Chris Pye has launched his Project Yellow marathon campaign at Ipswich State High School.
Chris Pye has launched his Project Yellow marathon campaign at Ipswich State High School. Sarah Harvey

Campaign is up and running

IPSWICH State High School students have helped launch anti-bullying campaign Project Yellow.

Students ran with Relationships Australia's Rainbow Program Co-ordinator Chris Pye, as he completed the first laps of his 500km journey from Ipswich to Roma.

Project Yellow will see Mr Pye give motivational talks at 27 schools and run half-marathons around ovals and rural townships to raise awareness about the importance of social inclusion.

Mr Pye said he chose to launch the Relationships Australia Queensland campaign at Ipswich State High School on Monday because of his connection to the region.

"We've had an ongoing dialogue with the school, and we knew how keen they were to support the project," Mr Pye said.

He said the project encouraged students to respect themselves and each other, and to accept differences and diversity.

Mr Pye named the initiative Project Yellow because of a confronting experience he had more than 10 years ago.

"I was working in a small south-east Queensland town and I was talking about relationships and difference, when one boy said that he couldn't wear a bright yellow shirt down the main street of this town without copping it.

"That really hit home - it showed how hard it was for some kids," Mr Pye said.

Mr Pye's message to victims of bullying was a compassionate one.

"You don't have to put up with it, but it can be really difficult to report because there's always that fear that it will get worse.

"That's why it's so important to get it out into the open and talk about it and teach people to take it seriously," Mr Pye said.

Matt McDonald, Ipswich State High's head of student services, said Project Yellow's message was very relevant to students.

"Having Chris here is a very positive way of promoting social inclusion, which is a major value at our school," Mr McDonald said.

Mr Pye has since visited Marburg State School and Faith Lutheran College, and will visit Gatton and Toowoomba district schools in the coming days.


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