Melbourne’s Newest Social Entrepreneur Grads Celebrated
29 November 2012 at 10:20 am
A Melbourne-based social entrepreneur whose work tackles bullying among young people has been named Melbourne Social Entrepreneur of the Year by the Australian School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE).
Rosie Thomas and her sister Lucy founded PROJECT ROCKIT in 2006 as an anti-bullying and leadership organisation run by young people for young people.
Thomas says the project has worked with over 40,000 young people and has earned the reputation as the “students’ choice” in Melbourne anti-bullying interventions.
Rosie Thomas was named as Melbourne Social Entrepreneur of the Year.
“PROJECT ROCKIT is about building youth leadership, citizenship and resilience while addressing the issue of bullying,” Thomas said.
“We aim to achieve positive lasting change by empowering young people to tackle the issues that are important to them and to stand up and take responsibility to be part of the solution to bullying.”
PROJECT ROCKIT recently launched an online anti-bullying and leadership eLearning program called P-ROCK.
Described as an Aussie-first, P-ROCK Online provides young people and teachers with authentic, credible and youth-friendly anti-bullying education from anywhere with an internet connection.
Earlier this month Thomas also launched the Australia-wide “Be Bold Stop Bullying Campaign” in conjunction with Facebook and the Not for Profit headspace.
Thomas said that the program aims to raise awareness of the simple yet powerful actions that young people, parents and educators can take to prevent bullying.
Prior to commencing the SSE 9-month Incubator Program, Thomas and her sister said they felt isolated in building their social enterprise and had little professional support or guidance.
“SSE provided me with a safe and innovative space to access the knowledge, skills, and networks I needed to give PROJECT ROCKIT a real boost and set us on course to change the lives of hundreds of thousands of young people across Australia,” Thomas said.
Thomas’s award was presented as part of the School for Social Entrepreneurs’ Melbourne graduation ceremony which celebrated the achievements of 22 other social entrepreneurs who undertook the Incubator Program.
SSE says that the other student ventures from the program range from DoGood Radio & TV – a broadcaster of the inspirational back stories of social entrepreneurs and nonprofits in Australia; One Night Stand – a social enterprise bedding company that invests its profits in organisations that address homelessness; and Northwest Carbon – a carbon project developer and natural resource manager that focuses on Australia's rangelands.
“The Melbourne 2012 cohort is our 10th program at SSE and we are excited to now boast a vibrant network of close to 200 social entrepreneurs across Australia,” SSE chief executive Celia Hodson said.
“Together these social entrepreneurs are making their mark and establishing really viable business models that are shaping the future of social enterprise in Australia."