NCAB Conference 2014 Outcomes

The theme of the 2014 NCAB conference was Beyond the Schoolyard, recognising the fact that for the first time the conference explored issues in settings outside of school, such as workplaces and sporting clubs, and explored gender differences in bullying across all ages, from early childhood through to adulthood.

The conference called for mandatory bullying policies in all Australian schools and workplaces and an overhaul of workplace bullying laws.

The conference called for major reforms in seven key areas:

1. Increased youth engagement

Commitment to an increased focus on engaging young people in strategies to reduce bullying in
schools, workplaces and the broader community.

2. Bullying policies mandatory in schools

Bullying policies should be mandatory in every school and workplace in Australia, and accompanied
by effective implementation strategies.

3. Bullying and the law

The Federal Government proposal to give financial support to online safety initiatives are supported,
together with the appointment of an eSafety Commissioner for Children.

All Governments should recognise in legislation that bullying including cyber bullying is anti-social
conduct and thus unlawful.

The conclusions of the NCAB Symposium on Bullying, Young People and the Law are supported,
including the inclusion of a low-level offence of bullying.

All legislation relating to bullying should be revised and rewritten in understandable terms.

4. A greater focus on workplace bullying

More independent research is needed into the incidence and types of workplace bullying, particularly
in high-prevalence careers and investment is needed to inform the development of evidence-informed
preventative strategies.The existing Federal legislation covering workplace bullying has a number of deficiencies, including an inability of the Fair Work Commission to provide compensation for people affected by bullying and their families, thus rendering the legislation useless for workers who are forced to leave their employment because of bullying.

Procedures of the Fair Work Commission are overly technical and not user-friendly to workers and
should be reviewed.

There is a need for public education about new federal anti-bullying laws and proper funding through
the Fair Work Commission to facilitate this.

5. Tackling homophobic bullying in the sporting environment

Major sporting codes and other community organisations must address gender-based and
homophobic bullying, including putting in place an anti-homophobia and bullying framework.

6. Enhancing our understanding of bullying in a multicultural context

The issue of multiculturalism and bullying is a significant emerging issue. We need a greater
investment in initiatives to equip workplaces, educators and the broader community with a better
understanding of the strategies required to address bullying in a multicultural society.

7. Early intervention in preventing bullying

We recognise that very young children (3-5 years) are capable of bullying and acknowledge the
importance of addressing bullying behaviour among this age group. Further investigation is required
into this area.

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