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Commissioner hears students’ thoughts on bullying

Schools

The Commissioner for Children and Young People Helen Connolly met with students at Xavier College recently as part of a Statewide fact-finding tour to gain young people’s perspective and understanding of bullying.

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In her role as Commissioner, Ms Connolly is tasked with promoting and advocating for the rights, development and wellbeing of all children and young people in South Australia.

Her visit to Xavier is part of a program to attend 24 schools (Independent, Catholic, Government and non-school environments) around South Australia to gather feedback from young people. The information received will be used to prepare a report for Parliament on students’ opinions and solutions to the subject of bullying.

The one-hour interactive session at Xavier saw Ms Connolly and Strategic, Engagement and Participation officer Jodie Evans guiding the students through a scenario involving a fictional cartoon character to determine their views on what bullying looks like, why it happens, how prevalent it is and solutions young people suggest to combat it.

College principal Mark Flaherty said the session was a great platform for students to share their thoughts on bullying.

“Moments like these give our students opportunities to see that there are avenues for them to provide feedback into the decisions our government makes and this opportunity to connect with the commissioner reinforced to them that their opinions matter and are greatly valued,” he said.

Mr Flaherty said the visit was timely as it coincided with a recent presentation to the Xavier parent community by Sonya Ryan and Dr Tess Opie through Program Connect. This program aims to equip parents so they can navigate conversations with their children and establish boundaries focused on harm prevention.

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