Building a cyber safe world for our children in regional Australia

With one in five Australian children reporting being cyber bullied and the latest research indicating students in regional areas are more susceptible to being bullied online, learning how to be cyber safe has never been more important.

Schools, libraries, community organisations and workplaces around the country are working to protect our most vulnerable from bullying by taking part in 2019’s National eSmart Week to showcase their commitment to building a cyber safe community and celebrating the positive side of speaking up.

Held from 1-7 September 2019 – in line with National Child Protection Week – National eSmart Week creates awareness, ideas and solutions to keep our children and young people safe online and helps showcase events, activities, creations and commitment to cyber safety.

An initiative of national children’s charity, the Alannah & Madeline Foundation, in partnership with Telstra Foundation, the eSmart initiative uses a cultural behaviour-change approach to improve cyber safety, increase digital literacy and reduce on and offline bullying. eSmart is now in one-third of Australian schools and more than 80 per cent of public libraries around the country.

Now in its fifth year, this National eSmart Week is encouraging registered participants to get creative with access to a free, downloadable activity toolkit. Cyber safety creations, events and activities that showcase the voices of children and young people will be shared, using the hashtags #creativelyesmart and #esmartWeek.

The Alannah & Madeline Foundation CEO, Lesley Podesta, said that through National eSmart Week “we come together to champion an Australia that is free from cyber bullying, that embraces the best technology can offer, and to promote smart, safe and responsible behaviour online”.

“It is an opportunity for communities to share their knowledge and celebrate their work around being smart, safe and responsible when using technology,” she said.

“By creating awareness about cyber safety, bullying and well-being, we can reduce online harm.”

Ms Podesta said that we should all work together to raise a generation of smart, safe and responsible children who are capable and compassionate online.

“It’s so important not to fear technology, but to be able to navigate it comfortably, safely and competently. Every child should learn digital literacy. No one must be left behind.”

Source: Alannah & Madeline Foundation