Advocates Join Govt In Online Program

Key internet and children’s advocacy organisations have joined Government to link Australian children, parents and teachers with expert cyber-safety advice.

Bravehearts, Child Wise, The Alannah and Madeline Foundation, Google and YouTube Australia, MySpace and Telstra are the first organisations committing to promote the web site.

The Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy extended an invitation to organisations, particularly those involved with youth, to promote the CyberSmart website by prominently displaying links on their own websites.

The Federal Government has published the Edith Cowan University report, ‘Review of Existing Australian and International Cyber-safety Research’. The report was commissioned as part of the Government’s $125.8 million comprehensive cyber-safety plan.
Key finding of the report include:

  • Cyber-grooming and sexual solicitation are potentially the most serious cyber-safety risks.
    Cyber-bullying is emerging as a significant risk to young people.
  • 10% of Australian children report cyber-bullying behaviour, however international prevalence rates of around 50% have been reported.
  • Cyber-bullying research is still new and little is known about the motivations of perpetrators as well as the long-term effects.
  • 84% of boys and 60% of girls in Australia claim they have been accidentally exposed to pornography online.
  • There are significant gaps in many areas of cyber-safety research, particularly about Australian conditions.

“The Edith Cowan report provides a useful basis for future research to inform the Government’s responses,” Senator Conroy said. “This report will complement the important work of the Consultative Working Group and Youth Advisory Group and will also assist the cyber-safety initiatives of the Australian Communications and Media Authority and the Australian Federal Police.”