BULLYING became a part of Luke Getsom’s life as soon as he started primary school and he didn’t experience any relief until he was halfway through his secondary education.
“At that point, I’d just had enough of it and stood up for myself a bit more, but at the same time, my friends weren’t quite capable to stand up for themselves, so I stood up for a lot of them,” he said.
“I got an opportunity to fundraise at Mount Clear College for a class project and from that, the teacher in charge of the project nominated me for young citizen of the year.”
Having been awarded Golden Plains Shire’s 2019 Young Citizen of the Year for his anti-bullying and cyberbullying campaigning, Mr Getsom wanted to use the platform to boost his message.
This month, he’s coordinating a fundraiser for Dolly’s Dream, encouraging school communities to donate some money to the charity and start conversations about the impact bullying can have on young people.
Dolly’s Dream, a branch of the Alannah and Madeline Foundation, was established after 14-year-old Amy ‘Dolly’ Everett took her own life in 2018, having been cyberbullied.
Amongst others, Mr Getsom’s former primary school in Scarsdale, Woady Yaloak, is committed to the cause, allocating 26 April as their day to start talking and get the ball rolling.
He’s now encouraging all primary and secondary schools in the region to get on board.
“They’re [Woady Yaloak] going to have a free dress day and have a little chat with their class about bullying, why it’s not ok and try and raise some money for Dolly’s Dream,” Mr Getsom said.
“It’s never going to stop, but we want to see many people just not getting bullied anymore. Even if only one person stops getting bullied, that’s still a win. It’s just trying to get someone a better life to start with,” he said.
To contact Mr Getsom, make a donation, or register your own school’s participation at firstname.lastname@example.org.