One in seven Australians reported being the subject of cyberbullying over the past year, which is why Nationals Member for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker has welcomed this year’s National eSmart Week.
National eSmart Week is an initiative of the Alannah and Madeline Foundation and focuses on building cyber safe communities across Australia. The week coincides with National Child Protection Week.
The week includes a number of webinars and activities for schools, libraries and community groups — with more than 2,200 schools, 200,000 students and over 60 per cent of Australia’s public libraries are registered as eSmart entities.
Mr Hartsuyker is encouraging local organisations on the Mid North Coast to get involved as online safety is more important than ever for all Australians.
“It is important that everyone, not just young people, are aware of the types of dangers they can face online so we can equip them with the right tools,” Mr Hartsuyker said.
“So much of our daily lives revolve around technology which can allow bullying to occur 24/7—this means that while in the past what used to end at the playground can now follow children home as well,” he said.
“With the growing statistics on cyberbullying, it is programs like these making a positive difference to how people live their lives.”
The Turnbull Government takes online safety seriously and established the Office of the eSafety Commissioner in 2015 to help all Australians navigate safely online. The Office has a range of resources and initiatives, including a complaints scheme to remove harmful cyberbullying material and an online portal where image-based abuse can be reported. The portal also provides access to immediate and tangible support.
For more information on this year’s National eSmart Week visit www.esmart.org.au/esmartweek.
Further information on other eSafety initiatives is available at www.esafety.gov.au.