Battling the faceless cyber bully

FIGHTING the scourge of cyber bullying to ease its burden on the community’s mental health will be the focus of a public debate next month.

The Australian College of Educators Gippsland will host its annual Len Falk lecture on 10 September, inviting cyber safety expert Susan McLean to speak.

The Len Falk lecture, held in honour of Gippsland’s first regional director of education since 1978, often deals with important community subjects.

ACE Gippsland secretary Keith Brownbill said he hoped this conversation would improve community wellbeing as technology increasingly enabled bullies to hide behind digital screens.

“The old fashioned bully used to come in and males would usually push people around whereas females would isolate (others),” Mr Brownbill said.

“The key thing was it was a face-to-face issue; in the old-fashioned bullying, you knew who your bully was.

“But in cyber bullying, you don’t in most cases and this makes it a more insidious attack.”

With the likes of Margaret Whitlam, Reverend Tim Costello and Justice Michael Kirby appearing as past speakers, Mr Brownbill said he was confident this year’s lecture would attract a large crowd.

He expects a crowd from anywhere between 50 and 60 people to attend and learn how to oppose the “very significant young people’s scourge”.

“If cyber bullying is not checked, it will have an ongoing, adverse effect on community wellbeing,” Mr Brownbill said.

“It’s not just a lecture that we pull out of the air, it really is something that affects in some way almost everybody in the community, whether it be themselves, a close relative or a child.

“And it’s the vulnerable people who suffer.

“Unless it’s stopped, unless we know how to handle and lessen its effect, the damage will continue.”

A two-course meal will be available on the night while Susan McLean presents a speech ahead of a question and answer session.

To register your interest phone the ACE on 9035 5473 or email

Event details


2015 Len Falk Lecture


Morwell RSL Club, corner of Elgin and Tarwin streets, Morwell

Event date:

Thursday, 10 September 6.30pm to 10pm

Final registration date:

Sunday, 6 September

Entrance fee:

Members $30, non-members $35

Contact information:

9035 5473 or