Ian Thorpe will host a new 3 part documentary series for the ABC, The Bully Project, featuring kids aged 14-18.
The series, which partners with ReachOut Australia, is based on a Dutch format and will be filmed in Queensland where legislation permits using hidden cameras.
“More than a quarter of school children in Australia claim to have been bullied on a regular basis, which is unacceptable. I’m passionate about shining a light on this issue. If you live in Queensland, and you or your child is being bullied or know someone who is, we want to hear from you. Go to stopbullying.tv to find out more,” he said.
“I have some personal experience around the issue of bullying so I want to share my insights to help Australian kids.”
ABC Director of Television Richard Finlayson said: “The statistics are shocking. The ABC is committed to being the home of important national conversations and I expect The Bully Project and the ABC’s season of programming will act as a catalyst for this issue. We are working closely with our production partners to ensure the highest duty of care to all participants, while lifting the lid on what’s actually taking place among young people today.”
ABC TV has teamed up with KEO Australia and Lune Media to tackle a significant problem for our young people. Based on a tested and successful Dutch format by SkyHigh TV, now in its second season, the series adopts the controversial but eye-opening approach of arming those being bullied with hidden cameras to capture their experience firsthand, which has resulted in positive outcomes for participants.
The production will film in Queensland this year, where surveillance device legislation permits a format of this nature. Detailed protocols outlining the high level duty of care and involvement of skilled practitioners have been agreed by the ABC and KEO ahead of undertaking the project to ensure the welfare of all participants.
Lune Media Managing Director Leonie Lowe said: “We believe that The Bully Project will generate comment, debate and ultimately help effect a change in public attitude. It will bring to light an issue that is widely known about but rarely understood, while at all times protecting the rights and welfare of all those involved.”