11 August 2005
NetAlert Expo: helping to protect children online
An online safety training roadshow and information campaign aimed at educating parents, teachers and community groups about the risks children face online was launched today by the Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, Senator Helen Coonan.
“NetAlert Expo is part of the Government’s commitment to protecting children from offensive or illegal online content. Parents, teachers and the community will all benefit from the increasing range of advice available on Internet safety,” the Minister said.
NetAlert Expo is funded under the two-year $2 million National CyberSafe Program, which forms part of the Australian Government’s National Child Protection Initiative election commitment to spend $30 million to protect Australian children and families from sex criminals.
NetAlert, the Government-funded Internet safety body, will deliver NetAlert Expo over the coming months.
A recent report on Internet usage undertaken by NetAlert and the then Australian Broadcasting Authority (now the Australian Communications and Media Authority), kidsonline@home, found that the issue of greatest concern most commonly reported by parents in relation to their children’s Internet use was online pornography, followed by communicating with strangers online.
“These are very serious issues of legitimate concern and show a definite need for programs such as this,” Senator Coonan said.
NetAlert Expo complements NetAlert’s CyberSafe Schools project designed to help teachers empower students on the safe use of the Internet by delivering useful resources to teachers and students at all Australian primary and secondary schools.
“These NetAlert projects also complement work being conducted by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) under the National Child Protection Initiative. The Government is providing the AFP with $3.7 million in funding to continue its education and prevention programs, aimed at parents, teachers and relevant community groups,” Senator Coonan said.
The NetAlert Expo roadshow began on Monday 8 August, with the first workshops held in Melbourne.
It will travel throughout Victoria for the rest of this month, visiting community centres, schools and libraries.
The Expo will then travel throughout every State and Territory.