WITH more than 100 “champions”, a drop in school bullying and the well-known yellow and blue logo plastered across businesses and buses alike, Bunbury has become the poster child of a Choose Respect city.
But with an upcoming state election in March next year, the future of continued funding for the initiative was unknown.
The uncertainty was put to rest when Premier Colin Barnett and Bunbury MLA John Castrilli handed over a $50,000 cheque to the local team last Friday.
The message to treat others with care and respect was launched at Carey Park Primary School in 2007.
School principal and Choose Respect management team chairman Peter Rigden said it was crucial that there was no gap in funding so the message would not be lost.
Mr Rigden said the physical reminder of a Choose Respect sign gave people a prompt to stop, think and change their reaction.
“An example is one of the local taxis is covered in Choose Respect stickers – the driver has reported that people change their attitude when they get in his cab,” he said.
“We need to spread the message even further to places like local nightclubs and other places where people do need a reminder about their behaviour.”
Premier Barnett said Bunbury was leading the way by applying a positive solution to common social problems impacting communities across the State.
He said the funding boost would ensure the Choose Respect volunteers could continue to work with local authorities and community groups to roll out the program.