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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Premier and Minister for Trade
    The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

    Premier to host cyberbullying roundtable in Brisbane tomorrow

    Premier and Minister for Trade
    The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

    Sunday, January 28, 2018

    Premier to host cyberbullying roundtable in Brisbane tomorrow

    Tomorrow, Ministers and I will meet with a cross-section of stakeholders and experts to discuss a detailed proposal to tackle cyberbullying that I will plan to the Prime Minister, other Premiers and Chief Ministers at the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting next month.

    Before the meeting, I will ask Cabinet to consider a range of measures and I will report to the roundtable on these, including additional  funding for yourtown to support Kids Helpline and Parentline services to cater for increased calls about the impact of bullying, particularly cyberbullying.

    Parents are feeling helpless.  Children are feeling defeated.  We need to work together to get on top of this issue. Every child should have the opportunity of good education free of bullying and harassment.

    We can have zero tolerance in our schools, but cyberbullying follows kids into their homes and into their rooms.  I want to take these stories from the kitchen table to a plan for action around the COAG table. COAG meets in Canberra on 9 February.

    yourtown is the Queensland-based provider of Kids Helpline, a national 24/7 telephone and on-line counselling and support service for five to 25 year olds with special capacity for young people with mental health issues.  It also operates Parentline, a telephone counselling service for parents and carers.

    In 2017, yourtown responded to 959 specific cases of cyberbullying and 151 of them were from young Queenslanders.  The most common age group is 12-14 year olds, but also a significant number from 15-17 year olds.  It also responded to 3111 contacts nationally with concerns about on line activity and texting, with 496 of these coming from Queensland.  More concerning is that in 2017 yourtown responded to 10,636 contacts with suicide related concerns.  This was a 22% increase from 2016.  

    Specific issues that young people have contacted yourtown about in relation to cyberbullying include:

    •             Harrassment – repeatedly sending offensive messages;

    •             Denigration – making derogatory comments or dissemination of sexual images;

    •             Cyberstalking – intense harassment creating fear;

    •             Happy slapping – filming and distributing a physical assault to publicly humiliate the victim;

    •             Exclusion – purposely excluding the victim from online domains and chat groups;

    •             Outing and trickery – manipulating the victim into exposing information to humiliate; and

    •             Impersonation – pretending to be the victim and sending offensive messages.

    Young people needing support can contact the Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800.

    Parents and carers can call Parentline on 1300 30 1300.

     

    Media Contact:

    Geoff Breusch 0417 272 875