The Australian Christian Lobby has launched an attack on anti-bullying program Project Rockit, which promotes inclusion and diversity to young people.
In the past week, the ACL’s objections to Project Rockit, and particularly the queer people who help run it, have formed part of an article in The Australian as well as as a blog post on the organisation’s website.
The Australian names Project Rockit co-founders Lucy and Rosie Thomas as well as Head of Programs Dani Weber, who is non-binary and performs as drag king Dani Boi.
The article claims that Project Rockit promotes “contentious gender theory” and cites ties to Minus18 and “the Safe Schools anti-bullying program.”
Star Observer profiled Weber as part of our feature on queer people of colour tackling racism in Australia, and they also spoke as part of our feature on the lack of sex education for LGBTI people in Australia.
In March, the program released a video addressing National Day of Action Against Bullying with emphasised difference as strength.
“If you’re experiencing bullying because you’re different, know that a lot of these differences can be your strength in the future,” a team member says.
Lucy and Rosie spoke to the Star Observer last year about their experiences as queer siblings, saying, “What we’ve seen over the past ten years is a real change in the way families look.”
“It almost feels like we’re not just sisters. We’re allies, we’re co-founders, and we’re activists.”
“Project Rockit isn’t an LGBTI organisation,” Lucy told The Australian in response to the ACL’s accusations.
“We deal with cyber safety, promoting online safety. It’s very difficult to address these without addressing… homophobia, racism and ableism.”
The ACL since doubled down in a blog post on their website, with Managing Director Martyn Iles stating, “We have been contacted by concerned parents about this organisation repeatedly.”
“Many of them are alarmed by the overtly ideological agenda being pushed onto their kids by these activists.
“Most parents would be rightly outraged if they knew the political and ideological agenda behind this anti-bullying organisation.”
Project Rockit’s website states its goal throughout its ten years has been “empowering school students to stand up to hate instead of standing by watching.”
“Through the lens of (cyber)bullying, our workshops explore themes of diversity, belonging, respectful relationships, values and ethics, while building student voice, leadership and empathy.”