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Bullying Articles

National Day of Action 8

Friday 18th March 2016 marks the sixth National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence. National statistics show that one in four, Year 4 to Year 9 Australian students (27%) report being bullied every few weeks or more* and the impact can be far-reaching. 

Bullying can happen to anyone and affects students in different ways; from school involvement to relationships with family and friends as well as student wellbeing, including feelings of self-doubt, loneliness, anxiety, stress and sadness. Brainstorm Productions approach uses live theatre to engage directly with students – be it bullies, the bullied or bullying bystanders. 

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Anti Violence School Program

Brainstorm Productions performs to primary and high school students every day of the school year, including their anti violence school program ‘Sticks & Stones’. We talk to this year's Sticks & Stones team, Kieren and Michael, about how they get students talking about what is acceptable behaviour and what’s not, why they love their job and some expert tips on breaking into acting. 

 

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Sticks and Stones

Horrifying domestic violence statistics in Australia show that one in six women have experienced violence from a current or former partner, sixty three women have been killed by family violence this year and childhood exposure to partner violence increases the likelihood of intergenerational violence.

With the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull recently pledging $100 million to tackle domestic violence, including $5 million for school education programs, and with White Ribbon Day happening on 25th November, we talk to three inspiring high schools that are rewriting the script and helping students to develop respectful relationships using theatre-based education.

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Buddies 2 Anti Cyberbullying at School

What is the number-one social issue for students across Australia? According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics CensusAtSchool survey, reducing bullying in schools [1]. Longitudinal studies have consistently found strong links between school bullying and mental health problems with victims at risk of developing depression, anxiety and suicidal ideation. Similarly, perpetrators of bullying are also at risk of developing depression, anti-social personality and substance use disorders [3]. With a long history, over 30 years, Brainstorm Productions helps more than 350,000 students across Australia each year with anti-bullying, cyber bullying and wellbeing education programs via a range of live in-school theatre productions. 

The use of theatre in education can help unite students in a shared experience and is a great springboard for opening up discussion and assisting with change; be it bullying, peer pressure, binge drinking and violence. Research and evaluation have revealed that the ‘overwhelming majority of students demonstrate enjoyment and enthusiasm through watching educational theatre, are receptive and listen attentively, and can correctly identify the educational messages being portrayed’ [2]. In this way, theatre gives strong and emotional lessons to students, whilst being entertaining.

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How does theatre help deliver the anti bullying message in schools, and is it effective? Australia's largest independent women’s website, Mamamia, talked to Brainstorm Productions co-founder Jenny Johnson about bullying, cyber bullying and how Brainstorm Productions uses theatre to bring about effective change and make a real difference in kids lives. Below is a full transcript of this interview:

 

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