6. Vita Catalano

19 Aug

‘Communication is the key.’ This is the philosophy Vita applies to her life and to addressing the issue of bullying in schools and the wider community.

A mother of two, Vita has lived in the Banyule area for 22 years. She has been chosen to participate in the Banyule 100 for her involvement with younger people and her commitment to making Banyule a safer and better place for young people and making bullying less of a risk.

Vita is very passionate about raising awareness of bullying, particularly in schools. While she was aware of bullying being a problem, she didn’t realise its impact until she witnessed first hand its effects on someone close to her. She saw how it destroyed the victim’s confidence and prevented her from enjoying school. She decided something needed to be done so she confronted the problem head on. Through her acting school she helps students from 6 to 18 years of age, but mostly teenagers, with issues relating to teenage life and safety in the Banyule area, focusing on bullying, relationships and peer pressure with drugs and alcohol.

Acting has always been an important part of Vita’s life. She has began acting as when she was a  teenager, appearing in TV commercials, theatre and working on TV shows. Her last role as an actress was in Blue Heelers. She is now an acting tutor for children aged anywhere from 6 to teenagers offering 6 week courses after school. She believes teaching them theatre and acting skills helps boost their confidence and makes them better prepared to handle challenges like bullying.

Vita’s project now is to make a short movie to help make teenagers more aware of bullying and the effects it has on people and the things it makes them do. She wants to make it available to all schools and she also plans to publicise it on Facebook and YouTube to reach as many young people as possible .Her goal is to raise awareness and show the seriousness of bullying and the dangers and risks it poses. For now, most of her energy is being poured into the production of the movie.

Vita’s dream is that Banyule will be a happy, safe place for young people to grow up in and reach their potential in a caring, safe environment.

Jayden Busuttil

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