KYLIE ADORANTI MELBOURNE LEADER AUGUST 06, 2014
Former Chief Justice of the Family Court of Australia Alastair Nicholson was addressing the Melbourne conference about recent changes to the Fair Work Act, which confers rights on workers in relation to bullying in the workplace.
“There is a strong connection with bullying and suicide and yet the law doesn’t recognise bullying as an offence,” Mr Nicholson said.
He said while the Workplace Act and Brodie’s Law (in Victoria) covered bullying, they did not address all aspects.
“Bullying needs to be an offence under Australian law.”
He said many forms of bullying such as name calling were unaffected by the current legislation.
Federal Parliamentary Secretary for Communications Paul Fletcher also spoke at the conference.
He said the Federal Government had included money in this year’s budget to establish an e-safety commissioner.
Mr Fletcher said the commissioner’s job would be to administer money to schools across Australia to develop anti-bullying policies and programs.
The commissioner’s role would be to work with the schools and other stakeholders to enhance online safety.
Child and adolescent psychologist Dr Michael Carr-Gregg spoke about the need for schools to implement anti-bullying policies.
He said it was essential schools had plans in place.
“The most common complaint I get from parents of a child, who has been bullied, is that there is no follow up from teachers,” Dr Carr-Gregg said.
He said it was important for schools to include their anti-bullying policies on their websites.