While teachers and researchers work hard each day to prevent and reduce the impact of bullying on young people across Australia, there’s an important voice that often goes unheard – young people.
This year’s seventh biennial National Centre Against Bullying (NCAB) Conference, to be held at Melbourne’s CrownConference Centre on July 28 and 29, will feature a designated youth panel, drawn from a broad demographic of Australian young people.
The conference is an initiative of the Alannah & Madeline Foundation with a focus on sharing insights into bullying and identifying solutions.
Led by the Foundation’s Senior Advisor Cybersafety Jeremy Blackman, the youth panel will include students from St Charles Borromeo Catholic Primary School, Canterbury Girls’ Secondary College and Diamond Valley College.
It will also involve Rory Blundell, 20, who has recently spoken out about being transgender and LGBTI bullying and has worked closely with community groups and on government initiatives tackling the issue.
Mr Blackman said it was essential to have a youth voice at a national conference discussing issues affecting young people. He said Mr Blundell was an inspiring person who had already made an impact on societal attitudes and awareness regarding the LGBTI community as outsiders and being regular targets of bullying.
“I’m really proud of the group that has been assembled for the NCAB Conference,” Mr Blackman said. “It is vital that academics, educators and law makers hear from young people who are directly involved in bullying – and what some of the real solutions might be.
“At the Foundation, we regularly consult with young people about the issues they face, and we plan to do even more in the months and years ahead.”
Mr Blundell said it was an incredible honour to be part of the youth panel. He said it was really good to see young people really engaged on the issue because at the end of the day, they were the people affected.
“Change starts with the community listening and this is the perfect forum to get the conversation started,” Mr Blundell said.
The Alannah & Madeline Foundation CEO Lesley Podesta said the inclusion of a youth panel at this year’s conference would provide a unique but extremely important perspective on bullying. She applauded Mr Blundell’s passion and enthusiasm for discussing such an important topic and encouraged those attending the conference to ensure his views were taken on board.
“There really is no conference like this in Australia,” Ms Podesta said. “The main reason we hold events like this is for young people so I can’t think of a more important and essential panel to have speak.”
For more information about the NCAB Conference go to ncab.org.au.
Media inquiries contact Adrian Bernecich: 03 9697 0683, 0416 045 701 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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