DREAM Guards antibullying campaigners yesterday launched a new tour van to enable them to continue their work visiting schools in south-east Queensland.
The van was launched by Dream Guards founders Michael Bennett and Donna-Leigh Perfect, accompanied by 11-year-old Veresdale Scrub State School student Sammy Pearce at Varsity College on the Gold Coast.
Ms Perfect said she was amazed by Sammy’s passion for the anti-bullying cause.
“Our vision is to be a driving force delivering an inspiring message of self-belief and igniting a movement of Dream Guard ambassadors like Sammy,” she said.
“That will empower each student across Australia, standing united as a common thread connecting school communities.”
Sammy presented a speech to staff, students and special guests at the ceremony, where he said he had been bullied at his previous school to the point where his parents had to move him to Veresdale Scrub.
“My new school is amazing and it feels like teachers and my principal is taking more action against bullying,” he said.
“I’ve done a lot of different things but the most important thing is that I became a Dream Guards ambassador at my school.
“A Dream Guard ambassador is an anti-bullying support person, an upstander that the students can come and get if someone is being bullied, sad or haven’t got anyone to talk to, hang out with or play with. This is working great at my school and it has helped children.”
Sammy said he had also started a parliamentary petition, lobbying for anti-bullying subjects to be introduced to the Queensland curriculum.
“Children need to be educated in how to solve conflicts, how to control anger, how to reduce stress, how to walk away from bad people and situations and many other things,” he said.
“My message is that we are all our own leaders, we all have the power to choose whether we want to be upstanders or bystanders.”
The van, bearing Sammy’s face, will be used to spread that message to more schools.