The Indigenous All Stars will be led onto the field by Murri boy, Quaden Bayles, for their game against the Māori All Stars at the Gold Coast’s Cbus Super Stadium on Saturday.
The All Stars are standing behind nine-year-old Quaden who has been a victim of severe bullying. He was born with achondroplasia dwarfism, the most common form of dwarfism.
His mother, Yarraka Bayles, posted a painfully emotional video on social media recently of Quaden after coming home from school.
In the video, which now has over 3 million views, Quaden is crying and speaking about harming himself because of the severe bullying suffered at school and in public.His mother calls for advice and understanding.
“This is the impact bullying has on a nine-year-old kid who just wants to go to school, get an education, have fun. But every single … day something happens. Another episode, another bullying … another name-calling,” she says in the video.
“I want people to know how much it is hurting us as a family, I want people to educate their families.
“I have a son who is suicidal every day, every time he is at school and every time we are in public. I wish I could record, every instance when we are public. I want people to see, I don’t want to share this but I can’t do it anymore. We try to be strong and as positive as possible.”
“We know you are going through a hard time now but the boys are here to support you,” Mitchell said.
“We’ve got your back and just want to make sure that you are doing alright, make sure that your mum is on your side, we’re on your side.
“Just make sure you are thinking the right things bud, because we want you around, we want you to lead us out on the weekend.
“Make sure you are looking after yourself and hopefully we are going to see you in the next couple of days.”
Quaden has also seen support from celebrity Hugh Jackman, US comedian Brad Williams and ex-football players Joe Williams and Johnathan Thurston.
The game between the Indigenous and Maori All-Stars kicks off on Saturday night.
If you or anyone you know is struggling with mental ill-health, call or visit the online resources below:
- Lifeline – 13 11 14, lifeline.org.au
- Beyond Blue – 1300 224 636, beyondblue.org.au/forums
- MensLine – 1300 789 978
- Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet – healthinfonet.ecu.edu.au
By Rachael Knowles