NCAB Conference: States starving schools of cyber bullying funds, says Susan McLean

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Media Release - Friday 29 July

Leading Australian cyber safety advisor Susan McLean has called for all Australian education departments to release funding committed to schools, through the Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner.

Speaking at the National Centre Against Bully (NCAB) Conference at Melbourne’s Crown Conference Centre, Ms Mclean said the funding was a commitment from the Abbott Government leading up to the 2013 Federal Election. NCAB is an initiative of the Alannah & Madeline Foundation.

“The Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner has been provided with a mandate to tackle cyber-bullying in schools through its certified provider program,’’ Ms McLean said. “Without the funds, schools are at a standstill while the numbers of young people subjected to cyber bullying continues to rise.”

“It is my understanding that the all Australian education departments are responsible for releasing and distributing the funds, but not one Australian school has received the money.  The situation is unacceptable and requires urgent attention.  

“Schools struggle with allocating funds to deal with a plethora of issues so anything that can assist them in securing the best possible educators by way of funds to assist with costs is vital.”

Ms McLean also called on parents and educators to take an active role in the online safety of young people to help prevent damaging online behaviour and bullying.

“Parents and educators need to develop an understanding of what kids are doing online, what they’re seeing online and what they’re getting involved in,” Ms McLean said. 

“Armed with this information, they’re less likely to panic and more likely to be able to help support young people through challenging times.”

Media inquiries contact Adrian Bernecich: 03 9697 0683, 0416 045 701 or adrian.bernecich@amf.org.au.

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