Pledging to ’Break it Down’

Ella, 12, filming with the help of Ralph Barba from Making Media. (Jacob Pattison) 354496_04

Star Weekly is looking back at the best stories of last year and this is one of them.

October 10

Student leaders from Sunshine Heights Primary School are on a mission to raise awareness about stereotyping and bias.

The young leaders are creating a documentary to explore the negative impact of stereotyping and bias on the mental health of young communities.

School wellbeing and inclusion leader Francine Sculli said the idea was first brainstormed with last year’s grade 6 cohort as part of Brimbank council’s Dynamic Young Citizens Program.

“Through the program, students learnt about how council works and how they can have a voice themselves in their community,” she said.

“The students identified that stereotyping and bias was a problem within their cohort and they wanted to address it within their community. They applied for a grant from council and came up with the idea to create a magazine and a documentary.”

Ms Sculli said the grant was successful and the idea was passed onto the next set of grade 6 students to bring the vision to life.

Recently the students spent the day at the Visy Cares Hub in Sunshine interviewing local community organisations and professionals for the ‘Break it Down’ documentary.

“It has been a really powerful journey for our students,” Ms Sculli said. “Some of them have a strong understanding and their own experiences of stereotyping and bias, and others are learning about it for the first time.”

Ms Sculli said it was essential that the idea for the project came directly from students, and encouraged them to realise the importance of their voice.

“They are natural-born leaders and they hold so much knowledge. We need to continue to create opportunities for them to share their voice and take action.”

The school is leading the charge to change by starting an annual ’Break It Down’ day on October 13, where schools can pledge their commitment to promote true inclusion and belonging.

Ms Sculli said she hopes the ‘Break it Down’ day gains momentum with more schools jumping on board to mark the day.