2 - Castle Cove combats bullying with buddiesCastle Cove combats bullying with buddies

Children's author and ambassador for The Alannah & Madeline Foundation, Aaron Blabey, visited Castle Cove Public School on Thursday 22 August as a Book Week gift from the Foundation to celebrate the school's work preventing bullying behaviour in their school.

It was the initiative of Year 6 student Eloise Dalais from Castle Cove that led the school to join the Better Buddies program. After doing research in her school holidays on ways to extend the school's existing buddy program, Eloise approached her principal, Jeanette Cope, and suggested that the school adopt the framework.

"We already had a buddy program here at Castle Cove. However with the help of the Better Buddies Framework and some great research by Eloise, I could see that our own program would greatly benefit from implementing the Better Buddies Framework," said Castle Cove principal Jeanette Cope.

(Pictured: Eloise on the right side with her little buddy, Aurora and fellow big buddy, Aria and her little buddy, Hannah on the left)

Bullying is one of the most common forms of violence in the lives of children. In Australia, it affects approximately one student in every four. Better Buddies teaches students the values of caring for others, friendliness, respect, valuing difference, including others and responsibility. The Framework aims to create positive behaviour, as well as build students' self-esteem, connectedness, social skills, trust and sense of community.

"Being chosen by the Foundation to have Aaron come and visit us today is such a great treat and a testimony to all the kids' hard work and dedication to their buddies," said Jeanette Cope.

Aaron Blabey is an award-winning children's author and illustrator and ambassador for The Alannah & Madeline Foundation. His books celebrate diversity, friendship, inclusion and positive behaviour, which fit seamlessly with the Foundation's core values of care, friendliness, valuing difference, including others, respect and responsibility.

"I am so proud to be an ambassador for The Alannah & Madeline Foundation. I've visited so many schools in the last couple of years and it never fails to move me when I see the very real impact the Better Buddies program has," he said.

"My books are all about the importance of friendship and issues that little people face during their primary school years, so it's especially wonderful to me to see the beautiful results of the Foundation's work first hand."

Castle Cove also received a visit from Channel Ten News to film Aaron's visit. Watch the news story here.

Launched in 2000, Better Buddies is now in more than 1,150 Australian schools, thanks to the support of NAB, Trusts and Foundations, and other community partners.

Our Principal Partner NAB works with the Foundation to support the program by helping to make it available to Australian primary schools, just like Castle Cove.

To apply for one of 150 NAB sponsored positions or to purchase the Better Buddies Framework for your school, please visit the Better Buddies website or call 1300 341 343 or email betterbuddies@amf.org.au for more information.

Better Buddies
Better Buddies