Lucy ThomasPROJECT ROCKIT
Presentation: Beyond tolerance: Empowering young people as inclusive allies
In a world where conversations are becoming ever more polarised, young people have the power to create safer spaces for all. This talk dives into the realm of LGBTQIA+ allyship, aligning with this year's Wear It Purple Day theme, 'Write Your Story.' As the co-founder and CEO of PROJECT ROCKIT, Lucy Thomas OAM has built a career mobilising young people to unite against bullying and lead respectful communities. In this session, Lucy will share youth-centred strategies for allyship in the face of discrimination and to support LGTBQIA+youth in writing their own stories.
Growing up, Lucy Thomas always figured that “someone should really do something about bullying.” Then Lucy realised: I am that someone. Now, more than a decade after launching PROJECT ROCKIT, Lucy’s whole life is dedicated to the cause. As a keynote speaker and facilitator, Lucy has personally worked with hundreds of thousands of young people all over the world, from Wangaratta to Texas, Wollongong to Auckland, Atherton to Perth. Lucy’s work has been honoured by UNICEF, The University of Melbourne, The Foundation of Young Australians, the global Family Online Safety Institute and they are a recipient of an Order of Australia Medal for service to youth and the issue of bullying.
But after building a career tackling bullying, Lucy’s life was fundamentally changed when they became the target of an extended pattern of bullying themselves. Instead of hiding away, Lucy took this as an opportunity to connect with even young Aussies and launch themself into advocating for their LGBTIQA+ community. They made global headlines in 2016 after standing up to a homophobic Uber driver and the story went viral. Lucy has since wrapped these personal learnings into a widely received TEDx talk, Kindness: The ultimate rebellion against bullying.
With a blended academic background in Psychology and Creative Arts, Lucy is a mighty force of kindness, equipped with the precious ability to creatively engage young people to generate positive social change.