Getting into the zone in the fight against bullying

Getting into the zone in the fight against bullying

The Power Zones crew and Art vs Depression founder Gavin Grace and Neerigen Brook Primary school principal Lesley Barrett. Photograph – Aaron Van Rongen.

Safe spaces known as Power Zones will soon be filling public spaces and schools across the City of Gosnells with the aim of improving people’s wellbeing and reducing bullying.

For three years Art vs Depression founder Gavin ‘Gracey’ Grace has put together this project using his art expertise to build safe spaces with easy access for people to activate them when they feel a need to.

Gracey said his vision is for Power Zones to be a major vehicle of change for communities. There are 13 Power Zones across the city and the goal is to create 50 within the next five years, making this one of the largest art-for-social-change projects in the area.

Gracey found the need to incorporate these safe spaces in primary schools and made it possible last week with an official launch held at Nerrigen Brook Primary.

The Power Zones are murals splashed with Gracey’s art and students had a chance to decide how they wished to activate them.

Zones are activated by students performing specific choreographed dance moves involving emotions they have chosen such as love, happiness, protection, calm and resilience.

Gracey said these areas are recognisable and easy to assess on school grounds and that when activated allows the students to be responsible for their own wellbeing and that of others.

“They improve the lives of students by giving them a fun and inclusive activity to draw attention to any unseen difficulties so that the appropriate actions may be taken by other students and staff,” he said.

“In my opinion anti-social behaviour in our communities is a result of many contributing factors but we can choose to practise pro-social behaviours like the buddy system at any time and any age.

“We just have to make a part of the DNA of our communities and Power Zones have been designed to do this.”

Art vs Depression is on the lookout for more schools interested in incorporating Power Zones.