‘When we talk about cyberbullying, we can help stop it’

You've probably seen on national tv the powerful anti-cyberbullying film directed by 15-year-old Charlotte McLaverty. We talk with Charlotte about her inspiration - and how we can fight cyberbullying.

It’s the film that has given a voice to young people in the fight against the devastating impact of cyberbullying on their generation.

The powerful anti-cyberbullying film directed by Melbourne’s 15-year-old Charlotte McLaverty, and has been screening to promote the recent Do it for Dolly Day.

The Dolly’s Dream foundation was set up in memory of Amy ‘Dolly‘ Everett, who took her life after a prolonged period of bullying and cyberbullying. You can find out more Dolly’s Dream here.

We talk with Charlotte about her inspiration for the film, which features the music of American singer-songwriter Billie Eilish – and how we can fight cyberbullying. You can watch her film below.

First up, the question everyone is being asked – how’s isolation going for you?

Good, I’m actually enjoying it. It‘s giving me more responsibility because I have to  manage my own time and I get to sleep in a bit longer! I am missing my friends though

Of course, part of it has been watching your film screened on national tv. What’s it been like to watch it now?

My family and I were on Facetime with my Grandma when I first saw the film on air. It was really exciting to see it live, in my lounge room, on TV. I still really love watching it. The film brings back great memories from when we were shooting, but I also find it really emotional and I still feel very connected to and proud of the film.

Apart from the creative storytelling, the power of the film comes in part from something you’ve spoken about – young people giving their view of cyberbullying. That clearly gives it an authenticity…

I can’t speak for a generation, but I am pretty sure that if a teenager has had social media for more than a year, they will have either been the subject of, witness to, or participated in online bullying. It’s definitely an issue that faces a lot of teenagers. As a teen myself I feel I can relate and connect with other teens in a way that maybe current anti-bullying tools aren’t. I tried to ensure this authenticity shone through during the entire film-making process. There are a lot of anti-bullying films, but they are mostly made by adults, and teens don’t always connect with them. I wanted to create something from teens, for teens.

The film and the work that’s being done by groups like Dolly’s Dream are having an impact on the problem. What else to you think needs to be done?

Cyber bullying is such a complicated issue. But the fact is technology surrounds us. It’s not going anywhere and is constantly changing and evolving, so we need to learn to be kind with our words whether it be on a phone or in person.

I think the video aims to shine a light on how cyberbullying can happen even in the home and in the presence of a loving family. I’m trying to get teens and parents talking about this issue. Because when we talk about cyberbullying we can help stop it.

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Watch the powerful film created by 15-year-old Charlotte McLaverty for Dolly's Dream. Below: Charlotte on the set of the film

Where to get help

For immediate crisis or suicide prevention support, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit www.lifeline.org.au/gethelp.

The Office of the eSafety Commissioner also has tremendous support resources for young people and parents.