Bendigo and Mallee schools take action to prevent bullying

The National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence (NDA), Australia's key bullying prevention event for schools

The theme 'Take Action Together' aims to build student voice and empower young Australians to join the national conversation about bullying. 

Strathfieldsaye Primary School and Donald High School have been a part of the NDA since it began in 2010. Their students are learning powerful messages through school-wide bullying prevention activities.

Student voice builds awareness

Strathfieldsaye Primary School encourages students to help build a safe learning environment.

Through their multi-age Group Action Project and student leadership opportunities, students can build relationships in the school and wider community and have a sense of belonging.

Students are provided with leadership opportunities within the junior school council and as Aboriginal young leaders to empower them to co-design their school's culture.

Principal Cindi Bruechert said these opportunities gave students a strong voice.

'The NDA is a wonderful opportunity to build connections with the student body. It helps students and teachers to think about how bullying affects everyone and how we can work together to support others,' Cindi said.  

Students initiated the school's involvement in the NDA in 2010 when they hosted a casual clothes day to raise money. 

Since then, they have taken part in other NDA activities, including using art to make visual representations of themselves.

Positive action strengthens school culture

Donald High School Principal Paul Aikman said it was important for students to develop skills to recognise and call out bullying.

'We know how bullying can lead to long-lasting mental health issues, so we want to make sure we do everything we can to create a supportive school,' he said.

The school teaches students not to be bystanders when they witness bullying, and works to build peer support. A strong wellbeing team and the Respectful Relationships curriculum help students feel supported when reporting bullying behaviour.

The school's proactive approach has led to the school's decade-long involvement in the NDA.

'The NDA really builds awareness and brings the issue to the front,' Paul said. 'Your strength of school culture is reflected in how proactive your school community is to addressing bullying.'

Find out more

For more information about how you can be part of the solution and take action against bullying and violence in your school, community and beyond, visit: National Day Against Bullying and Violence.

The Department of Education and Training supports schools to build a culture of respect and understanding, and empowers students to call out bullying. Find out more on the Bully Stoppers website.