Episode 29 – Bullying! No Way! SUPER AUTHOR – Susanne Gervay

Bullying is one of the most common problems that school children experience. It can be very difficult to notice the problem sometimes as parents don’t always see what their child goes through at school. How can you notice the signs of bullying? What could you do to help your child recover from bullying? And, more importantly, how can you protect your child from bullying? There are many strategies to approach this problem, and our guest for today offers one very effective strategy, and it has to do a lot with books.

Susanne Gervay is one of Australia’s most esteemed children’s book authors. She was awarded an Order of Australia for children’s literature and the Lifetime Social Justice Literature Award by the International Literacy Association. In 2019, Susanne was also nominated for the Astrid Ingrid Memorial Award. Her books are loved because of their ability to engage preschoolers and young adults in complex issues such as social justice, multiculturalism, and peace. “I am Jack”, her popular book series has courageously and effectively tackled the sensitive topic of bullying and has now been adapted into an acclaimed play by Monkey Baa Theatre.

As a Writer Ambassador for Room to Read, Susanne is committed to bringing reading and literacy to the developing world. She is also a Regional Advisor of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators in Australian East and New Zealand regions. Her latest books are Elephants Have Wings and The Boy in the Big Blue Glasses.

Key Learnings

  • How Susanne’s experience as a refugee influenced her writing and work
  • Susan’s views on bullying
  • Practical know-how on how kids could help themselves or their friends face bullying
  • The importance of teaching children the context where they can communicate themselves most effectively
  • The story behind the book series “I am Jack”.
  • Some signs that your child might be a victim of bullying
  • Two important support systems that will protect your child from bullying
  • How to understand the psychology of the bully
  • How to use I am Jack at school
  • The power of storybooks in coming inside a child’s work
  • Why characters are so important in the success of stories
  • How books could teach little children about relationships
  • Why children need sunlight

Three Tips That Would Protect Your Child From Bullying

1. Establish a strong relationship between you and your child. Your child must know and believe that he or she is not alone.
2. Help your child build friendships. Bullying is always about isolation, and friendships prevent isolation.
3. Always be vigilant and on the look-out for signs that your child is having problems at school. These problems could be symptoms of bullying.


“It is quite hard for a lot of kids to differentiate when they speak. . . Children have to be given a set of actions that will lead to positive outcomes.”

“If we can empower enough leaders to lead for good, that will be enough to change the culture for many children in high school.”


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Any information and links presented within the Chatabout Children™ with Sonia Bestulic podcast are aimed to provide general information and advice only.
Information is to be used at the discretion of the consumer/ listener. The information presented does not replace or substitute the expert advice received from a direct consultation with the relevant qualified professional.


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Award Winning Book: FLOURISH FOR MUMS by Sonia Bestulic