Uncle Project targets school bullying

A PROGRAM that helps nip school bullying in the bud will be offered to boys at schools in the Byron Shire next year.

The Rock and Water program teaches boys how to manage aggressive feelings in themselves and others, to become more self aware and to express themselves more effectively.

It will be facilitated by the Uncle Project, well known for its work in mentoring boys without male role models.

Rock and Water is designed to be fun and playful while helping students to gain valuable insights.

It includes the use of physical exercise, non-intrusive self-defence activities, role plays, group discussions and debriefing exercises.

The program is one of the solutions to emerge from two recent community events facilitated by the Uncle Project, which were held to address youth violence in the Byron Bay and Mullumbimby areas.

The first event was a talk by world-renowned psychologist Steve Biddulph, best known for his book Raising Boys. He spoke to an audience of more than 350 about the importance of investing energy into boys’ development and taking a whole-of-community approach to the process.

The second was a symposium for local youth workers and agencies in which they shared their opinions on possible solutions to youth violence.

The symposium agreed the Rock and Water program would be a positive way to tackle the problem and the decision was made to offer it to primary school-aged boys next year, subject to funding.

Co-organiser and Uncle board member, John McKay, of Byron Bay, said it was time to invest some more energy toward supporting the shire’s youth.

“Having worked with the youth of the area for a long time in a number of organisations it has become apparent to me that they need a little nurturing in order to find a safe and secure place to walk amongst us,” he said.



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