Footy stars have your back when it comes to racist bullying

AFL players have come together to send an important message about racist bullying at school.

We've joined together with Melbourne Football Club, the Victorian Aboriginal Education Association Inc (VAEAI) and students from Albert Park College to make a video.

Co-captain Nathan Jones, star defender Neville Jetta, and AFLW player Aliesha Newman are sharing advice and a message of support – 'I have your back'.​​

Racist bullying is bullying that focuses on race, colour or culture – where you and your family are from, the colour of your skin or your cultural traditions. It can focus on the clothes you wear or the way you talk.

Aliesha, Nathan and Neville
From left to right: Aliesha Newman, Nathan Jones and Neville Jetta

Neville, a Noongar man, experienced racist bullying first hand.

'Myself growing up, I experienced some of these things in my community' Neville says.

'It didn't feel great, and I don't want it to happen to my children.

Nathan, Neville and Aliesha are calling on students to be 'upstanders'.

Students can make a difference to someone being bullied by being a friend, supporting them to get help and speaking out.

Albert Park College
Albert Park College students

Aliesha, a Ningy Ningy woman, says racist bullying stops when you take action.

'Step in and speak up,'' Aliesha says. 'Call the person out and let them know that bullying is not okay.'

'It's not easy, but it makes a huge difference,​' Nathan says.

#ihaveyourback student poster competition

While it can be hard to see someone being bullied, it's even harder to be the person being bullied.

We can all do something help. We can all be upstanders.

An upstander is a person who speaks or acts in support of an individual or cause, particularly someone who intervenes on behalf of a person being attacked or bullied. See I have your back to learn how you can be an upstander.

If you are a student at a Victorian school and you want to help other students to be upstanders, enter our #ihaveyourback poster competition. ​The competition opens on Friday March 15 and runs until Sunday May 26.