Findings from eSafety19

This week Mrs James and I attended the eSafety19 conference. With the online world being an empowering, fascinating and challenging place, eSafety aims to help safeguard Australians from online harms and to promote safer, more positive online experiences. During this conference, we heard from the world's foremost academics, industry leaders, policy implementers, educators and young people. 

Technology and online trends move at a rapid pace and it can be difficult for parents to keep up with this pace. eSafety has posted on their website some advice for parents and carers - you can learn about the digital environment and how to help your child navigate the online world confidently and safely. I wouldn't be surprised if you said to me that when your child uses technology, they show more sophisticated mastery than yourself. Even when I watch my 2 year old at home using the iPad, I am amazed that he is already able to independently navigate the device, knowing exactly how to watch an episode of Paw Patrol. But what our children often lack is digital literacy - critically and maturely understanding and responding to the risks that occur. 

According to eSafety, research tells us that a large number of parents (60%) are concerned that their child is being exposed to a range of risks by being online, such as inappropriate content, contact with strangers and excessive screen time. I recommend you go online to to read about strategies to tackle the big issues, to talk about tricky subjects and deal with issues as they come up. The advice on this website is evidence-based and focus on current and emerging online safety issues including:

- unwanted contact and grooming;
- guide to games, apps and social media; 
- the amount of time spent online; 
- cyberbullying;
- online pornography; and
- gaming.

The website also has many resources including:
- the Screen Smart Parent Tour - an interactive self-reflective tool for parents and carers with practical tips and advice;
- information and tips from leading online safety experts;
- latest research and facts about Australian children online;
- a range of downloadable guides and tip sheets; and
- links to professional support and help for parents and their children.

For further support or information:
- Parentline
Provides a counselling, information and referral service for parents that operates seven days a week between 8am and 10pm or phone 1300 30 1300
- Kids Helpline: Provides free, 24/7 confidential online and phone counselling for children and young people or phone 1800 55 1800

Larissa Cameron
Deputy Principal