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October 1, 2023

Today is the National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence

Latest News

Feros responds to Expression of Interest announcement

The announcement earlier today that the Minister for Crown Lands, Steve Kamper, started the Expressions of Interest (EOI) process for Feros Village Byron Bay has drawn a response from the Feros Care board that still sees the facility in terms of a 'closure'. 

Other News

Urban increase blueprint unveiled for Byron Shire

meeting that, if eventually adopted, could see upscaled urban development across the Shire via ‘infill, new release, existing zoned vacant land and living differently’.

State government pledges $5m for Lismore’s Two Rooms project

More than 350 flood affected homes in the Northern Rivers region can now be repaired, getting vulnerable people back on their feet and into safe housing thanks to Resilient Lismore’s Two Rooms Project, backed by $5 million in funding from the NSW Government.

Cinema: Battle of the sea folk

Yes, it’s school holidays so there are lots of films with ‘G’ in the rating, and Ruby Gillman – Teenage Kraken is definitely on the list. Sometimes the hero you are meant to be lies just beneath the surface.

A win for Feros Village Byron Bay residents

A whole community can expel a sigh of relief at the breaking news that months of distress and sadness can now become part of history – this morning the Minister for Crown Lands, Steve Kamper, has announced that services providers for aged care are advised that Expressions of Interest (EOI) are now open for Feros Village Byron Bay.

Ciggie butts tops in litter prevention project 

A litter prevention project has been a success, say Byron Shire Council staff, with 1,450 pieces of litter being prevented from flowing into the Cape Byron Marine Park over a two month period.

BES rejects Ramsey’s proposal to leave conservation zones to private landholders

Ballina Environment Society (BES) has come out strongly against conservative independent Ballina Councillor Eva Ramsey’s proposal to have private property owners ‘opt in’ to conservation zones.

The NDA theme for 2023 is ‘growing connections’. Photo – nobullying.com.

The National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence (NDA) is now permanently on the third Friday in August – in 2023, this day is today, Friday 18 August.

In 2022, 68 per cent of Australian schools joined together to say ‘Bullying. No Way!’ The NDA is an opportunity to create a shared understanding of what is bullying, outline your bullying prevention policies and show support to students who may be experiencing bullying.

The NDA theme for 2023 is ‘growing connections’. This theme supports research findings that strong school community connections and social skills are protective factors in the prevention of bullying and help enable positive, help-seeking behaviours in students.

Whether you’re a parent, teacher, student or member of the broader community, everyone has a role to play in preventing bullying.

Signs of bullying

Each student who has been impacted by, or involved in, bullying others will respond and act differently.

A student’s behaviours and moods can change for a variety of reasons.

Teachers, parents and carers need to be alert to the possibility that a change in a child’s behaviours and moods could be related to bullying.

If you are concerned about your child’s behaviour or mood, talk with them about school and ask general questions about how things are going.

Signs a teacher might notice include if a student: seems upset, unhappy or angry; starts to experience conflict with peers; is sitting alone during class or lunch times; does not want to talk about what is wrong; withdraws from friends and activities they previously enjoyed, or; drops in academic performance.

Types of bullying

Bullying is usually described by the types of behaviours involved, so we talk about verbal, social and physical bullying.

Bullying is sometimes also labelled by where it occurs or by what type of harm is done. These words can be used alone or in combination. It can be confusing!

Type of behaviour – verbal, physical and social

There are three types of bullying behaviour: verbal bullying which includes name calling or insulting someone about their physical characteristics such as weight or height, or other attributes including race, sexuality, culture, or religion; physical bullying which includes hitting or otherwise hurting someone, shoving or intimidating another person, or damaging or stealing their belongings, or; social bullying which includes consistently excluding another person or sharing information, images or other digital content that will have a harmful effect on the other person.

