The number of school-aged children suffering from bullying has dropped by almost a third during the past seven years, according to new research.
But more work is needed to further address the issue, which still affects almost one in five children.
As the National Centre Against Bullying (NCAB) – an initiative of the Alannah & Madeline Foundation – prepares its biennial conference in Melbourne on July 28 and 29, new research shows positive steps in addressing face-to-face bullying among Australian children.
South Australian Professor and NCAB member Ken Rigby, with Dr Kaye Johnson, have this year published a study, which highlights that 19.8 per cent of school-aged children experience bullying.
A 2009 study by fellow NCAB member and Western Australian Professor Donna Cross found this number to be as high as 27 per cent.
Professor Rigby, who will present at the NCAB Conference, said while the positive results reflected the hard work done by schools and organisations such as the Alannah & Madeline Foundation, more work would be essential to see the numbers drop further.
“There is still so much to be done, we cannot relax our efforts,” Prof Rigby said.
NCAB Chair the Hon Alastair Nicholson AO RFD QC, echoed Prof Rigby’s words and encouraged as many people – particularly teachers, parents and law makers – to attend the conference to hear from some of the world’s leading minds.
“NCAB, particularly this conference, has been able to affect amazing change over the past 14 years, but unfortunately bullying and cyberbullying are still serious problems in Australian society,’’ Mr Nicholson said.
“I look forward to hearing from presenters who are working at the cutting edge to inform influencers and decision makers to address this incredibly important issue.”
The seventh NCAB Conference ‘Toward Bullying Solutions: Theory and Practice’ will be held at the Crown Conference Centre and includes keynote presentations by Professor Dorothy Espelage (US), Professor Wendy Craig (Canada), Professor Helen McGrath (Aus) and Professor Toni Noble (Aus).
The conference will be hosted by Mr Nicholson AO RFD QC and Dr Michael Carr-Gregg and will more than 50 specialist presenters such as Barbara Spears, Karyn Healy, Susan McLean as well as a youth advisory panel.
For more information or to buy tickets to the NCAB Conference go to ncab.org.au.
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