NCAB Conference 2016 Resolutions

1. Bullying and harassment should be treated as a major public health, safety and human rights issue

Evidence is clear as to the psychological and traumatic impact of bullying. Accordingly, there is an urgent need for greater cross collaboration between the education and health sectors. This should also include parents, schools and community in addressing bullying and harassment because of their long-term impact on the health and wellbeing of people who have been bullied and on the perpetrators of bullying and harassment. Recent community violence events in Australia and internationally have highlighted this need.

UNICEF recognises bullying as a human rights issue, arising from the Convention of the Rights of the Child. The issue should be supported by greater Federal and state government public health and safety investment in wellbeing, including evidence-based resources to prevent, identify and address bullying in all of its forms (online and offline).

2. Recognition of the significance of gender, identity and sexuality in bullying and harassment

There is an urgent need for the issues of gender equity, identity and sexuality in bullying and harassment to be addressed at all levels of society. Policies and actions must address these issues as a matter of urgency. The conference supported the Safe Schools Coalition Australia (SSCA) program in creating safe and supportive school environments for same-sex attracted, intersex and gender-diverse people by reducing homophobic and transphobic bullying and discrimination in schools.

3. Endorsement and support of the National Safe Schools Framework

The conference recognises the importance of the National Safe Schools Framework as a critical way of overcoming the current situation of each state and territory having different policies to address bullying.

4. Greater role for young people in drafting and implementing of school bullying and cyberbullying policies and evidence-based practices.

Schools and governments should give young people a meaningful role in developing school bullying and cyber bullying policies and evidence-based practices. The Federal Government’s Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner should include young people in the formulation of policies to address cyberbullying.

5. Changes to the Online Safety for Children’s Act

The threshold of ‘seriousness’ in the Enhancing Online Safety for Children Act 2015 should be amended to allow for instances of cyberbullying that may not reach the threshold to be dealt with by the Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner.

6. Support for world-class school curriculum, assessment and reporting

The conference supports and builds on the Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority’s (ACARA) initiatives to improve the social and emotional learning and development of all young Australians through world-class school curriculum, assessment and reporting. There is compelling evidence that students’ social and emotional skills predict subsequent behavioural, psychological, and academic outcomes and have a long-term impact on economic circumstances. The development of these skills contributes to significant reductions in behavioural problems in children and young people, including bullying behaviour.

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