General News — 25 January 2018


Picture: Supplied to Perth Now

A NEWLY formed Youth Advisory Council will be directed to investigate cyber bullying as Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk ramps up her attack on the issue.

A statewide survey of children will also be rolled out by the Queensland Families and Child Commission through March to June to gauge the opinions of young children.

Education Minister Grace Grace along with former school principals turned Government MP’s Scott Stewart and Corrine McMillan will lead discussions on the matter going forward.

“The issue of cyberbullying will be a focus as will other issues including youth empowerment, out of home care, mental health, youth suicide and disability issues,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

 “QFCC is at the forefront of this work and it is ensuring young Queenslanders have a voice — that we understand their views and their experiences.

“Scott and Corinne have recent experience as senior leaders in Queensland schools, and I want to ensure we have tapped into their experiences.”

After the death of bullied NT teen Amy ‘Dolly’ Everett, who attended a Queensland boarding school, Annastacia Palaszczuk said her government would work to put the search for answers on the national agenda.

“We need to raise awareness around this issue and we must have a national conversation and action about how we tackle it as we have done on family and domestic violence.”

Ms Palaszczuk said she would “rededicate” the government to working with schools, parents, children and the community to stop bullying.

She urged parents to talk to children.

“Are they receiving bullying messages on their phones and devices? Are they aware of classmates who are receiving them? Or, let’s be frank, is their child sending these messages? … I do not know who is to blame, but I know we all need to be part of the solution.”

It comes as more than 817,000 Queensland students returned to classrooms for the start of the school this morning.

State schools and the majority of independent schools began lessons from today with Catholic schools expected to return tomorrow.

More than 65,000 students started prep year, 47,000 of them in the public system.

Meanwhile, high schools will start laying the groundwork for year 11 students in preparation for changes to the Queensland Certificate of Education and tertiary entrance system to start in 2019.

Queenslanders beat other states back to school by at least a week, with NSW, South Australian, NT and Victorian students to go back from January 29, while WA students to start back on the 31st.

ACT students will go back from February 2, while Tasmanian students will go back to school from February 7.

This piece by Trenton Akers and AAP was first seen on ‘The Courier Mail’, 22 January 2018.



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