Stand Up #choosekindness
Stand Up #choosekindness is an anti-bullying project developed by the Youth Reference Group team at headspace Wollongong, which comprises of five short films that address the behaviour of bystanders. They are a call to action, and encourage everyone to take responsibility for being part of a kind and inclusive community.
The project was launched this week and the films are now available to the public.
Stand up, #choosekindness is an anti-bullying project conceived and brought to life by a team of Illawarra youth, the headspace Wollongong Youth Reference Group (YRG). The project was funded by the Kiama community, who raised $10000 by participating in a treadmill marathon organised by the local gym, OneFitness24/7.
The project comprises of a series of films which explore the behaviour of bystanders and their capacity to create positive, supportive and kind communities by choosing to respond appropriately to their peers when bullying-type incidents occur. The Youth Reference Group hope to utilise the films by working with students in local high schools to co-design activities and tools that support the concepts explored in the films. It is hoped these activities will empower young people to answer the call to action and create positive school communities where bullying is not tolerated and vulnerable young people feel supported by kindness.
The five films explore the behaviour of bystanders and how they can, sometimes unknowingly, contribute to bullying incidents and the impact on victims by choosing to stand by rather than act. The films are a call to action, which explore how to identify the moment of inappropriate behaviour, and ways to respond in a positive way - to Stand Up.
The project was launched on December 17th at a screening event attended by Gareth Ward, MP for Kiama and Paul Scully, MP for Wollongong, the Grand Pacific Health Board, members of the Kiama community, and representatives from organisations who work with young people in the region. Also in attendance were representatives from OneFitness24/7.
Gym Manager of OneFitness24/7 in 2018, Nikki Wilder, who organised the treadmill marathon that funded the project, shared her thoughts after viewing the films this week:
“I really felt a call to action that as a part of this community we needed to do something about this epidemic of bullying, because it’s not okay. It’s not okay to be bullied, and we can all play our part.
Our community was fantastic in the way they jumped into action to participate and donate.
It’s so beautiful to see what headspace Wollongong have done with our funds, we didn’t just want to create awareness on the one day of our event, we wanted something lasting. I think these videos are going to do some really good things for our youth and the whole of our community, moving into the bright future of 2021.”
An overview of the films:
Film 1: Stand Up, don't stand by, explores various 'roles' in a typical bullying scenario, and highlights the behaviour of an 'upstander'.
Film 2 : Stand up, crush the stereotype, explores the way thoughtless, sometimes habitual, prejudices can impact where we least expect. It reminds us to be kind and inclusive in our daily interactions, and call out inappropriate behaviour in the moment it occurs.
Film 3 : Stand Up, gossip the good stuff, explores how and why we share information with our friends and acquaintances. It touches on the stigma surrounding mental health issues in young people and shows us ways to respond with empathy and care.
Film 4 : Stand Up, it's no joke, explores mores subtle, but very common exclusion-type behaviours- covert bullying - where one young woman doesn't know what the joke is, or who started it, but feels targeted. The use of technology in this type of scenario is briefly touched on also and we watch how young people can choose not to participate in these negative group behaviours in very simple ways.
Film 5: Stand Up, make the choice, revisits the young people from this community we have met so far and reminds us about our rights, and our responsibilities. We are asked what kind of person we want to be, what kind of community we want to be a part of, and repeats the call to action - to choose empathy, compassion, and #choosekindness.
We would like to thank MANE Collective who worked on the production of the films for their commitment to working with us collaboratively on the project to get every aspect of the films just right. We would also like to acknowledge all the awesome young people who appear in the films, and thank them for their star performances. - The YRG team.
Project Collateral: 11 posters