Barrister Patrick Barry visited the College on Monday 7 May to talk to students in Years 9, 10 and 11 about bullying in the context of greater society and our legal system. Speaking frankly of his own experiences attending a Catholic college in Victoria, Patrick reminded students of their obligations to contribute to the safety of the College environment, including the responsibility to act in a safe manner, stop others from acting in an unsafe manner, and report any unsafe behaviour to College staff.
Through the identification of three groups – those who bully, those who witness bullying and those who are bullied – it was reiterated that not only is bullying not tolerated at the College, it is not tolerated at law either. In what may have been a surprise to some students, Patrick advised that being of school age is not a barrier to being prosecuted for your actions. Bullying is damaging in its effects, and it is up to the current generation to lead the way by treating others with respect. Patrick advised that being of good character and reputation is key to being a productive member of society, especially when students transition to their post-schooling years. He also encouraged students to not change who they are if they are subject to bullying behaviour; stay true to yourself and know you are in a supportive community.
Based in Sydney, Patrick operates a national legal practice and has been instrumental in helping the College craft its new and improved safety framework. The College thanks him for his time and encourages all students to learn from the messages shared with them during the session.