About Better Buddies
One of the most common forms of violence in the lives of children is bullying. In Australia it affects approximately one student in every four1. Bullying can have a devastating effect on a child. In addition, children who portray bullying behaviours are more likely to commit anti-social behaviour and criminal acts.2
The Alannah & Madeline Foundation's Better Buddies Framework is an initiative designed to create friendly and caring primary school communities where bullying is reduced.
Through Better Buddies, children in their first and last year of primary school buddy up and learn the values: caring for others, friendliness, respect, valuing difference, including others and responsibility. All children in the school learn these values through formal and informal activities, including their interactions with the mascot Buddy Bear, our giant, fun-loving and caring purple bear.
The Alannah & Madeline Foundation would like to acknowledge Michael Salmon as the original illustrator/creator of Buddy Bear. The Foundation is very grateful to Michael for his valuable support and guidance with Better Buddies. www.michaelsalmon.com.au
Better Buddies enables younger children to feel safe and cared for while older children feel valued and respected. It is designed to enhance existing buddy programs or introduce a buddy program to primary schools for the first time. The evidence-based framework complements existing school welfare programs, is easy to implement and links to national curriculum initiatives.
Every child has a right to be safe from victimisation, violence and abuse at school. 'It is a fundamental democratic right for a child to feel safe in school and to be spared the oppression and repeated, intentional humiliation implied in bullying.' 3
Bullying is when someone (or a group of people) with more power than you, repeatedly and intentionally uses negative words and/or actions against you, which cause distress and risks your wellbeing. Bullying can be physical, verbal, emotional or social and can be carried out in person or electronically.
For more information about bullying please visit the National Centre Against Bullying website.
About the Alannah & Madeline Foundation
The Alannah & Madeline Foundation is a national charity protecting children from violence and its devastating effects. The Foundation was set up in memory of Alannah & Madeline Mikac, aged 6 and 3, who were tragically killed along with their mother and 32 others at Port Arthur, Tasmania on 28 April 1996.
We care for children who have experienced or witnessed violence and run programs which prevent violence in the lives of children. We play an advocacy role and we're a voice against childhood violence. Our vision is that every child will live in a safe and supportive environment.
Visit amf.org.au for more information
For over ten years, NAB has partnered with the Alannah & Madeline Foundation to prevent bullying in primary schools around the country. During this time, NAB have dedicated in excess of $4 million to the development of initiatives aimed at creating safe and respectful environments where bullying in reduced. NAB's key focus with the Foundation centres on the support and growth of the Better Buddies Framework. They have helped grow the framework from the 30 primary schools in 2007 to 1,700 in 2015. This means that over 510,000 children are now learning how to take care of each other at school.
1 Cross, D., Shaw, T., Hearn, L., Epstein, M., Monks, H., Lester, L., and Thomas, L. 2009. Australian Covert Bullying Prevalence Study (ACBPS). Child Health Promotion Research Centre, Edith Cowan University, Perth.
2. Rigby, K. 2006, An overview of approaches to managing bully/victim problems. In H. McGrath and T. Noble, Bullying solutions; Evidence-based approachs for Australian schools, Pearson Education, Sydney.
McGrath, H., National Safe Schools Framework Best Practice Grants Program, unpublished report (2006)
Craig, W. and Pepler, D.J. (2003). Identifying and Targeting risk for involvement in bullying and victimisation, Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 48. pp577-582.
Craig, W. and Pepler, D.J. (1997). Observations of bullying and victimisation on the schoolyard, Canadian Journal of School Psychology, 2 pp41-60.
3. Dan Olweus, 2001