Innovative online safety education programs get a funding boost

The first grant recipients of the Australian Government’s Online Safety Grants Program, led by the eSafety Commissioner, were announced today, providing funding that will boost the online safety of children, the community and those most at-risk online. 

Grant funding of between $80,000 and $1 million has been made available to eight non-government organisations (NGOs) to develop services, resources and products that provide new solutions for improving online safety.

The successful projects ensure children and young people, along with their families and communities, can access online safety education and resources – especially within at-risk communities.  

“These grants are very exciting and extremely timely for eSafety to be rolling out. Being online and staying connected has never been more important. So, making sure our children and young people are supported in their online interactions is equally as important.” said eSafety Commissioner, Julie Inman Grant. 

“Our research tells us that children as young as two are going online, so the need to develop practical skills to confidently navigate the online world is crucial. And these new programs will be able to help with just that.”

“The successful grant applicant’s projects also reflect our vision and commitment to be innovative, agile and culturally responsive as we continue to meet the online safety needs of Australia’s diverse and continually evolving population.”

Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, said, “In the 2019-20 Budget, the Morrison Government provided $10 million over four years for eSafety to provide grants to NGOs that will deliver important new community programs and complement our world-leading regulator’s work to keep Australian families safe online.”  

The first round of the grants program attracted a large volume of applicants who went through a highly competitive application and review process.  

The successful grant recipients for the Online Safety Grants Program - Round 1 2020 are: 
•    University of Canberra – Safe Online Together
•    Alannah and Madeline Foundation – Improve your Play
•    Endeavour Foundation – Online Safety for All Abilities 
•    Association of Children’s Welfare Agencies – Online Safety in Out of Home Care
•    YMCA Services – Stay Safe Online, Tell Someone 
•    Queensland Remote Aboriginal Media – Stayin’ eSafe
•    Souths Cares – Souths Cares Cyber Safety Program
•    Constable Care Child Safety Foundation – Creating Virtual Reality Resources for Cyber Safety Education 

eSafety will support each of these organisations as they develop and roll-out their programs and highlight their work and impact amongst their targeted communities. More information about the successful programs and information about the Online Safety Grants program can be found here.

Supporting quotes from successful grant recipients for media use: 

“Souths Cares is excited about the opportunity to partner with the team at eSafety to deliver key safety messages to both primary and high school students and we welcome the grant to be able to reach communities across NSW.” — Alisha Parker-Elre, General Manager - South Cares Pty Ltd

“The Alannah & Madeline Foundation welcomes this important grant. Improve Your Play will educate young men aged 15-17 about consent and harmful sexualised behaviours online and will equip them with skills to communicate respectfully. The program will be co-designed with young men and women and will be a first for Australia.” — Lesley Podesta, CEO - Alannah & Madeline Foundation

“Constable Care Child Safety Foundation welcomes this opportunity to work with Aboriginal and at-risk young people to develop a youth-led cyber safety virtual reality film, available for use across the country.  This is a great opportunity for us to extend our offering in cyber safety education through the use of VR film in a mixed technology/arts approach to cyber safety education.” — David Gribble, CEO – Constable Care Child Safety Foundation

“The online safety risks facing children and young people in OOHC are amplified by their increased vulnerability and history of trauma, leaving them more susceptible to grooming and sexual exploitation, and more likely to be unintentional perpetrators through sharing of inappropriate materials with peers. This grant will enable ACWA to work directly with children and young people in OOHC and their caregivers to design and deliver a suite of high-quality online safety resources that are tailored to suit their circumstances.”  — Steve Kinmond, CEO - Association of Children’s Welfare Agencies 

“The Y welcomes this grant as it will enable us to pilot an online safety education package, co-designed by children and young people, to empower them to speak up and report unsafe online behaviours, and build on our recently launched “Stay Safe Tell Someone’ program.” — Glyn Davies, CEO - Y Services  

“The University of Canberra welcomes this grant, which enables us to deliver real impact through our research by helping families and young people navigate the risks and opportunities associated with digital technologies. The Safe Online Together Project is a fantastic opportunity for the University of Canberra, in partnership with local community services organisations, to apply its research to a real-world context to benefit families throughout the ACT community.” — Professor Leigh Sullivan, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research & Innovation

“Endeavour Foundation welcomes this grant to deliver online safety programs to thousands of people with intellectual disability, who face increased risks online, around Australia. This project will include young people with intellectual disability to develop accessible learning modules aimed at improving safe online practices in a relatable way”. — Andrew Donne, CEO Endeavour Foundation

“Queensland Remote Aboriginal Media welcomes this grant as the Stayin' eSafe project will provide much-needed resources promoting online safety in regional and remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in Queensland and around Australia. This is a great opportunity for us to work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people, artists and community members in a range of remote locations to co-design engaging and culturally-appropriate radio content and animations to address this important issue.” — Candice Siedler-Twine, A/General Manager - Queensland Remote Aboriginal Media

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