The Alannah & Madeline Foundation will hold its second annual National eSmart Week between September 5 and 9.
More than 550 schools, libraries and communities participated in last year’s inaugural event, which encourages and educates young people and whole communities to be smarter, safer and more responsible online.
In Australia, one in seven young people suffers from cyber bullying. Initiatives, such as National eSmart Week, aim to not only educate on the effect cyber bullying can have, but also discuss ways to prevent it from happening in the first place.
The Alannah & Madeline Foundation CEO Lesley Podesta said last year’s National eSmart Week initiative – supported by the Telstra Foundation – proved how important the wider Australian community felt about protecting young people online.
Ms Podesta said the Foundation’s eSmart framework was pivotal for educating people of all ages about cyber safety.
“The best way to educate Australians about cyber safety is educating our children,’’ Ms Podesta said. “We now know that National eSmart Week gives us the chance to promote important themes and messages by running engaging activities for young Australians.
“Our aim is not to scare children aware from using technology but to ensure they are able to use it.”
Foundation General Manager Programs Linda Barry said the overwhelming success of last year’s initiative had allowed the Foundation to introduce its eSmart framework, namely eSmart Schools, eSmart Libraries and the eSmart Digital Licence into more Australian communities.
Mrs Barry said eSmart Schools was now implemented in more than a third of Australian schools, while eSmart Libraries was being delivered in half of Australian public libraries. The eSmart Digital Licence, an interactive and fun online quiz for young people, was also being used by more than 200,000 Australian students.
“Last year’s national event really did help us reach more communities across the country,’ Mrs Barry said. “Our aim is to ensure that every Australian school and library is well prepared to operate in a digital world. “Many of these communities are eSmart and during this week we expect more schools and libraries to engage with eSmart, our Digital Licence or our presentations and workshops.”
Telstra Foundation General Manager Jackie Coates said it was a privilege to be part of an initiative that does so much good work right across the country.
“eSmart is a world leading system designed to help all Australians manage cyber safety and deal with cyber bullying,” Ms Coates said.
The Australian Government has committed to allocating funds to enable eligible Australian schools to engage a certified online cyber safety program provider. Schools interested in applying for funding should contact their state or territory education authorities.
National eSmart Week also runs concurrently with National Child Protection Week.
For information or to register for National eSmart Week go to www.esmart.org.au/esmartweek.
Media inquiries contact Adrian Bernecich: 0416 045 701 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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