Campaign inspires community to take stand against bullying

The cover of the Inspiring Change Challenge special publication in The Northern Star today.
The cover of the Inspiring Change Challenge special publication in The Northern Star today. CONTRIBUTED

A TV and print campaign and a school tool kit will be rolled out on the Northern Rivers to discourage bullying.

The initiative was developed by local students in this year's Inspiring Change Challenge, organised by Clare Southwell from Third and Public Marketing and founder of the Inspiring Change Challenge.

"I was bullied, like many people, when I was at school," she said.

"It was such a hard time and I remember thinking: Will it always be like this?

"Luckily it wasn't, and as I grew up so did the people around me.

"Bullying is tough when you are at school or at any age, but as a kid it feels far worse."

Ms Southwell was inspired by the tragic loss of young Australian Chloe Ferguson.

"I now have a daughter who is growing up so fast and I have the worry of her being bullied in the back of my mind," she said.

"Last year I heard about the tragic news of Chloe Ferguson, who died (sadly taking her own life) after suffering with consistently bullying.

"The story really hit me hard and I knew straight away that the Inspiring Change Challenge had to be about bullying. It's just not a topic I feel should be seen as a normal part of life."

Ms Southwell was very thankful of the community's reaction to the Inspiring Change Challenge, especially in Ballina.

"We were overwhelmed by the uptake and generosity of the business community to support the ICC," she said.

"People were right behind us and totally understood what we were trying to achieve with the challenge.

"I cannot thank people enough; the businesses that donated prizes and the professionals who gave their time and services for free.

"None of this would have been possible without the involvement of our two partners, the Ballina District Community Services Association and FSG Australia."

The TV campaign will be launched in mid-October; at the same time The Northern Star will start a full print advertising campaign.

A tool kit including posters, wristbands and a letter to the principal will be delivered to a number of local schools.

Two bush shelter advertising spaces have also been donated by Claude Outdoor to support the initiative.

For further details on the Inspiring Change Challenge, go to inspiringchangechallenge.com or check out the special publication in The Northern Star today.



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