September 9th 2016

About - Day of Silence New Zealand

About the Day of Silence

The National Day of Silence is a day of action in which students across the country vow to take a form of silence to call attention to the silencing effect of homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying, name-calling and harassment in schools. The goal of the Day of Silence is to make schools safer for all students, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity/expression. Students across the country participate in the Day of Silence to bring attention to this problem, let students who experience such bullying know that they are not alone and ask schools to take action to address the problem. There is no single way to participate, and students are encouraged to take part in the way that is the most positive and uplifting for their school.

Why Be Silent

Being silent draws attention and creates visibility around the issue of homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying in New Zealand schools. The Youth 12 report conducted by the University of Auckland shows that same or both-sex attracted young people in New Zealand are three times more likely to be bullied weekly than their heterosexual peers.

57.9% worried someone would hurt/bother them at school and 43.3% had been hit or physically harmed on purpose at school in the last year.

Of those students who had been bullied over eight times as many had been bullied because they were gay or because people thought that they were gay compared to their opposite-sex-attracted peers. The Youth 2000 reports show us that there has been no improvement in over ten years in regards to the amount of bullying sexual minorities face in New Zealand schools. These statistics show us that homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying is a major issue in New Zealand schools and it's time something was done about it.

The Youth 12 report also highlights the concerning levels of depression, anxiety, alcohol and drug abuse, self harm and suicide experienced by young people of sexual minorities. The Youth 12 report on transgender students shows that nearly 20% had attempted suicide in the previous year and nearly 50% had been physically abused.

By taking part in the Day of Silence, students can bring the topic of bullying into the light and then work with school staff and students on follow up actions to break the silence. These could include starting up a queer straight alliance, improving the quality of education on sexual orientation and gender in health classes or specifying homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying in your school's anti-bullying policies and strategies.


Founded in 1996, the Day of Silence has become the largest single student-led action towards creating safer schools for all, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. From the first-ever Day of Silence at the University of Virginia in 1996, to the organising efforts in over 8,000 middle schools, high schools, colleges and universities across the US and over 70 countries worldwide in 2013, its textured history reflects its diversity in both numbers and reach.

In 2007 the Day of Silence took place for the first time in New Zealand at Nayland College in Nelson. The day has been held at the school every year since and has grown to run in the other schools in the Nelson region and other places across the country.

So for 2014 we thought it was time to put Aotearoa on the map and make the Day of Silence a national campaign of InsideOut! We are now in our third year running.

Who We Are

The National Day of Silence team in NZ is made up of a small group of young board members and volunteers of InsideOUT – a national charity that aims to make schools and communities safer for young people of sexual and gender minorities and support schools in setting up queer straight alliance or diversity groups.

Organising for Day of Silence

Organising a Day of Silence (DOS) activity or event can be a positive tool for change-both personally and community-wide. By taking a vow of silence, you're making a powerful statement about the important issue of homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying, and when you organise others to join you that message becomes stronger.

The first school to take part in Day of Silence in Australasia in 2007!

Schools Registered For 2016

This list includes schools that have officially registered and schools where individuals have registered.

Napier Girls High School
Hastings Girls High School
Wellington College
Kapiti College
Wellington Girls' College
Newlands College
Hutt Valley High School
Western springs college
Wellington East Girls' College
Mt Roskill Grammar school
Whanganui High School
Fraser High School
Awatapu Collage
Spotswood College
Campion College
Vision College
Fairfield College
Burnside High School
Victoria University of Wellington
Taradale High School
Nelson College
University of Otago, Wellington School of Medicine
Tawa College
Logan Park High School
Fraser High School
Scots College
Onslow College
Queen's High School
Southland Girls' High School
Whitireia Performance Center
Aotea College
The New Zealand School of Film and Television
New Plymouth Girls' High School
Tauhara College
Taupo-nui-a-Tia College

Students from all these schools took part in 2015:
Hutt Valley High School, Western Springs College, Napier Girls' High School, Waimea College, Hasting Girls' High School, Nelson College for Girls, Wellington East Girls' School, St Cuthbert's College, Nayland College, Wellington Girls' College, Cambridge High School, Maeroa Intermediate, Bayfield High School, Taupo-nui-a-Tia College, Tauhara College, Alternative Education Waiariki, Kelston Girls' College, Campion College, Feilding Agricultural High School, Westlake Girls' High School, Villa Maria College, Onslow College, Newlands College, Whanganui High School, Wellington High School, Takapuna Grammar School, Reporoa College, Raphael House Rudolf Steiner School, Whangarei Girls' High School, Motueka High School, Mt Roskill Grammar School, Whanganui Girls' College, Karori Youth Centre, Queen Margaret College, St Orans College, Nayland College, Edgewater College, Heretaunga College, Kapiti College, University of Canterbury

Nelson College for Girls' doing Day of Silence in 2010

Students from all these schools took part in 2014:

Onslow College, Hutt Valley High School, Motueka High School, Te Aroha College, Hastings Girls High School, Napier Boys' High School, Waiopehu College, Westland High School, Waimea College, Tauranga Girls' College, Nelson Girls' College, Greymouth High School, Fairfield College, Epsom Girls' Grammar School, Wellington High School, Mount Roskill Grammar School, Aotea College, Victoria University Wellington, Unitec, Taradale High School, Mount Albert Grammar School, Napier Girls' High School, Long Bay College, Central Hawkes Bay College, Tawa College, Wintec, St Cuthberts College, Hamilton Girls' High School, St Mary's Diocesan School, Papanui High School, Wanganui Girls' College, Kerikeri High School, Auckland Girls' Grammar School, Rosehill College, Nga Tawa Diocesan School, Wanganui High School, Glenfield College, Hillcrest High-School, Tauhara College, Taupo-nui-a-Tia College, Teawamatu College