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Byron Shire
May 25, 2024

A skyhigh anti-bullying message

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Anti-bullying campaigner Michael Bennett with daredevil journalist Marlena May Katene.
Photo Jeff ‘If At First You Don’t Succeed, I Don’t Recommend Skydiving’ Dawson

Aslan Shand

Bullying is challenging for children, parents and schools and working out how to respond, how to support your children and how to move forward in a positive way can be difficult.

Raising money to help children find positive ways to address bullying, Marlena May Katene will be jumping out of an aeroplane from 15,000 feet on Saturday June 16.

And this is no normal jump – Marlena has cerebral palsy, a condition that affects a person’s ability to move. Yet this has not stopped her living her life to the fullest.

Marlena, who uses a talking device and facilitated communication to communicate, started her first business at 15 and then went on to complete a Bachelor of Communication, majoring in journalism.

‘My obvious abilities are often overshadowed by my obvious disability, but only to those who do not know me,’ said Marlena.

And Marlena has every right to be proud – among her many other talents, Marlena has become a successful journalist interviewing the likes of Richard Branson and the Dalai Lama to name just a few.

With a goal of raising $1,500, Marlena will donate all the money raised to the Dream Guards, who have run programs at primary schools to help kids learn how to be resilient and stand up to bullying in a positive way.

Resilience building

‘We believe no child should feel afraid while getting a quality education,’ said Michael Bennett from Dream Guards, who is also jumping with Marlena on Saturday.

‘Our program is easy for children to understand and follow, helping educate the bullied and the bully. The money raised will go towards buying a bus so that we can go national.’

To donate to the cause, visit www.gofundme.com/i-can-i-will-skydiving-day.

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