The Anti-Discrimination Board’s writing competition for schoolchildren has highlighted the profound affect that bullying, harassment and discrimination can have on children.
Entitled “Say NO to discrimination now”, the competition was held as part of Law Week 2008. Over 600 entries were received in a variety of genres including poems, stories, fables, rap songs, dialogues and role plays.
“Many entries were written from a very personal perspective and reveal the immense pain and the loss of hope and self-esteem that can result from bullying, particularly bullying related to race and homosexuality,” said Board President Stepan Kerkyasharian AM.
“However, it was encouraging to see that the children also showed awareness about how to deal with bullying, including standing up to bullies, seeking out support from people at home and school, and most challengingly, trying to ‘be nice’ to the bully and befriend them.”
The winner in the Kindergarten to year 2 category was four-year-old Jessica Eddy from Binda, whose succinct but striking entry was entitled “Bullies have mean mouths”.
Years 3-6 winner was Ahmad El Ammar from Peakhurst, who wrote a powerful and well-constructed poem entitled “Sticks and Stones”, about his experience of bullying and the solutions to it.
The winner from years 7-9 was Dominic Moore from Deniliquin, whose poem entitled “Ying and Yang?” was about the racism that is still directed at black people; and the Years10-12 winner was Bilal Wazirzada from Lisarow, with an entry expressing his dream for a bullying-free future entitled “I hope”.
The winners will receive book vouchers for themselves and their schools, to be presented by Attorney General John Hatzistergos and Mr Kerkyasharian at a ceremony at NSW Parliament house at 10AM on Friday May 2. Runners up in each category will also receive certificates.
The presentation will also feature a performance by students from TAP, the Talent Advancement Program of Bankstown City Council and the NSW Department of Education And Training.
Stepan Kerkyasharian 0404 488 474
For photos of the winners and copy of the winning entries please contact Carley Tucker on 9268 5525 or email Carley_Tucker@agd.nsw.gov.au after Friday 2 May.