15 September, 2023
Students say no to DV
PLEGDING to never remain silent about domestic violence, Mareeba State High School students commemorated “Kelly’s Week” this week in memory of past student Kelly Morris.
Every year, students and teachers gather to remember Kelly and her mother, Pauline, who were murdered by Kelly’s stepfather in 2009.
Decorating the memorial garden with hearts and messages of support, students spent last Wednesday learning about domestic and family violence and how to recognise warning signs and seek help.
School-based nurse Samantha Hales said students received the week well, with many requesting more resources to help support their peers if needed.
“We have been having a lot of conversations about it, particularly at lunchtime recently, whilst building origami cranes that resemble love, hope, and healing,” she said.
“There’s been lots of informal discussion with our young people about how to put an end to domestic violence, like calling out sexist jokes, being supportive of friends and knowing what the warning signs of abuse are.”
The school also ran the Love Bites program designed by Tablelands Sexual Assault Services (TSAS) and Respectful Relationships workshops with VPG.
“It’s great to see students having the conversations not only with us but with their peers,” Ms Hales said.
“They all support each other and look out for one another – it’s lovely to see.”