The Safe Space
15 November 2018

Our Year 9 Project group ‘The Safe Space’ were fortunate enough to have been accepted into the national finals at the 2018 Future Problem Solving (FPS) competition that ran from the 19 till 21 October.

We identified that children are finding it difficult to approach their parents when suffering from bullying and depression. We asked ourselves, in what ways might we provide the students in our school community with knowledge and support for them to be able to communicate with their parents about bullying and depression to assist them if they experience these problems?

Our project group decided that we wanted to focus on the issue of bullying and depression as we felt that this was an important topic. We wanted to give children the tools to reach out to parents and for parents to learn how to ask the right questions by giving them strategies and tips on how they can help their children when they are suffering.

To do this we created a short informative video that shows scenarios and tips on how to deal with bullying and depression. To support the video and spread awareness on the issue through our Year 9 community, we made beaded key chains (each colour bead has a meaning).  It was hoped that this would help to act as a conversation starter when everyone in Year 9 has them after viewing the video.

We arrived for the FPS opening ceremony at Monash University where they introduced each school competing. On presentation day, we had an hour and a half to put together our display booth. Once we finished we waited anxiously to be called for our interview where we got asked in-depth questions about our project idea. Half an hour later we came out of our interview relived and confident. We then presented our project to the community at the fair.  The following day we had the closing ceremony where the top three winners of each division were announced. Unfortunately, we didn’t place in the top three for our competition. It was a weekend of hard work along with fun doing bowling, fun drives and dinners in St. Kilda. A great aspect of the weekend was getting to know the junior school students who participated in the competition from Westbourne. We congratulate the teams that participated and we are very proud to have a junior group who was invited to the international finals in 2019.

Maddy Harries, Michael Mercieca, Sam Zhao and Gaby Moroney (9D)