25 years ago, I chose to be an educator because I wanted to help young people flourish. I’m also a Mum and with the teams I have worked with in schools, I have championed hard for children who need someone on their side.

A number of years ago, a year 9 boy in my care completed suicide. And whilst – awfully – this was not the first time that this had happened in one of my communities, it was definitely the first time that I felt that it was preventable.

After this boy died, the students came forward with what we believed was life-saving information. They told us he was bullied and excluded, that he was experiencing family violence and that he had been talking about not wanting to be ‘here’ anymore. I know that if we had the details of this harm, we could have helped him, because despite checking in with him every day, he was too frightened to tell us what was happening.

In Australia, 1 in 4 of our kids is bullied at school every day. A third of our principals and student managers suffer through physical violence and bullying at work. In 2018, 3128 Australians died by intentional self-harm, making suicide the biggest killer of our 14-44 year olds.

And supporting the growth of all of this harm, is silence.

Stymie is my way of harnessing help for our kids and providing a solution for school communities. Working together and allowing bystanders to make anonymous notifications, promotes empathy, social responsibility and allows free and unlimited access to young people who are targets of harmful action; they will know that they are not alone.

An important part of the Stymie journey is educating teachers, parents and students about their responsibilities in the cycle of bullying. If you are interested in having me speak with your school community, please contact me here.