These behaviours alone don’t define bullying. If any of these behaviours occur only once, or are part of a conflict between equals (no matter how inappropriate) they are not bullying. It is important to note that when a behaviour occurs online and is published, distributed or shared to a wider audience, that this may be considered bullying.

Online bullying

Online settings have added complexities which can create additional concerns for students, parents and carers, and teachers. For example, cyberbullying includes the potential for content to be recorded, distributed and viewed by an audience far beyond what was intended.

Research shows that children who experience cyberbullying are often also bullied in person. This means that effectively dealing with cyberbullying may require an examination of bullying behaviour in other settings.

The potential to cause harm

The physical harm caused by some types of bullying is well recognised.

More recently, research has confirmed that short-term and long-term psychological harm can result from bullying. This includes the harm to a person’s social standing or reducing a person’s willingness to socialise through bullying (particularly covert social bullying).

In fact, just the fear of bullying happening can create distress and harm. The ongoing nature of bullying can lead to the person being bullied feeling powerless and unable to stop it from happening.

The effects of bullying, particularly on the mental health and wellbeing of those involved, including bystanders, can continue even after the situation is resolved.

Sometimes the term ‘psychological bullying’ is used to describe making threats and creating ongoing fear, but it is more accurate to describe this type of behaviour as ‘verbal or social bullying’ and the impact on the person being bullied as ‘psychological harm’.

Bullying can happen anywhere 

Bullying can happen at home, at work or at school, and can occur between students, staff and parents. It can happen to anyone.

Bullying. No Way! focuses on bullying between students, usually called student bullying or school bullying.

Teachers who are experiencing bullying at school should contact their supervisor, health and safety representative, human resources department or union. Information related to workplace bullying is available at Australia’s Fair Work Commission

Growing Connections 

Whether you are a parent, teacher, student or member of the broader community, everyone has a role to play in preventing the bullying of children and young people, says yourtown Chief Executive Officer Tracy Adams.

Today, Ms Adams is urging everyone to think about how we can develop stronger connections within our communities to foster positive, help-seeking behaviour, and stop bullying behaviour in its tracks.

In 2022, one in 10 Kids Helpline @ School sessions delivered by counsellors to primary schools focused on bullying or cyberbullying, with a total 109 sessions being held on bullying (64 sessions) and cyber bulling (45 sessions).

In addition to Kids Helpline@School, Ms Adams said bullying was in the top 10 concerns for young people in 2022 connecting with Kids Helpline counsellors with 1 in every 23 counselling responses.

‘At Kids Helpline we talk to young people every day about not being a bystander when they witness bullying but being an upstander instead.’

Some recommended strategies for parents to talk to their children about include: show you disapprove, e.g., frowning at a mean joke, shake your head to show you don’t think that it’s right; interrupt the bullying by talking to the person being bullied, e.g., ‘Hey Jack, there you are!’; give the person being bullied an excuse to leave the situation.  e.g., ‘The teacher is looking for you’ or, ‘Hey, can you come help me with something for a minute?’.

When a young person reaches out to a trusted adult to tell them they are being bullied, they should be heard and taken seriously. Parents play a critical role in bullying prevention by role modelling positive behaviours and also providing the space for their children to connect and talk openly about this issue. By encouraging connection and discussion about bullying, parents are also role modelling how children should talk about and approach the issue with their peers when they see it happen.

‘We encourage parents not only to lead by example by demonstrating respect, but to educate themselves about how and where bullying is conducted, including online, and to look out for the signs that something might be worrying their child,’ says Ms Adams. ‘A really good way to “open the connection” with children is to go through some of the tips and information on the Kids Helpline website.’

Connecting children to help through yourtown’s free Kids Helpline @ School program is an excellent way that primary-aged children can build strong social skills to stop bullying behaviour, and support those experiencing bullying. 

The program is supported by the BUPA Foundation and delivered by qualified Kids Helpline counsellors via video link to school classrooms and is free to all primary school students across Australia.

