Lisa Wilkinson is one of the most respected voices in Australian media, the kind who makes you lean in or turn up the volume when when she speaks.
But there was a time in the television hosts’ life when she silenced herself and held herself back, when speaking up or standing out meant risking abuse.
“I didn’t tell my parents. I felt so humiliated and so small as a result of it, that I thought that [it would be best] if I keep it as much as I can to myself. Even though sometimes half the school would be surrounding me because the toughest girl in the school wanted to fight me,” the 58-year-old told her co-hosts.
“It was the most awful, humiliating moment that I’ve ever experienced in my entire life.”
Wilkinson’s comments came during a segment on the Federal Government putting its support behind a ‘National Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence’ on March 16.
The annual event, now in its eighth year, is designed to encourage schools to develop ‘workable solutions’ to address violence and bullying, through special lessons, events and activities.
While research struggles to capture the prevalence of bullying, Australia’s Safe and Supportive School Communities Working Group estimates as many as one in four students reports bullying occurring in person and one in five reports online bullying. This can impact a variety of areas of the child’s life, from school engagement, academic achievement and even their physical and mental health.