Combat bullying at your child's school

If you’re a long time PakMag reader, you may remember the story of Charlie Cooper and his Buddy Bench program. After not being able to make friends at school, Charlie enlisted the help of local businesses and organisations to help build a Buddy Bench for his school in 2014.

Three years later, his ‘How little people can make a big difference’ Ted Talk has had over six million YouTube views and this inspirational concept has been adopted by schools throughout the country.

More recently, the idea sparked the interest of Australian Rotary Clubs and now your child’s school can get its very own Buddy Bench too!

Past President of Cairns Rotary Club, Logan Alderson says “Rotary in Cairns is undertaking a project to raise funds, purchase benches and install them in schools that wish to partake in this wonderful program. There will be no cost to the schools apart from providing a space for the bench to be sited.

“We will co-ordinate the construction and placement of the benches, so getting a bench for your school has never been easier.”

Local Cairns schools that are interested in having a Buddy Bench supplied and installed can contact Rotary though Logan Alderson at

The idea behind the Buddy Bench is simple. If a child sits on the Buddy Bench, other children know that they should ask them to play, invite them to walk and talk or generally ensure they are not lonely. This brilliant initiative is both helping children who have difficulty making friends and curbing bullying.