Foundation provides cyber safety support to young Indigenous women in the NT

in Press Releases

Media Release - Thursday 22 December, 2016

The Alannah & Madeline Foundation is helping young Indigenous women in the Northern Territory become safer, smarter and more responsible online.

The Foundation has partnered with the Stars Foundation to help deliver its eSmart Digital Licence to 500 girls between years 7 and 12 in Darwin and Katherine - thanks to a sponsorship from the Telstra Foundation.

The Stars Foundation’s mission is to support and enable Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander girls and young women to make active choices towards realising their full potential in all aspects of their development and wellbeing.

Both foundations will continue the program in 2017 to help young women receive the benefits of the initiative.

The eSmart Digital Licence, launched in 2015, teaches young people critical digital skills and promotes discussion about online safety between young people and their parents, carers and teachers.

Across Australia, more than 230,000 students have registered for the program during the past 20 months.

The Alannah & Madeline Foundation CEO Lesley Podesta said the partnership with the Stars Foundation was crucial to supporting these young women.

Ms Podesta said the two foundations had worked closely to customise the eSmart Digital Licence, ensuring the resource was relevant to issues they faced on a daily basis. She said the initiative had already been a great success.

“We know that too many young women are cyber bullied and we want to give them the skills and confidence to be safe online, to experiment and be more in control of their cyber reputation,” Ms Podesta said.

“We see this as an ideal partnership between two great foundations.”

Stars Foundation Executive Director Andrea Goddard said the eSmart Digital Licence fits in with its aim of teaching skills that foster resilience and wellbeing, leading to increased social connection, community participation and self-confidence.

“Stars prepares Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander girls for their future after school with a broad range of life skills and a healthy approach to living,” Ms Goddard said. “About 85 per cent of the girls in the Stars program have their own phone however their knowledge of cyber safety and responsible behaviour online is limited.

“So the Digital Licence is crucial in helping them better understand the technology they use every day to help keep them safe.”

There is also continual contact with the Alannah & Madeline Foundation and those using the eSmart Digital Licence in order to communicate questions as well as successful ideas.

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