ABC’s confronting new series Bullied, presented by Ian Thorpe, will premiere in mid March.
The two part series, co-produced by KEO Films Australia and Lune Media, uses hidden cameras with high school students in Queensland.
It will screen as part of ABC’s ‘Our Focus on Bullying’ season, which will also feature Cyberhate with Tara Moss and a replay of the brilliant Cyberbully starring Maisie Williams (do not miss!).
ReachOut Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Nicholas said: “132,000 young people and parents turn to ReachOut every month, with bullying one of our most accessed support topics. The ABC’s online bullying support portal, which we have developed with Kids Helpline, will make it easier for audiences to find the help that’s right for them – whether it be digital self-help, peer-to-peer forums, telephone counselling, or crisis support.”
ABC Head of Factual, Steve Bibb said: “The ABC is committed to shining a light on issues of significance to all Australians. There’s no doubt that bullying is one of those complex issues – one that tears at the fabric of society.
“Bullied tackles the problem in an unconventional way with the aim of helping families, where all else has failed.
“These young people and their families are brave. By turning to Bullied and sharing their stories they allow us all to go beyond the rhetoric, ignite a national conversation and explore solutions to stop bullying.”
Leonie Lowe, Lune Media, Managing Director said: “The series will bring to light a complex issue that is widely known about but rarely understood, while at all times protecting the rights and welfare of all those involved.
“Our hope is the series helps address bullying amongst young people in Australia and audiences will gain a meaningful understanding of bullying, how it happens and its impact today.”
Around Australia, the issue of bullying is well known. Lesser known is the fact that most commonly, school bullying is not about one-on-one situations, it’s about group behaviour. In Bullied, the topic will be tackled head-on as those being bullied gather video evidence to present to their classmates in an effort to resolve a bullying situation.
At no stage are the bullies identified in the hidden camera footage. This footage is shown first to their parents, and then to their classmates and peers as part of a voluntary group session. The aim is to help them understand the impact the bullying is having, and how they might work together to stop it happening. With the support of specialist child psychologists, and examining specifically Australian scenarios, Bullied will bring to light an issue that is widely talked about, but rarely understood.
The aim of the ‘Our Focus on Bullying’ season is to examine the causes, context, and consequences of bullying in Australia today. The ABC has worked closely with ReachOut and Kids Helpline to create an online portal that contains information, education, and support pathways for those impacted by bullying. See the website: www.abc.net.au/bullying
The season of programing also features the world premiere of Cyberhate with Tara Moss, (screening on ABC iview straight after the premiere of Bullied and on ABC2, Wednesday 15 March at 9.30pm) in which author, journalist, TV presenter and human rights advocate Tara Moss tours the darkest corners of the web to uncover the cyber violence affecting so many people today. The Cyberbully (Wednesday, 15 March at 10.30pm ABC2 and ABC iview) starring Game of Thrones’ Maisie Williams, Catfish (Friday, 17 March at 8.30pm ABC2 and ABC iview) and Bully (Sunday, 19 March at 8.30pm ABC2 and ABC iview), a US feature documentary which follows five kids and their families over the course of a school year. Giving an intimate glimpse into homes, classrooms, cafeterias and principals’ offices, Bully offers insight into the often cruel world of the lives of bullied children.
Tuesday 14 March at 8.30pm on ABC.