Jeff Horn shares life lesson

Published 1:18pm 9 May 2023

Jeff Horn shares life lesson
Words by Kylie Knight

He’s won multiple world titles and belts during his boxing career, but Jeff Horn says he would swap them all for the ‘lives of the kids’ and is now fighting to better equip them to eradicate bullying.

The former teacher and boxing champion shared his message with about 600 students, parents and staff at Southern Cross Catholic College today.

It comes as the college introduces the Jeff Horn Bullyproof Australia Program to its secondary students, with a focus on Year 7 students who will be directly involved.

The Year 7s will complete activities and lessons, delivered by SCCC teachers who have already completed training.

The program’s key messages are to have respect for yourself and others, have the courage to do the right thing even when you’re scared, have the integrity to do what you say you’re going to do and build resilience by strengthening your self-image.

Horn’s central message to student today was quite simple: “To treat others the way you want to be treated. I’m all for giving them confidence and I feel that this program does give the kids confidence … how to handle themselves better and how to mitigate a bullying situation”.

His bullying prevention program has been running for about five years, inspired by his own experience of being bullied at school.

“We’ve been at multiple schools and those schools have run the program and they’ve noticed a very big change in the kids – their confidence and their respect. They’re the things we’re targeting more than ever and what we need to get in the kids – confidence and respect,” Horn said.

“It’s very rewarding. I’ve won multiple world titles, I’ve got multiple belts at home, but I’ll give any of them up for the lives of the kids. It’s a very important thing and it’s something that I’ll keep fighting for.”

Lessons for life

Southern Cross Catholic College Head of Campus Janelle Doohan said she hoped students would understand the importance the college placed on being a safe and supportive school community.

“We want to support them in their growth and development. A natural part of growing and developing is learning how to manage situations where there will be conflict in their lives,” she said.

“The reality is bullying does exist, whether it be in school or outside school, but we’re very committed to creating a safe and supportive learning environment and the culture we want here as a community is that we are people of respect.

“That’s one of our core principals as a Catholic school in Lasallian tradition and that’s very important to us.

“We want to equip them with the strategies that will help them to make choices. We want improved academic outcomes, social outcomes so they holistically are developing and continuing to grow and thrive.”

For Leader of Learning and Wellbeing Junior Years Garry Woodford, the program is about empowering students.

|“We’re going to start the program with our Year 7s, who are new to the school, and hopefully it can grow all the way through and have influence throughout the whole college as they grow,” he said.|

“I think the most important thing is we want to have that safe learning environment where students can come here and feel safe and supported. That’s when they’re going to learn.

Mr Woodford said the program was not just about bullies and their victims but also bystanders.

“Ninety-five percent of us are usually the bystanders. If we can change that school culture and say this is how we do things around here and this is not how we do things around here … it’s going to be really powerful,” he said.

“We want to empower our students and educate them.”

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