Best MATES

The Best MATES Puppet Show is a story about the friendship of Tommy the Turtle and Danny the Duck for primary school students.  

  • It is a story about inclusion 
  • With a powerful anti-bullying message 
  • Delivered with a sense of fun and positivity 

    We all need a MATE.  Our values are underpinned by the concept of MATESHIP; it’s is a part of our Australian DNA 

    Instead of promoting the negative and somewhat abstract mantra of “bullying no way” or “say no to bullying”, The Best MATES Puppet Show promotes inclusion and acceptance. 

    Tommy the Turtle and Danny the Duck will share with your students their story of friendship and inclusion. It’s time to take the negativity out and inject some fun and storytelling in to this very serious and real problem; a problem that is becoming more prevalent and damaging to so many of our young people. 

    The Best MATES Puppet Show stars Richard Habelrih as Tommy the Turtle.  

    Richard gives Tommy an authentic voice, as he himself was subjected to extreme bullying all through school because he did not quite ‘fit in’ due to his autism. 

    This is not a story about autism, it’s a story of difference, and just like Richard, Tommy did not quite fit in. 

    What your students will experience: 

    Richard first shares his own school journey with the students - his presentation, “I’m Just Like Everyone Else” is thought provoking and has been very well received at schools. 

    Following his presentation, Richard brings Tommy to life as students to sit back and enjoy the adventures of Tommy & Danny. 

    Why Best MATES? 

    • Teachers can’t replicate friendship from peers which all children crave 
    • Exclusion is very often the first form of bullying 
    • Best MATES offers a proactive and preventative option to exclusion and social isolation in schools 

       According to the Bullying No Way Project: 

      1. 45% of young people experience bullying before the age of 18 
      2. 38% of young people believe that their school does not take bullying seriously 
      3. Peers are present as onlookers in 87% of bullying interactionsThat means around 87% of people watch, and do nothing.  

      Our goal is to present Best MATES at every primary school. This is a big goal and some may say, un-achievable. 

      Our invitation goes out to every primary school in Australia. If regional clusters joined forces, we wold be most happy to bring Tommy the Turtle and Danny the Duck to your school.

      Slide "That was the speech that started the conversation at
      our schools! Richard you have brought so much to 
      Star Club... thank you thank you thank you. The children
      are waiting to have you visit again x "
      ~Michelle Bouabaid
      Slide "Well done again Richard.
      You drew and entertained a crowd once more!"
      ~Helen Hajj 
      Slide "It was our absolute pleasure to have the inspiring Richard
      and Randa visit. The children (as young as 2yrs) loved the
      puppet show and have been speaking about it since! We are
      never too young to learn about inclusion.In the words
      of Richard Habelrih the great: ‘I am just like everyone else’"
      ~ Michelle Bouabaid