More than 100 young Queenslanders from across the state will put their heads together today at the Queensland State Netball Centre to come up with strategies to combat cyberbullying.
Minister for Child Safety, Youth and Women Di Farmer said CONVO2019 was an Australian first event where young people aged 12 to 25 from metro, rural, regional and remote Queensland would collaborate with social media influencers to design a community campaign to deal with the rise of cyberbullying.
“Bullying of any kind is never okay, and we are absolutely committed to doing whatever it takes to stamp out cyberbullying,” Ms Farmer said.
“I am so thrilled to see so many of Queensland’s best and brightest taking action today, together with an inspiring line up of young social media influencers who can help spread the word.
“A survey conducted by yourtown last year found nearly 60 per cent of the 1,256 respondents had experienced online bullying, so it’s critical that our young people know how to protect themselves, how to act appropriately online and how to be part of the solution.
“CONVO2019 participants will share ideas and help form solutions about how we can make bullying history, and toward the end of the day will choose a winning idea that will form the basis of a statewide anti-cyberbullying campaign that engages the entire community.”
Participants will also hear from Instagram and social media influencers who will share their knowledge and experiences.
yourtown Virtual Service Manager Tony Fitzgerald said support and information from Kids Helpline and Parentline would be available to young people and parents on the day.
“yourtown supports the work of the Queensland Government to protect our young people and stamp out online bullying,” Mr Fitzgerald said.
“We hear all too often from young people and parents who have been impacted either directly or indirectly by cyberbullying and we are happy to see young Queenslanders stepping up to be part of the solution to this problem.”
CONVO2019 participant, and member of the Queensland Indigenous Youth Leadership Program, 19-year-old Wollie Gela said he was excited to attend today’s event and help make a change.
“I haven’t personally experienced a lot of cyberbullying, but being an Indigenous Australian and reading ignorant and racist comments about my culture and people online affects me deeply,” Mr Gela said.
“It’s important to realise that cyberbullying doesn’t only affect individuals, but can also impact a community, culture, race and people.
“While I believe everyone has the freedom to express their thoughts and feelings, it’s important this is done in an appropriate and safe way, especially online.”
The development of a public awareness and education campaign is one of 29 recommendations made by Queensland’s first Anti-Cyberbullying Taskforce, as part of the government’s zero tolerance to bullying and commitment to protecting all young people.
Visit www.qld.gov.au/convo2019 for more information.
Minister for Child Safety, Youth and Women and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence
The Honourable Di Farmer