• May 18, 2018
AUT students and staff in a group photo for Pink Shirt Day. Photo: Lucy Drake
Pink shirts were out in force on the AUT city campus today as staff and students spoke out against bullying.
Students and lecturers wore the shirts to celebrate the global Speak Up campaign.
During the event, students spoke on the acceptance of others, followed by a dance and a now-traditional group photo at 12.30pm.
Students also put together a bake sale alongside a free sausage sizzle, raising funds for Mental Health New Zealand,
AUT community relations manager Joanna Lewis says the university is LGBTIQ friendly and there are many programmes that will help stop harassment and bullying.
“Today is important to come together and make a stand as a community,” she says.
She emphasises that AUT is a welcoming place for school leavers and international students, who should feel accepted and a have sense of belonging.
New Zealand is rated the second-highest for school bullying out of 51 countries.
One in five Kiwis are affected by bullying in the workplace.
“This is not the kind of behaviour we want to have at AUT this event helps get the message across,” says Kate Birch, the director of organisational development at the university.
Manager of AUT's anti-harassment programme Jenni Brown says: “AUT stands for tika and pono, the values of respect and diversity, not harassment or bullying.”
Ms Brown says Pink Shirt Day is "fabulous" and raises awareness on campus.
Organisers of the event say they were extremely happy with the turnout this year and seeing everyone come together.