JUST over one year on from the introduction of Brodie’s Law, Brodie’s parents, Damien and Rae have urged Ballarat to unite against bullying.
The statewide awareness campaign comes a year after the introduction of Brodie’s Law - a change to the Crimes Act that gives 10-year prison terms for serious bullying.
Brodie Panlock was 19 when she committed suicide after relentless workplace bullying at a cafe in Glenferrie.
Brodie’s dad, Damien said he and his wife were proud to support this campaign and all efforts to combat the “scourge of bullying”.
“Having experienced the devastation that results from merciless bullying, we are passionate about stamping out bullying, whether it be in the workplace, the school yard or anywhere else, Mr Panlock said.
“We don’t want any family to endure what we have been through which is why we are committed to all efforts to raise awareness about the very serious nature of bullying and its consequences.”
Attorney-General Robert Clark said the campaign was about reminding people that bullying could have devastating consequences and that help and support were available to assist anyone experiencing serious bullying.
“No one should be forced to endure the fear and degradation of bullying. Authorities rely on information from the community to stamp out bullying, so if you or someone you know is being bullied, report it,” he said.
“All bullying is unacceptable and serious bullying is a serious crime.”
Good2gr8 Ballarat coach Sue Anderson, who worked with children and their parents to help deal with bullying, said changing the way people thought was the key.
“I receive phone calls each week from people who aren’t sure what to do. Unfortunately, I’ve come across many people who think it’s just part of life,” she said. “Let’s use Brodie’s Law to empower people to speak up.”
Ms Anderson said, in Australia, 30 per cent of children tell no one about their bullying experiences.
“Sixteen-year-old Scott, when I first met him, said he was an easy target and had been bullied since primary school,” she said.
“He now says he can choose how he feels. He’s learnt he has a choice.”.
*People seeking support and information can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467.