High school students film anti-bullying ad for television

STOP: Taking part in filming at Ballina skatepark on August 26 for the Inspire Change Challenge anti-bullying television advertisement (foreground, from left) videographer Craig Parry, Luke Atkinson (playing the hero), Nadine Janissen (playing the victim) and Brittany Sanders (playing the bully).
STOP: Taking part in filming at Ballina skatepark on August 26 for the Inspire Change Challenge anti-bullying television advertisement (foreground, from left) videographer Craig Parry, Luke Atkinson (playing the hero), Nadine Janissen (playing the victim) and Brittany Sanders (playing the bully). Graham Broadhead

BRITTANY Sanders says victims of bullying should "stay strong" - and tell someone.

The Xavier Catholic College Year 9 student yesterday had to see the other side of her advice, and play the role of a bully at the Ballina skatepark.

She was taking part in filming for an anti-bullying television campaign which is part of the Inspiring Change Challenge developed by Lennox Head's Clare Southwell from Third and Public marketing.

Students from around the region were asked to come up with ideas for the anti-bullying campaign, and the winning entry came from a team of five students from Emmanuel Anglican College in Ballina with the tagline "Don't let them face it alone".

Ms Southwell said the campaign aimed to "empower" students to think about how to tackle the issue of bullying, and she cited figures saying one in four students are affected by bullying in Australia.

Aidan Rajaratnam, speaking on behalf of the Emmanuel team, said the skatepark was chosen as the location for their idea as it's a place where there aren't many adults around.

In their script, a bully taunts a victim and films her on her mobile phone - something he said kids could relate to.

Students from around Ballina Shire auditioned to be part of the television campaign.

Brittany said she has seen bullies in action, and had to think hard about how she would play the role of bully for the 30-second advertisement which will go to air in the Northern Rivers in October.

Luke Atkinson, also in Year 9 at Xavier Catholic College, played the role of the hero.

Two scenarios are featured in the campaign: one in which no one stands up to the bully, and the second in which the hero steps in to support the victim.

Luke's advice to those being bullied is "to make sure your voice is heard".

And to other students who witness bullying: "Don't just let it happen," he said.

"But don't bully the bully - then you're just as bad."

Topics:  bullying, emmanuel anglican college, xavier catholic college

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