UWS Open Forum: "That’s so gay" is not okay!
Audio podcast of the forum
A special Open Forum at the University of Western Sydney has explored and discussed proven ways to stand up to homophobic bullying.
The Homophobic bullying: "That's So Gay" is Not Ok forum was held at the UWS Parramatta campus on November 7 at 5:30pm.
Joining the forum's panel were:
* Daniel Witthaus is a gay rights activist best known for his 38 week journey around rural Australia teaching his anti-homophobic training to schools and other community organisations.
* Professor Rhonda Craven is the Director of the Centre for Positive Psychology and Education, which has developed the highly successful Beyond Bullying program that's empirically been shown to reduce bullying and increase pro-social behaviours.
* Jayde Ellis is the School and Education Coordinator for Wear It Purple, a student run, not-for-profit organisation supporting young people who identify as being sex, sexuality and gender diverse.
Moderating the forum was former Human Rights Commissioner and current Director of Equity and Diversity at UWS, Dr Sev Ozdowski.
"Bullying is a form of violence, and it's up to us to take a stand," says Dr Ozdowski.
"The consequences of bullying are shocking. Research has found 79 per cent of same sex attracted students had been physically assaulted or verbally abused."
"By taking a stand against bullying, we are sending the message we will speak up and do our bit to help everyone in Australia live a life free from abuse, and the harm it causes."
A key program at the University of Western Sydney addressing these issues is the Ally Network, an endorsed group of staff and students who demonstrate leadership in the areas of cultural change and inclusion for GLBTIQ community.