Teachers and students at Yankalilla Area School, South Australia, have worked steadily to implement the 2 - Yankalilla Area SchoolBetter Buddies Framework over the last three years, gradually building it into the thriving program it is today.

The school’s Better Buddies Coordinators, Stephanie McPharlin and Diana Warwick, consider the Framework an important element in the school’s overall wellbeing program. They took time out to highlight some achievements from 2012 and reflect on the overall success of Better Buddies so far.

“Last year (2012) was an enjoyable yet busy year for the buddies,” Stephanie said.

“They participated in a great range of activities including cooking, excursions, arts and crafts, and games, all of which we found within the Better Buddies Resource Manual.

“Excursions are particularly important to the older buddies as the responsibility makes them feel valued and respected, while the younger buddies feel safe and cared for.”

The Better Buddies mascot, Buddy Bear, acts as a role-model for the Framework values, caring for others, friendliness, respect, valuing difference, including others and responsibility. He symbolises these values to encourage students to participate in positive and inclusive behaviours with one another.

“It is great to see the buddy pairs use Buddy Bear to learn the Framework values, all of which mirror those of our school,” Diana said.

“As well as being an integral part of our School Improvement Plan, creating a friendly and caring school community and reducing bullying behaviours, we just love Better Buddies at our school.”

To acknowledge the importance of the relationships developed throughout the year, a Better Buddies Celebration was held at the end of 2012, where the older buddies presented their younger buddies with a purple Buddy Bear. The celebration was a wonderful end to an exciting, jam-packed year of fun.

What will Better Buddies look like in your school in 2013? Email the Better Buddies team and tell us your Better Buddies story. We would love to hear from you.

Picture: A reflection of the buddy excursion activity by student Emily.

Better Buddies
Better Buddies