HELP THROUGH HARD TIMES: Warwick Youth Connect members Rachelle Mohajer, Shayan Khademi and Rohan Borg work with teens to mediate and talk through bullying problems.
HELP THROUGH HARD TIMES: Warwick Youth Connect members Rachelle Mohajer, Shayan Khademi and Rohan Borg work with teens to mediate and talk through bullying problems.

Bullying beat-down: Warwick youth needs community help

THE Queensland Government is set to beat down bullying on the Southern Downs with a series of initiatives targeted at state-funded sporting groups and community organisations.

Recommendations from the Queensland Anti-Cyberbullying Taskforce aim to reduce the prevalence of bullying among young people by ensuring proper prevention and intervention policies are in place.

Young people in Warwick experience a concerning amount of bullying, according to Warwick Youth Connect co-ordinator Shayan Khademi.

“During the last year we’ve connected with a lot of young people and the most common thing we hear about is bullying,” Mr Khademi said.

“There are a lot of physical fights, I saw one break out between high school kids just last week at Leslie Park.

“But there are also other types of bullying, like young people feeling left out and not accepted.”

Warwick Headspace manager Travis Maguire said teens were more likely to present to the clinic with this subtler type of bullying.

“Bullying is prevalent and it’s a consistent and ongoing concern,” Mr Maguire said.

“A lot of people we see in that group experience social isolation.”

Such bullying tactics can create long-lasting damage to youth mental health, according to Mr Maguire.

“It creates feelings of low self worth and causes them to shut themselves off from the rest of the world,” he said.

“It can lead to depression and anxiety.”

Members of Warwick Youth Connect often report feeling disempowered by the experience, according to Mr Khademi.

“At school age they have such potential to do good but when they’re discouraged it prevents them from being able to express that properly,” he said.

Director general Warwick Agnew wrote to Southern Downs Regional Council CEO David Keenan to ensure council was supportive of anti-bullying recommendations.

Recommendation 8 of the taskforce report will see Southern Downs sporting and community groups receive similar letters from the Queensland Government, while those who receive state-funding will be required to show they have implemented appropriate anti bullying measures.

Southern Downs Mayor Tracy Dobie said she believed the policies were “absolutely essential”.

“Whether you’re in a structured organisation or part of a community group you must set a standard,” Cr Dobie said.

“It takes strong people to stand up to bullying and those strong people need to be supported.”

Mr Maguire said tackling the problem needed to be a community effort.

“It’s all about education and prevention, working with it before it becomes a problem,” he said.

“People place a lot of the blame on young people but where are they learning that behaviour from?

“As adults we need to lead by example, to take our positions seriously and be positive role models.”

Recommendations from the Queensland Anti-Cyberbullying Taskforce aim to reduce the prevalence of bullying among young people by ensuring proper prevention and intervention policies are in place.

Young people in Warwick experience a concerning amount of bullying, according to Warwick Youth Connect coordinator Shayan Khademi.

“During the last year we’ve connected with a lot of young people and the most common thing we hear about is bullying,” Mr Khademi said.

“There are a lot of physical fights, I saw one break out between high school kids just last week at Leslie Park.

“But there are also other types of bullying, like young people feeling left out and not accepted.”

Warwick Headspace manager Travis Maguire said teens are more likely to present to the clinic with this subtler type of bullying.

“Bullying is prevalent and it’s a consistent and ongoing concern,” Mr Maguire said.

“A lot of people we see in that group experience social isolation.”

Such bullying tactics can create long-lasting damage to youth mental health, according to Mr Maguire.

“It creates feelings of low self worth and causes them to shut themselves off from the rest of the world,” he said.

“It can lead to depression and anxiety.”

Members of Warwick Youth Connect often report feeling disempowered by the experience, according to Mr Khademi.

“At school age they have such potential to do good but when they’re discouraged it prevents them from being able to express that properly,” he said.

Director General Warwick Agnew wrote to Southern Downs Regional Council CEO David Keenan to ensure council was supportive of anti bullying recommendations.

Recommendation 8 of the taskforce report will see Southern Downs sporting and community groups receive similar letters from the Queensland Government, while those who receive state-funding will be required to show they have implemented appropriate anti bullying measures.

Southern Downs Mayor Tracy Dobie said she believed the policies were “absolutely essential.”

“Whether you’re in a structured organisation or part of a community group you must set a standard,” Cr Dobie said.

“It takes strong people to stand up to bullying and those strong people need to be supported.”

Mr Maguire said tackling the problem needs to be a community effort.

“It’s all about education and prevention, working with it before it becomes a problem,” he said.

“People place a lot of the blame on young people but where are they learning that behaviour from?

“As adults we need to lead by example, to take our positions seriously and be positive role models.”



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