Date: 
Thursday 27 September 2012

Months of planning, waiting and finally creating will culminate tomorrow when the 10 winners of the national BackMeUp anti-cyberbullying Campaign complete the rough cut of their 30 second television commercial.

The BackMeUp winners, aged 14-17, have spent the week at a film making workshop at NIDA in Sydney where they have collaborated on conceptualising, scripting, acting, filming and editing the commercial which they hope will be run as a Community Service Announcement on national television.

Commission spokesperson Dr Helen Szoke spent a morning with the budding film makers this week and was impressed with their focus and dedication to their cause.

“These young people are driven to make their mark in the world, not only as film makers but also as strong advocates of the need for bystanders to cyberbullying to take an active role to support someone they see being cyberbullied,” Dr Szoke said.

“We look forward now to seeing the final cut and hope one of the networks reward these young people for their efforts by broadcasting the commercial and spreading the importance of the need to back someone up who is being cyberbullied.”

South Australian BackMeUp winners, Eloise Grover and Paige Ford said they decided to join the BackMeUp campaign after being bullied themselves both offline and online.

“We also understand the importance to take action and back people up rather than being bystanders. We hope that through this commercial that we are creating this week we will be able to deliver a strong message about being able to step up and stop being a bystander by backing someone up no matter who they are to you.”

More than 100 films were submitted for judging in the national BackMeUp film competition which required entrants to make a two minute film to show what they would do to support someone they saw being cyberbullied.

Dr Szoke said each and every one of the BackMeUp participants who submitted films should be congratulated for their efforts which will now form part of a library of resources to help young people, their parents, friends and teachers take safe and positive action to stamp out cyberbullying.

“The 100 plus films which now live on the BackMeUp YouTube channel demonstrate the importance and the power of not just standing by but standing up to cyberbullying,” she said. “I’d encourage all BackMeUp campaigners to help make the BackMeUp message part of everyone’s daily lives.”

The 100 plus BackMeUp videos can be viewed at www.somethingincommon.gov.au/backmeup and http://www.youtube.com/user/BackMeUp2012

BackMeUp has been supported by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), National institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA), Sydney Harbour YHA, UNICEF, Alannah and Madeline Foundation, Headspace, Inspire Foundation, Bullying. No Way!, Scouts Australia, Girl Guides Australia, Foundation for Young Australians, Lawstuff, Kids Helpline, Facebook Australia, Google, Telstra, Edith Cowan University’s Child Health Promotion Research Centre and Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre.

The winning BackMeUp film makers will receive their certificates at NIDA tomorrow, at 4.30.

Any media wishing to attend should contact Louise McDermott on 0419 258 597.

Up to the minute information on human rights is now available on twitter at twitter.com/AusHumanRights.