Opinion

Creating messages of long-lasting change

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June 07, 2018

Goulburn Valley Grammar School created a butterfly tree for National Day of Action Against Bullying.

Goulburn Valley Grammar School Year 11 student Lucy Asquith.

By Lucy Asquith

Dolly’s Dream Foundation is a charity group that was initiated after Dolly Everett took her own life at the age of 14.

Dolly was a victim of bullying, and her family is determined to help create change for other young people.

This group has adopted a blue butterfly as its logo, and, in turn, we at Goulburn Valley Grammar School created our own butterfly tree for our National Day of Action Against Bullying.

Year 11 co-ordinator, Ms Belleville, used her experiences as an art teacher to facilitate the making and hanging of paper butterflies.

The butterfly symbolises the cycle of change — change in mindset, behaviour and attitude — among students in order for bullying to cease at school.

Blue is a cool colour, having a calming effect, and blue butterflies are sometimes viewed as ‘‘wish-granters’’.

As such, this is the perfect symbol to express peace and a new beginning for many.

Ms Belleville taught us, a group of Year 11 students, how to make the blue butterflies, and we were then able to help our peers — students from Year 5 to Year 12 — to make them.

Many students volunteered their lunch-times to make these butterflies, and formed connections with other students from a wide age range.

Many also volunteered to hang them on a tree in the Year 11 courtyard, to stand as a reminder of the significance of kindness, and the need for change.

As a school community, GVGS makes a consistent effort to prevent bullying and has many policies in place to help students, teachers, staff and parents alike feel comfortable.

We are lucky to have such a happy and safe environment in which to learn, but we still need to acknowledge our fortune, and recognise this important issue for the maintenance of this friendly atmosphere.

The butterflies were displayed on the tree with a variety of signs carrying a ‘Be the Change’ message.

Upon looking at the tree, students were able to feel proud of their creation that is not only a piece of art but also a positive movement towards a better future.

While this project was made of short-lasting paper, the message is that of long-lasting change.

The butterflies both sent a positive, anti-bullying message, and also harnessed creativity to unify the school by contributing to this important idea.

Lucy Asquith is in Year 11 at Goulburn Valley Grammar School.

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