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Lucy Thomas, 2010 Anthill 30under30 Winner

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What is 30under30?

30under30 is an Anthill initiative that was launched in early 2008 to encourage and promote entrepreneurship among young Australians. Each year, we invite our readers to nominate young Australian entrepreneurs deserving of recognition for their outstanding entrepreneurial endeavours. More.

Lucy Thomas, VIC (b. 1982)

Name: Lucy Thomas
Age: 28 (Born: May 1982)
Gender: Female
State: VIC

Five years ago, Lucy Thomas knew what she wanted to do, but wasn’t sure how to do it. The University of Melbourne graduate was determined to make a mark in youth empowerment, to strike a blow for social justice.

But jobs that fit that description were few and far between. So, in time, she created her own — Project Rockit — in partnership with her sister, Rosie Thomas.

Probably the best way to describe the Thomas’ venture is to crib directly from the home page:

“Project Rockit is an interactive anti-bullying and youth leadership program run by young people for young people in primary and secondary school settings. We are not a one-off entertainment act. We strive to achieve positive, lasting change by empowering young people to tackle the issues important to them.”

Since starting Project Rockit in 2007, the Thomases have worked with more than 150,000 Melbourne-area students. The website quadrupled its daily hits over two years. Most importantly, in post-event evaluations, 96% of students saw a decline in bullying at their school.

As much as Project Rockit strives to suppress a social negative, Lucy Thomas says the goal is also to coax budding leaders from these young people.

“Unlike other interventions, our approach offers a genuine insight into youth culture to facilitate positive, last change from the inside out,” Thomas says.

One of the project’s most successful initiatives is its student storywriting contest. Project Rockit secured partnerships with Smiggle and Crumpler to promote the contest, which receives hundreds of entries a year (here’s the story by this year’s winner, Amber McHenry of Mentone Girls’ Secondary College).

“The comp has been really effective in prospecting and generating publicity,” Thomas says. “Best of all, it is widely recognised by young people as a credible forum to showcase their talent and stand up against bullying.”

The Thomases were the youngest presenters at this year’s National Centre Against Bullying Conference. Lucy was a presenter at the U.S. Stop Girl Bullying Conference. Team Thomas, in short, is being heard.

“As individuals, we are really different, but our core values are the same,” Lucy Thomas says. “We constantly push each other to take on challenges that we might be too scared to tackle alone. As a result, I am constantly provided with opportunities to grow and to drive Project Rockit as far as we can.”

Selected articles on Project Rockit

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