The overwhelming success of the Rock and Water anti-bullying program was shared when the University of Newcastle’s Family Action Centre hosted the Master Instructors Gathering yesterday.

The popular and highly-successful Rock and Water program teaches anti-bullying and non-aggressive responses, self-respect and self-confidence to children through a mixture of physical exercises and activities that develop mental and social skills.

Program founder Freerk Ykema and his team of Master Instructors from the Gadaku Institute in The Netherlands met with Family Action Centre program educators and Master Instructors from around Australia to share the various successes of the program.

Initially designed to teach self-confidence and anti-bullying strategies to boys, Rock and Water is now being rolled out to target key groups such as girls and women; children with Autism Spectrum Disorder; and primary school-aged students.

Learn more about the Master Instructors here.

Freerk, who has worked as a physical education and remedial teacher and counsellor at Schagen in the Netherlands, trialled the Rock and Water program at his school in 1995, to help address boys’ motivation and self-confidence.

Freerk has been training teachers globally to deliver the Rock and Water program to help boys and girls achieve their potential. He has been visiting the University of Newcastle for the past 12 years and now more than 15,000 teachers and community workers have been trained throughout Australia.

The Rock and Water program is one of the most well-known and successful anti-bullying education programs in the world.

In the Netherlands, the program has been adopted into the school curriculum and following the Netherlands lead, Australia is the country with the next largest uptake of training. The NSW Institute of Teachers has now accredited the program for teachers as part of their staff development opportunities to help stop bullying.