Rabbitohs have Better Buddies

Souths players will have 17 Buddies when they run onto the field in the NRL game against the Panthers at Homebush on Friday night.

Rabbitohs players will be paired with 17 primary school children from Santa Maria del Monte School as part of The Alannah and Madeline Foundation’s Better Buddies Framework, an initiative designed to create friendly and caring primary school communities and reduce bullying.

Even Reggie the Rabbit will have a new friend in Buddy Bear, the mascot of Better Buddies.

Souths Major Sponsor, NAB, has been a proud supporter of The Alannah and Madeline Foundation since 2003, particularly the Better Buddies Framework in which older children in the last years of primary school ‘buddy up’ with those in their first year to introduce and learn the values of the framework: caring for others, friendliness, respect, valuing difference, including others and responsibility.

The Alannah and Madeline Foundation is a national charity protecting children from violence and its devastating impact. It was established in memory of Alannah and Madeline Mikac, aged 6 and 3, who, along with their mother and 32 others, were tragically killed at Port Arthur on 28 April 1996.

The Foundation cares for children who have experienced or witnessed serious violence and runs programs which help prevent violence in the lives of children.

The vision of the Foundation is that every child will live in a safe and supportive environment free from any form of violence.

NAB’s ultimate goal is to assist The Alannah and Madeline Foundation implement Better Buddies in all primary schools across Australia. The number of participating schools has increased from 30 in 2007 to over 400 in 2009.

“This Framework is making a huge difference to the schools and, in many cases, creating unique relationships where the incidences of bullying have been reduced,” said Dr Judith Slocombe, CEO, The Alannah and Madeline Foundation.

“This is an important initiative and we are very proud to be part of it”, said Cameron Clyne, NAB Group Chief Executive Officer. "It is a great privilege for NAB to be involved in such a positive program, working with teachers, children and their parents to help build supportive school environments.”

Bullying is a serious problem and something lots of children and young people experience. In Australian schools bullying affects approximately one student in every four.

Find out more about the Alannah and Madeline Foundation
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