PROJECT ROCKIT was launched in 2006 by Rosie and Lucy Thomas, two Australian sisters, who saw the opportunity to create real social change by tackling the issue of bullying in school communities.
To put it simply, PROJECT ROCKIT builds spaces where imagination, leadership, creative expression and acceptance are available to all young people, regardless of their social label, grades, gender, sexuality or cultural background.
In evaluation, 96% of students found PROJECT ROCKIT workshops personally helpful and 94% observed a difference in the culture of their year level following the program.
PROJECT ROCKIT interactive workshops have now worked with over 200,000 school students and presented at major national and international conferences as (cyber)bullying experts.
In 2012, PROJECT ROCKIT partnered with Facebook and headspace to launch the Be Bold. Stop Bullying National anti-bullying campaign with the support of the Australian Prime Minister, Minister for Mental Health and Minister for Education. Recently PROJECT ROCKIT has also teamed up with Telstra and Twitter to deliver cyber safety messages to young people all over the country.
In 2013, cofounders Lucy and Rosie Thomas presented a keynote in Washington D.C at the Family Online Safety Institute’s annual conference and accepted the International Award for Outstanding Achievement in Cyber Safety (nominated by Microsoft).
Last year, PROJECT ROCKIT was bestowed a $400k Social Innovations Grant from the Telstra Foundation. Thanks to this support and some seriously cutting edge technology, PROJECT ROCKIT are currently re-developing their Australian-first online program so students anywhere with an internet connection can access fun, engaging and educative anti-bullying resources. The grant will also allow PROJECT ROCKIT to develop an app that will make sure young people are NEVER alone. The app will be a first of it’s kind and help young people spread compassion and kindness when they need it most.
Extending beyond its grassroots work with young people, PROJECT ROCKIT also serves as a key consultant to Australian government bodies and corporates, including the Office of the eSafety Commissioner, Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Telstra and Microsoft Australia, developing company-endorsed strategies for dealing with cyberbullying.
“BEST BULLYING INCURSION EVA ♥ out of all the hundred million people who have come to talk about bullying you guys r definitely the best!!!” – High school student, Brighton Secondary School
Rosie Thomas – co-founder and ceo of project rockit
Empowerpreneur, social justice junkie and CEO/cofounder of Australia’s youth-driven movement against bullying, PROJECT ROCKIT, Rosie is committed to providing totally innovative opportunities for young people to realize their potential.
Rosie is a highly energetic and passionate social entrepreneur, facilitator and keynote speaker, whose extensive experiences in working with diverse youth communities have bolstered her strong sense of compassion and understanding towards fellow young people. For the past 10 years, she has dedicated her professional life to helping the lives of young people. After founding PROJECT ROCKIT with her sister soon after finishing high school, Rosie has worked hard to challenge convention and use social enterprise to tackle longstanding social issues.
PROJECT ROCKIT has positively impacted hundreds of thousands of young Aussies, earning the reputation as the ‘student favourite’ in anti-bullying interventions. In 2012, Rosie and her sister launched P-ROCK Online anti-bullying curriculum. Hailed an Australian-first, P-ROCK Online ensured all young people could have access to anti-bullying and empathy development anywhere with an Internet connection. Through her work with PROJECT ROCKIT, Rosie has travelled the globe working directly with social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to make the platform safer (and more awesome) for young people.
Rosie has made numerous appearances as a cyberbullying and youth expert in the popular print, radio and television domain, including being featured on Channel 7 news, Sunrise and interviewed by the panel on Channel 10’s “The Project.” In 2010, she took out first place in the Business Icon Awards, an intensive social entrepreneurship competition adjudicated by leading Australian business innovators.
Rosie has completed her Bachelor of Arts and in 2012 received a scholarship to spark more social change at The School for Social Entrepreneurs. Later that year she was named Melbourne’ s ‘Social Entrepreneur of the Year’. Following a nation-wide search for the next generation of innovators, Rosie was selected to take part in the Young Social Pioneers program in 2015. Rosie’s idea for innovation was selected among 52 out of 1000, securing her a position in the esteemed entrepreneurial program. Just recently, Rosie was awarded a high profile scholarship and mentoring package to B School where she is completing her Diploma of Business.
Rosie is passionate about using innovation and business ideology and resources to solve longstanding social problems and in her spare time, provides business support to local change makers and entrepreneurs.
Frequently described as a pocket rocket with a ferocious passion for life, discover Rosie’s approach to real social change here.
Lucy Thomas – co-founder and ceo of project rockit
Growing up, Lucy Thomas always figured that “someone should really do something about bullying.” Then she realised: I am that someone. Now, with over 10 years experience in group facilitation, public speaking and youth work, Lucy has personally reached thousands of young people and established herself as a creative and innovative force in the youth space.
Lucy is a Melbourne University graduate with Graduate and Postgraduate Diplomas in Psychology, as well as a Bachelor of Creative Arts (honours). In 2010, she made her debut as an International speaker at the National Stop Girl Bullying Conference in Texas and has not looked back since. She has made multiple appearances as a cyberbullying expert for Channel 7, CBS and ABC news, as well as Cleo and Dolly magazines. In 2010, Lucy was also named winner of Anthill Magazine’s 30 under 30 awards, which recognises the achievements of 30 entrepreneurs under the age of 30 for their outstanding endeavours.
Outside of PROJECT ROCKIT, Lucy currently sits on the board of Minus18, Australia’s largest youth-led organisation supporting LGBT young people. She also holds the post of Senior Writer at SheRa Magazine, a Los Angeles based publication “for girls who think.” This creative and socially conscious background, together with a solid grounding in psychology and youth development, has
equipped Lucy with the precious ability to engage young people to generate self- awareness, growth and positive social change.
Hear Lucy’s own experience of surviving bullying.