Australia's approach to addressing bullying and well-being:A national collective response

Barbara Spears, Phillip Slee

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


THE MOVEMENT TOWARD the development of an Australian national pol­icy outlining the requirements for safe school environments to support stu­dent learning and well-being and to address bullying behavior began with early research on bullying.1 The landmark 1994 House of Representatives parliamentary inquiry, the "Sticks and Stones" Report on Violence in Australian Schools, reported that safe learning environments were being provided for all children, and while violence in Australian schools was not a significant issue, bullying was. The report also noted that as schools reflect the behavior pat­terns of the communities in which they are located, "schools alone could not provide solutions to a problem which largely finds it roots in society."2
The first National Safe Schools Framework (NSSF) emerged in 2003 largely in response to recommendations of the 1994 parliamentary report and provided a national approach to guide schools and their communities in how they support student well-being and address issues of bullying, harass­ment, violence, and child abuse and neglect.3 To ensure the NSSF met the changing sociocultural and sociotechnical needs of Australian society, sev­eral revisions have since been made.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFeeling safe in school
Subtitle of host publicationBullying and violence prevention around the world
EditorsJonathan Cohen, Dorothy L. Espelage
Place of PublicationCambridge, Mass
PublisherHarvard Education Press
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-68253-450-2
ISBN (Print)978-1-68253-449-6
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2020


  • safe school environments
  • bullying environment
  • student wellbeing
  • bullying behavior


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