Rosie and Lucy Thomas launched PROJECT ROCKIT in 2006, an in-school program that builds youth leadership, citizenship and resilience by tackling the issue of bullying. PROJECT ROCKIT has now worked with over 80,000 school students and presented at major Australian conferences such as the National Centre Against Bullying Conference.
Project Rockit was launched in order to address and tackle the issue of bullying in school communities. How does Project Rockit do this?
PROJECT ROCKIT empowers young people to stand up and lead change – in school, online and beyond. We’re building a youth-driven movement across Australia by sending young people into schools to run totally original and interactive workshops that tackle (cyber)bullying and build real leadership. We also reach students in even the furthest corner of the country with our Aussie-first online curriculum, available anywhere with an Internet connection.
How do you find your diverse and artistic background assist you in engaging with schoolkids and participants?
At PROJECT ROCKIT we use a “show not tell” approach. The whole PROJECT ROCKIT approach is built on this “show not tell” philosophy. The idea being, learning is so much more powerful and lasting when it is realised through experience. We create really fun, powerful and memorable learning experiences that are driven by young people themselves. No one wants to be toldanything, especially young people! So rather than talk at students, we use a creative mix of music, games, challenges, experiments and real-life stories to engage students on an issue, which traditionally is often hard to talk about.
What is the Project Rockit dream?
We believe in a world where respect thrives over bullying, hate and prejudice and all young people are free to realise their potential. It’s pretty simple: We just think that all young people deserve access to acceptance, respect, freedom and leadership regardless of their gender, sexuality, background or social label. Bullying robs people of these opportunities. The effects of bullying extinguish potential and in some cases, destroy lives. Our dream is help create a movement that’s led by young people where bullying is quite simply, not cool, not tolerated.
What are the most challenging and equally, the most rewarding components of working with youth at such a pivotal point of their development?
We have the best job in the entire world. We get to work with the most powerful and inspiring people on the planet; young people. The thing is, you won’t get very far with a room full of young people if you approach the issue in the same boring, fear-tactics or negative way that they’re used to. You also can’t address the issue of bullying without exploring the deeper issues at hand, such as belonging, sexuality, gender and prejudice. To us, this is the most rewarding challenge. Reaching out, having real conversations and opening minds. Every single workshop leaves us with that tingling feeling of passion mixed with adrenaline. Yep, best job in the world.
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