School Bullying In Australia: Developments in Understanding and Intervention Initiatives

Conference Presentation Abstract

P T. Slee

In Australia the issue of school bullying came to notice following the pioneering research of Dan Olweus (Norway) and Peter Smith (England). The evidence is now quite clear that bullying in schools is an international problem . Bullying is widely regarded as a particularly destructive form of aggression with harmful physical, social and emotional outcomes for all involved (bullies, victims and bystanders). The research of the last 25 years confirms its widespread nature where it is particularly likely in groups from which the potential victim cannot escape eg schools. In 1994 an Australian Commonwealth Government inquiry heralded a growing awareness of the need to address the issue of school violence, particularly bullying. Recent initiatives aimed at the issue of school bullying include nationally developed web sites (eg Bullying. No Way; ; national programs such as the "National Safe Schools" project: state funded school programs (eg The South Australian, "Bullying, Out of Bounds" project). At the local school level, nationally and internationally used intervention programs such as the P.E.A.C.E Pack have proven effective in reducing bullying. In line with the objectives of the Oxford Kobe seminar, Australian developments in understanding the phenomenon of bullying, and initiatives in intervention provide the basis for this presentation.

Full article:
Slee P.T., (2003), School bullying in Australia: Developments in understanding and intervention initiatives. A paper presented at the Oxford-Kobe Seminars ‘Measures to reduce bullying in schools’, Kobe Institute, Kobe, Japan, 21-25 May.