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Start the chat about online safety

The eSafety Commissioner’s national campaign, Online Safety Start the Chat, is asking parents, teachers and students across the country to start those important conversations about online safety. The campaign is a response to disturbing research findings that up to 95 per cent of surveyed parents needed more information about online safety, including where to go for reliable help and advice.

The report also found that only 46 per cent of parents felt “confident” in dealing with the online threats their children might face, and only one-third (36 per cent) were “actively seeking information on how to best manage” situations like cyber bullying, sexting and unwanted contact.

The Start the Chat campaign includes a wide range of relevant and engaging learning resources and Australian-curriculum aligned lesson plans on eSafety and digital environments. It also provides special assistance to cultural groups who have greater difficultly dealing with cyber bullying. In a sense, it is a one-stop shop for anyone needing quality resources and assistance in participating safely in the online world.

Australia’s inaugural eSafety Commissioner, Julie Inman Grant, brings a wealth of experience to the role, working in the US Congress before joining the Microsoft team for 17 years, culminating in her role as Global Safety Director for Online Safety Policy and Outreach. She has also worked for the tech behemoth Twitter, where she focused on online safety and countering violent extremism.  Commissioner Inman Grant also developed Twitter’s ‘Rules and Tools’ for safety and conceptualised and piloted the company’s global female safety and empowerment program.

Commissioner Inman Grant spoke to Education Review about the research findings, the  Online Safety Start the Chat campaign and what online resources and help the Commissioner can provide through the eSafety website.

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