The Harcourts Foundation has partnered with The Alannah and Madeline Foundation to stamp out bullying with an $11,000 grant to implement the Foundation’s Better Buddies Framework in five schools across Victoria.
Dr Judith Slocombe, CEO of The Alannah and Madeline Foundation, said the Better Buddies Framework helps prevent bullying by creating friendly and caring school communities.
“Bullying is the most common form of violence against children, with one in four kids affected every fortnight, and we know that bullying behaviour can lead to an increase in violent incidents in our community, so early intervention is vital,” said Dr Slocombe.
“We know Better Buddies is having a real impact, with a recent evaluation showing 95 per cent of principals believe Better Buddies helps to create a friendly and caring school environment and 89 per cent reporting a reduction in the number of bullying incidents as a result of the program.”
Under the Better Buddies Framework younger students are paired with an older ‘buddy’ to help build strong networks and connections between students, with schools hosting both formal and informal activities to engage the buddy pairs.
“The program gives all of the students someone to connect and create a friendship with. It has provided older students with an opportunity to be a positive role model and feel important within the school,” said Dr Slocombe.
“We are enormously grateful for the support of the Harcourts Foundation, as without this sort of philanthropic support, and the support of our principal partner, NAB, we would not be able to operate the Better Buddies Framework.”
The Alannah and Madeline Foundation is a national charity protecting children from violence and its devastating impact. The Foundation was established in memory of Alannah and Madeline Mikac, aged six and three, who were tragically killed with their mother and 32 others at Port Arthur, Tasmania on 28 April 1996.