As we conclude the 2019 school year I wanted to take the opportunity on behalf of the wellbeing services team to thank the Pulteney students, families and staff for your support and involvement in contributing to our culture of wellbeing. Our team focus for 2020 is to explore how we can continue to provide evidence-based, timely and useful resources for our community.

2020 will also see some changes to the staff or the wellbeing services team as we farewell Lisa Thompson after two years of fantastic service. We thank Lisa for her professional, caring and student-centred focus and wish her all the best as she expands her own private business endeavours. Chris Clements will also be taking Term 1 parental leave. I know Chris has been looking forward to this and we look forward to welcoming him back in Term 2.

We wish all a lovely Christmas and start of 2020.

Steve McCulloch

Head of Student Wellbeing

Classification within the Media

There has long been debate as to whether or not violence depicted in the media is linked with aggressive behaviour in children. In fact, some of the earliest studies were conducted many decades ago. These studies originally focused on the link between films and aggression, but as other media platforms became mainstream the attention soon shifted to television, music, and most recently video games. 

Despite numerous studies and talented researchers investigating this topic, there remains inconclusive evidence as to whether there is a causal link between violence portrayed in video games and aggression. 

One of the difficulties for researchers in determining a causal effect resides in their ethical mandate to ‘cause no harm’ to their subjects. As a result, researchers are often required to develop roundabout ways to measure aggression effects. This gives rise to alternate explanations for the observed effect and hence the inconclusive evidence. 

Despite the inconclusive nature of research into violence in video games and aggression in children, we are fortunate in Australia to have an active Classification Board to assist parents with their decision making in purchasing appropriate video games. The Classification Board began classifying video games in 1994 and currently classifies games from G (general – mild impact) through to R18+ (Restricted – high impact) which is a legally restricted category.

To help understand what each of the classifications means, and to assist in making an informed purchase, I encourage you to visit the Australian Classification website in the link below. Through this website, you can type in any movie, TV series or video game to ascertain the degree to which it contains violence, coarse language, drug use, nudity, sex, and themes.   http://www.classification.gov.au

As an example, the following illustration depicts the classification for the highly popular video games Fortnite and Grand Theft Auto 5:


Chris Clements

School Psychologist