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Bond University's anti-bullying program goes global

Bond University’s anti-bullying program has gone global, with Bentley University in the United States adopting its “One Goal, One Community” initiative.

Associate Professor of Management and Director of the Bond University LEAP Research Centre, Dr Amy Kenworthy, together with her former Service Learning student Sarah Benson – who has just returned to Bentley University to continue her studies after studying a semester abroad at Bond – led the charge to replicate the program internationally.

Designed to be run by students, the ‘One Goal, One Community: Moving beyond bullying and empowering for life’ initiative aims to encourage community members to sign a pledge to commit to behaviours that will better society and put an end to bullying.

Dr Kenworthy, a Bentley University alumna, and Ms Benson, who studies marketing and is a coordinator at Bentley’s Service Learning Center, officially launched the program for Bentley University, presenting their anti-bullying presentation to the local Massachusetts communities of Waltham and Milton.

Their powerful presentation covered real-life bullying incidents (including the bullying-related death of school students), international examples highlighting the extensiveness of this epidemic, an overview of different types of bullying behaviour, examples of bullying in the workforce and skills to overcome bullying throughout all stages of life.

Bentley University’s Service Learning Centre will now continue to roll the program out to local schools in the area, with the aim of encouraging at least 10,000 community members to sign an anti-bullying pledge this semester.

Dr Kenworthy said, “Bullying is a major concern for everyone, everywhere. We need to acknowledge this is a problem that occurs throughout life – not just in senior schools, but in primary schools and the workforce too”.

“The major thrust for this initiative, both for Bond and Bentley, is to stimulate communication among people about this difficult topic.

“The program involves students talking to their parents, caregivers, friends, neighbours and business and community members about issues related to bullying and then asking for their commitment to work to eradicate it.

“It is about having an entire community come together to enact positive change – we want every member to feel ownership and responsibility for making our community a better place,” Dr Kenworthy said.

The “One Goal, One Community” initiative has already achieved great success in Australia, with over 10,000 people having already signed an anti-bullying pledge in April of this year when the program was run with Varsity College in Varsity Lakes.

Dr Kenworthy said her students are now working with another ten schools in Gold Coast region with the goal of securing an additional 20,000 signatures in those communities through face-to-face conversations by the end of the year.

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