SAFER INTERNET DAY 2020: STARTING THE CHAT TO KEEP YOUNGSTERS SAFE ONLINE

Member for Petrie, Luke Howarth MP, is encouraging locals to join more than 1,000 schools and organisations around Australia participating in Safer Internet Day today to raise awareness about online safety, particularly among our youngest Australians.

This year’s theme is ‘start the chat’, with leaders from business, government, education, sport and all walks of life joining together to encourage parents, carers and teachers to talk to children in their care about internet safety.

According to research from the eSafety Commissioner, Australian children are regularly exposed to harmful online experiences with 28 per cent of parents aware their child has had a negative experience online.

Australia’s eSafety Commissioner is today launching the next phase of its ‘start the chat’ initiative which promotes safer online experiences for children and equips parents, carers and teachers with practical resources for having conversations about safe and responsible internet use. This initiative includes the eSafety Commissioner’s Early Years Online Safety for under 5s booklet, which was launched today at a Safer Internet Day event at Parliament House in Canberra.

Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, said, “Safer Internet Day is a terrific opportunity to open the lines of communication about online safety with our young Australians – how to harness the benefits of the internet, while avoiding its harmful elements.”

“The Morrison Government is at the forefront of online safety policy, and we will continue to prioritise the protection of all Australians in the online world, just as we do the physical world.”

Luke Howarth MP said, “I encourage those in Petrie to get involved in Safer Internet Day and embrace this year’s theme and start the chat.”

“I particularly encourage parents, carers and teachers to access the information available on the eSafety website, where there is a myriad of free resources with practical advice about how you can help the next generation of Australians grow up in a safer online world.”

“Safer Internet Day is a wonderful opportunity for the entire community to have a conversation about the risks we face on the internet – but it’s also a conversation that families need to be having daily in living rooms across Australia,” says eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant.

“Parents need to become as involved in their children’s online lives as they are in their everyday lives, from the moment they hand them a digital device.

“It all starts with ‘the chat’ – with letting your child know that, along with all the wonders of the internet, there are serious risks there for them too. And eSafety is there to support parents and carers, and the community generally, with advice and resources at esafety.gov.au, the world’s premier online safety hub.”

Safer Internet Day activities and celebrations are happening in communities across Australia, and downloadable resources are available to help promote and support the day’s important messages. Thousands of Australian students will take part in virtual eSafety classroom lessons to learn about safer online gaming.

Safer Internet Day is celebrated in 150 countries and in Australia is coordinated by the eSafety Commissioner.

In 2015, the Government established the world’s first Children’s eSafety Commissioner to support Australian children experiencing cyberbullying harm. In 2017, the Government expanded the eSafety Commissioner’s remit to include all Australians.

To get involved or for more information, visit www.esafety.gov.au/SID.