Posted on November 2, 2016 by Rachel Duthie
Ten years ago, PROJECT ROCKIT was nothing but a PO box and a whole lotta passion. Sisters, Rosie and Lucy Thomas had just finished school and were thinking that someone really should do something about bullying. It occurred to them that THEY were these “someones”, and something COULD be done about bullying. Whilst scraping a living working in coffee shops and coaching soccer teams, they spent every waking moment constructing the backbone of what would go on to become a nation wide, youth-led movement against bullying, hate and prejudice. It didn’t take long for PROJECT ROCKIT workshops to become the student favourite.
A decade on and PROJECT ROCKIT is so much more than a PO box. PROJECT ROCKIT is a movement. It is tens of thousands of students standing up together to change the world we live in. It is countless awards and nominations, a whole team of presenters, and partnerships with the biggest names in youth mental health and social media platforms.
THE SURPIRSE PARTY BEGINS…
On the 7th of October, co-founders Rosie and Lucy threw the PROJECT ROCKIT team a huge surprise party to celebrate just how far the movement has come. Everyone was piled into a taxi, blindfolded (metaphorically) and taken on a wild adventure. It wasn’t until we were in line to get on a plane before it was finally revealed that the team was on their way to Sydney.
We were fed and watered, then whisked around to see where the magic happens at Google, who are generously funding PROJECT ROCKIT TV (launching in 2017!) You have Google’s music room (and Ash’s musical talents) to thank for the birth of The P-ROCKERs (keep an eye out for our EP…)
Instagram and Facebook spoilt us next, where we sat on sunny Sydney roof tops, drank our weight in milkshakes which had us bouncing off the walls and re-lived happy Mardi Gras memories from when the team marched in Facebook’s fabulous float in March.
The last stop of our headquarters hop was Twitter, where the remarkable Kara Hinesley (@karahinesley) tempted the entire team to relocate to Sydney. PROJECT ROCKIT Advisory Board member Julie Inman-Grant (@tweetinjules) dropped in as a surprise and we all managed to touch the very space that Amy Schumers butt had in the famous Blue Room. We spent the afternoon battling fiercely for tennis table champion and drooling when we saw the cake Twitter had specially made in celebration.
Ten years ago in Sydney, Rosie and Lucy sat in a restaurant and listed their goals and dreams for PROJECT ROCKIT. For dinner, we went to the very same restaurant and reflected on the outcome of those dreams made a decade ago. We left humbled, proud and inspired.
A night out (including some wicked dance moves by Laurad), a team brunch the next day, then a bunch of exhausted and incredibly happy P-ROCKERS got on a plane back to Melbourne.
A HUGE thankyou to our partners Google, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for all of their support and love, the hospitable Kara Hinesley (@karahinesley) and Jules Inman-Grant (@tweetinjules), as well as Mia Garlick (@miagarlick) who runs Facebook’s public policy in the Asia-Pacific, Carrie who hosted us on her behalf, Sam Yorke and the entire team at Google.
It was a whirlwind weekend full of so much love, gratitude and celebration. What a journey the past decade has been; the best part is that it’s only the beginning.
This blog was written by a passionate and loyal supporter of PROJECT ROCKIT, Rachel Duthie who has been completing placement with P-ROCK the latter half of 2016. Rachel, thank you for your generosity and friendship.