15 March 2019 marks the ninth annual National Day of Action (NDA) Against Bullying and Violence. NDA is an initiative created by education authorities in the Safe & Supportive School Communities Working Group. Although the main focus of the day is to prevent bullying in schools, the message is still relevant to workplaces. As role models, parents and adults, we have a key role in modelling appropriate behaviour to young people.
This year the NDA’s theme is ‘take action every day.’ This builds on last year’s theme – ‘imagine a world free from bullying’ – and asks us to turn ideas against bullying into everyday practical actions.
Raising awareness through the campaign is crucial to demonstrating what constitutes bullying, the impacts it can have and how common it still is. Whether it’s at work or in the classroom, and whether it’s open or covert, bullying is an ongoing misuse of power in a relationship. This could be as simple as an older child picking on a younger peer, or unfairly assigning unpleasant tasks to a colleague.
The campaign relies on key academics, including Professor Donna Cross from the University of Western Australia, to help spread the message that cultivating friendly schools and workplaces is one of the best ways to eliminate bullying and violence. Professor Cross points out that a world without bullying is a world in which people relate to each other through open conversations and friendly exchanges. The best way to combat bullying is to adopt a strategy of pro cooperation, by encouraging people to create an environment that doesn’t support bullying behaviour. Campaigns such as NDA aim to achieve this by bringing bullying to the discussion table and enabling people to feel comfortable with speaking about their experiences.
The NDA spreads the message that bullying and violence at school, university or the workforce is never acceptable.
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