31 May 2002

Bullying, homophobia in schools and integration and behaviour management issues will be discussed at an interactive University of Queensland conference in Brisbane next week.

UQ’s School of Education is organising the conference, entitled Building Inclusive School Communities to be held at at UQ’s St Lucia campus from June 7 to 8.

Queensland Education Minister Anna Bligh will open the conference on June 7 at 6.30pm, following a welcome by the Head of the School of Education, Professor Allan Luke, at 5.45 pm and the keynote address by the Rev. Tim Costello at 5.50pm. Rev Costello is the Director of the Urban Mission Unit, Collins Street Baptist Church and brother to the Federal Treasurer, Peter Costello.

Conference coordinator Ian Hardy said the conference was designed to address issues relating to special needs, gender, sexuality, race, indigenous reconciliation, citizenship education, ethnicity, sectarianism etc. An understanding of such issues assisted educators to deal with current and potential conflict, within their schools.

Deputy Director-General of Education Professor Roger Slee will give a keynote address on June 8 at 9am.

Workshops of media interest include: BULLYING AS A GENDER ISSUE
Prof. Bob Lingard (School of Education, University of Queensland)
This workshop will consider the gendered nature of bullying in schools and consider
ways to eradicate it at policy, whole-school and specific program levels. This concern
will be located in the context of (a) the need to create schools as safe and supportive
environments for all students and (b) the broad social goals of schooling. The workshop
will draw on research on the topic and theories concerning the constructions of
masculinities and femininities. Homophobia will also be addressed as a central element
of much school bullying, particularly by boys.

Dr Martin Mills (School of Education, University of Queensland)
Violence against boys who are perceived to be feminine, gay or who do not fit a ‘macho’
image is endemic within Western education systems. However, rarely are issues of
masculinities and violence placed on the social justice agenda of schools. In this
workshop, it will be argued that unless homophobia is recognised as a significant social
justice issue, many of the dominant concerns about boys in schools are unlikely to be
adequately and effectively addressed. Interview data collected from teachers and students
in Queensland schools will be used to support the arguments in this workshop.
Participants will be provided with an opportunity to develop strategies for use in their
own contexts.

An interactive symposium: Julie van den Eynde, Diane Hafner, Vicki Hafner, Valerie
Harwood, Lesley Jolly. (An interdisciplinary team from the areas of Community
Psychology, Anthropology and Education, Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences,
University of Queensland).
This interactive symposium will offer an interdisciplinary perspective of bullying. We will
workshop an approach that uses the ideas of ‘values, beliefs and behaviours’ and applies
these across schools and communities. The workshop will be ‘hands on’. Part of the
workshop will involve the presentation of an ongoing research project that examines
technology as a tool for changing behaviour.


Clare Endicott (Queensland Law Society: Macrossans Lawyers)
Clare will speak about legal responses to behaviour that constitutes bullying and
discriminatory conduct in schools. The conduct considered will include student-to-student
bullying, teacher-to-student discriminatory behaviour, inappropriate physical contact by
teachers in relation to students and the conduct of administrators in relation to students.

Chris Henderson (Senior Project Officer, Education Queensland)
A national anti-bullying website is being developed by Australia’s government, Catholic
and Independent education authorities, for all Australian school communities. The website takes a shared approach to developing safer, fairer, more inclusive and more respectfulschool environments free from bullying, harassment, discrimination and violence. It is a dynamic site where school communities across the country can post and share their good stories and where they can access useful strategies, information and resources. Participants will be invited to explore the resource, discuss relevant issues and initiatives, and contribute to the website.

Barry Welch (Queensland Teachers’ Union Organiser, Metropolitan West)
In 2001, the Queensland Teachers’ Union, through the Queensland Teachers’ Education
Centre (QTEC), conducted a number of afternoon seminars on the subject of Workplace
Bullying and Harassment. As a result of the high level of interest and participation for
members in these seminars, a decision was made to develop a full-day training
programme. This session is modelled on this training module and is aimed at assisting
to identify the different kinds of bullying behaviour, its impact on the individual and what
can be done about it. Information and where to find it will also be included in this session.

Julie-Ann McCullough (President, Queensland Teachers’ Union)
This session will weigh up the benefits and costs of integrating students with special
needs, with consideration of some interesting case studies. There will also be a focus
on behaviour management issues and what is needed to support teachers and students
in today’s classroom environment.

Media: Further information, contact Professor Allan Luke, telephone 3365 6227, Mr Hardy, telephone 3365 6234.