powerful, and is at the core of domestic violence and hate crimes.”

She said early intervention held the hope of preventing acts of violence in the future.

Ms Podesta also emphatically endorsed a call by NCAB Chair and former Chief Justice of the Family Court of Australia Alastair Nicholson to ensure Indigenous people had a central part in the deliberations of the royal commission.

This should include the appointment of an appropriately qualified Indigenous person as a Commissioner.

She said early intervention held the hope of preventing acts of violence in the future.

Ms Podesta also praised the emotional strength of Walter Mikac, the father of Alannah and Madeline, and husband of Nanette, who were killed on Sunday 28 April, 1996 at Port Arthur in one of Australia’s worst ever gun attacks.

“From one of the worst tragedies that could happen to a person, he responded with love and positivity to support every child in Australia,” she said.

This week’s conference is an initiative of the Alannah & Madeline Foundation.

Media inquiries contact Adrian Bernecich: 0416 045 701 or

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