A Cautionary Tail

A Cautionary Tail supports headspace


headspace Central Sydney is proud to be the charity partner of "A Cautionary Tail", a short animated film about a girl born with a tail who stands up to bullies to embrace her difference.

Starring Cate Blanchett, David Wenham and Barry Otto, the film will make its debut at international festivals this year. The film is a dark, funny fable by writer Erica Harrison, directed by Simon Rippingale and produced by Pauline Piper.

Up to half of all Australian school students have reported being victimised or bullied in some form. "Bullying is not simply 'part of growing up'. It is a destructive issue that can have serious effects on a young person's physical and mental health" said Professor Ian Hickie, Executive Director of the University of Sydney's Brain and Mind Research Institute, lead agency for headspace Central Sydney.

Funds raised at the "A Cautionary Tail" exhibition next week aims to give up to 40 young people an opportunity to attend a bullying skills workshop in their school holidays.

"Young people under around 16 years of age often don't have the skills or support to cope with bullying at high school" said Hickie.

The workshops help young people challenge negativity and cope with stressful situations, as well as celebrating individual strengths to build confidence and self esteem, encouraging healthy social relationships and teaching proactive anti-bullying strategies to minimise playground and cyber bullying.

"headspace offers early intervention for young people going through a tough time, and very often being bullied can trigger mental health issues in young people.

"The messages in A Cautionary Tail will resonate with a lot of people. It's not just about bullying, it's about fitting in and being accepted, experiencing depression and feeling anxious" said Hickie.

Parents and carers can assist their child by looking out for the signs of victimisation (such as cuts and bruises, becoming withdrawn, having nightmares, losing or having damaged possessions, not wanting to go to school), by developing their skills to respond to bullying behavior, and by helping them build resilience and broader social skills.


If you or someone you know is experiencing bullying, headspace is somewhere you can go to talk about bullying and many other issues. To find out if there is a headspace centre near you please visit www.headspace.org.au.


In an emergency please call:

  • Mental Health Hotline 1800 511 011
  • Lifeline 131 114
  • Kids Helpline 1800 551 800

For more information about A Cautionary Tail, and to watch the trailer, please visit http://www.acautionarytail.com/