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Students learn to take a stand against bullying

Woodcrest State College students took part in Telstra and Project Rockit's national anti-cyberbullying program today. L-R: Telstra ambassador Duncan Armstrong, Mia Lazarescu (11), Kalani Isaako (12), Woodcrest State College deputy principal (9/10) Robert Wonson, Project Rockit presenter Danielle Weber, Bradley Toleafa (11), Cody Gillespie (11) and presenter Ethan Berry.
Woodcrest State College students took part in Telstra and Project Rockit's national anti-cyberbullying program today. L-R: Telstra ambassador Duncan Armstrong, Mia Lazarescu (11), Kalani Isaako (12), Woodcrest State College deputy principal (9/10) Robert Wonson, Project Rockit presenter Danielle Weber, Bradley Toleafa (11), Cody Gillespie (11) and presenter Ethan Berry. Myjanne Jensen

IPSWICH teens will this week learn the importance of speaking up against cyberbullying.

Telstra in partnership with anti-bullying movement Project Rockit will conduct in-class workshops at local schools to empower students about tackling the issue.

Woodcrest State College hosted the event this morning and grade seven student Cody Gillespie said the workshop had been helpful.

"It was really good and I think it will help give the kids who are being bullied the confidence to reach out,” he said.

Project Rockit presenter Danielle Weber said as technology had evolved, so too had the way bullying played out.

"Less than 50% of young Australians believe they could confidentially stop cyberbullying if they saw it happening,” Ms. Weber said.

"We're here to tell them they can, and every young person we speak to can stand-up and make a difference.

"There's no preaching, lecturing or judging - this is about celebrating technology, facilitating real talk and working with young people to come up with safe and cool ways to take action.

"This program is about empowering young people to feel confident and supported to stand up for themselves or a friend when it comes to bullying online or offline.”

Telstra's 'Schoolyard to Screen' study found more than one in three (36%) Australian teenagers had personally experienced cyberbullying, with one in five (20%) stating the bullying occurred within the last month.

Telstra community engagement specialist Duncan Armstrong said as a father of five he knew first-hand the importance of the workshops.

"These are the leaders of the future, so we want to be a part of the solution to help combat cyberbullying,” he said.

"We also work with the National Digital Index to identify places around Australia that might need some extra assistance when it comes to digital literacy- Ipswich is one of those areas.”

Ipswich Mayor, Andrew Antoniolli said the current generation was facing an avalanche of change in the digital space, some of it detrimental to mental health.

"Council is proud to work in partnership with Telstra and Project Rockit to bring this program to local schools,” Cr Antoniolli said.

"As a community we must work together to tackle this issue which is affecting the emotional and psychological wellbeing of our young people.

"This program will arm students with the tools needed to teach respect, creative expression, acceptance and real social leadership.”

Project Rockit will tour schools across Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and New South Wales as part of the Telstra Foundation's Digital Futures program, which aims to build digital citizenship and technology skills in young Australians.

To find out more about the workshops click here.

Topics:  andrew antoniolli cyberbullying duncan armstrong ipswich city council telstra whatson