DESPITE living hundreds of kilometres apart, two South East teenagers are united in their quest to support victims of bullying.
Year 11 Bega High School student Imogen Pittolo and her friend, Tumut High School’s Katelyn Jensen, have joined together to start an anti-bullying Facebook page.
The girls became friends after meeting in school rugby competitions and although they don’t see each often keep up their friendship online.
Imogen said, like herself, Year 10 student Katelyn has been “bullied a fair bit” throughout her life.
It inspired Katelyn to make a video about the issue, which she uploaded to YouTube where it got numerous hits and was shared on Facebook over 100 times.
The response encouraged the girls to start an anti-bullying Facebook page of their own called Get Up, Stand Up and Fight.
The girls post anti-bullying videos, inspirational messages and links to other websites such as Reach Out and the Australia's National Youth Mental Health Foundation’s Head Space site.
The page has also been promoting R U OK Day on September 12, which encourages people to “regularly and meaningfully ask 'are you ok?' to support those struggling with life”.
“Katelyn and I are both passionate about anti-bullying,” Imogen said.
“As young people we hope we would be able to make a difference by making a connection with other young people facing this issue.”
The Facebook page has already received over 1100 likes and Imogen is hoping to garner more through anti-bullying talks at local schools and her work on the Bega Valley Youth Council.
“It’s definitely an issue I am bringing to the Youth Council and Donna Campbell [youth community development officer with the Bega Valley Shire Council] has been really helpful in getting me more contacts and I’m focussed on running community events about anti-bullying,” she said.
* For more information visit www.facebook.com/GetUpStandUpAndFight.