In a continued effort to ensure Somerville House remains a safe place for our students to thrive, recently, four students from Years 7 to 11 were invited to give their input at a focus group to assist the State Government in developing an anti-cyberbullying community campaign to be rolled out across Queensland. Dean of Students, Mrs Julie Brunckhorst said students were encouraged to speak up and contribute to the discussion to assist with this government initiative. 

“Cyberbullying is an evolving and concerning issue, impacting young people now and into the future,” Mrs Brunckhorst said.

“Our students, along with similarly aged students from a cross-section of schools in Queensland will assist government initiatives and policy regarding this pervasive and prevalent issue directly impacting all young people accessing social media,” she said.

In 2018, the Queensland Government endorsed the recommendations made by the Anti-Cyberbullying Taskforce in their report, Adjust our Settings: A community approach to address cyberbullying among children and young people in Queensland. The report provided clear actions and a strong theme around a whole-of-community approach to address cyberbullying among children and young people in Queensland. Developing an anti-bullying community campaign to launch in Queensland was one of the key recommendations from the Taskforce’s comprehensive report.

With the primary audience for this campaign being children and young people across Queensland, participating Somerville House Year 7 student, Imogen D, said she felt privileged to help contribute to a project such as this.

“I believe that cyber-bullying is a very big issue and I am so grateful to have the chance to give my opinion,” she said.

“I was privileged to take part in such a significant research study and I hope to be chosen for more,” Imogen said.

Year 11 student, Imogen W thoroughly enjoyed attending the focus group and said she learnt many valuable lessons and heard many interesting views on this extensive issue.

“I enjoyed every second of being involved in the anti-cyberbullying focus group,” Imogen said.

“After having the opportunity to attend this forum and help with ideas for future campaigns, I am inspired to be much more involved in the fight for anti-cyberbullying,” she said.

Proud of the student’s contribution at the focus group, Mrs Brunckhorst believes their insights are incredibly valuable to the development of this anti-bullying project.

“The students really appreciated being asked to contribute their strong and articulate voices to such a valuable and important project,” Mrs Brunckhorst said.

“We look forward to their further insightful contributions,” she said.

The School has many anti-bullying resources located in the Pastoral Care section of My Somerville, including the latest Bully Button initiative that gives students in Year 5 to 12 the opportunity to report bullying to the Dean of Students via an online portal. My Somerville is only available to parents and students of Somerville House.

If you or anyone you know is suffering from cyberbullying or any form of bullying, please do not hesitate to contact Kidshelpline or visit the Office of the eSafety Commissioner website for anti-bullying resources.