Teachers can book a free session through schools.kidshelpline.com.au.

Bullying research

Good quality research on bullying in schools is critical to guide effective practice.

An enormous amount of literature exists on this topic, and it can be daunting to know where to start.

Bullying. No Way! has reviewed the research on bullying for Australian educators and produced a series of research snapshots that outline the implications of the research for educational policy and practice.

Fact sheets including: • What is bullying, including online bullying? • What is the prevalence of bullying in schools? • Who is involved in bullying? • What are the impacts of bullying? • What role do parents and carers have in relation to bullying? • What is the role of school culture and school climate in countering bullying? • What is the role of school policy? • What evidence-based practices can schools adopt?

Fact sheets can be downloaded from the from the Bullying. No Way! website.

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  1. What about the headline article ‘commemorating the Vietnam Vets, who illegally invaded another country and ‘bullied two million civilians to death ?
    The two dominating countries, the US and Russia ‘Bully’ the rest of the planet into submission with Nuclear Annihilation.
    How do you expect kids to act when it is so blatantly obvious that violence is “what makes the World go ’round” ?
    Perhaps you should include that in the ‘fact sheet’.

    • Indeed there is much in the adult world both international and much closer to home, that would suggest violence (including verbal violence) is totally OK.

      • Verbal violence? Serious? Let me know how I can break your leg or kill you by speaking at you. This sounds like more leftist magical thinking.

      • After growing up in the multi-cultural icon of Grafton and sharing classes with the likes of Gary Foley, Tony Mundine, etc,etc.
        “Verbal violence” is a contradiction in terms, sober up!
        Cheers, G”)

        • Let me help you out here Ken:

          After growing up in the multi-cultural icon of Grafton and sharing classes with the likes of Gary Foley, Tony Mundine, etc,etc, I’D suggest “Verbal violence” is a contradiction in terms …

          The antecedent clause “ After growing up in the multi-cultural icon of Grafton and sharing classes with the likes of Gary Foley, Tony Mundine, etc,etc,” refers to you, not the concept of verbal violence.

          Your suggestion to “sober up! is a perfect example of a failed attempt to intimidate with words. It fails, not because words can’t intimidate, but simply because it’s so pathetic.

  2. I would say violence and bullying are about a much wider spectrum of behaviour than just physical intimidation. But it doesn’t matter how narrowly or widely you define the word it’s the impact on well-being that matters – not the semantics.

    • The word you are looking for is ‘Aggression’. Violence is an adjective that describes physical action. Someone acting aggressively towards you is unpleasant, but it won’t make your arms fall off.

      • Word meanings evolve with usage – it’s why dictionaries are regularly revised. I think we now have a common view that there are a range of categories of violence. The act of speaking – of modulating, tone, volume and pitch – is a physical action if you want to be really pedantic, quite apart from the choice of words.

        The report is about action against bullying and violence . It’s always a worry when those who adopt an aggressive stance – yes aggression is a good word here – as a default position in their discourse, don’t understand its similar harmful potential with bombs or fists.

        Many bullies don’t resort to murder but how many people are driven to despair and self harm by bullying?

        • Your continuous aggressive verbal assaults towards me, make you an unrepentant violent offender, and we need to lock you up before you spray a bunch of fully-semi-automatic verbiage into a defenceless crowd of innocent bystanders. He who controls the language, controls people’s thoughts, by controlling their ability to think. It’s how cults work.

          • Respectfully disagreeing is not violence. However I’m glad you’ve acknowledged the potential of words to inflict wounds.

          • It also comes down somewhat to intent. My words are generally aimed at enlightening rather than wounding.


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A win for Feros Village Byron Bay residents

A whole community can expel a sigh of relief at the breaking news that months of distress and sadness can now become part of history – this morning the Minister for Crown Lands, Steve Kamper, has announced that services providers for aged care are advised that Expressions of Interest (EOI) are now open for Feros Village Byron Bay.

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