Western wins funding to establish new online and digital safety guidelines for families

Western Sydney University has been awarded $127,000 to develop new evidence-based guidelines to improve online safety for children thanks to the Australian Government’s Online Safety Grants Program.

The Family Digital Safety resource will assist parents and grandparents in meaningfully guiding the safety of children aged 10 to 13 years as newly independent Australian internet users, empowering children’s decision-making skills and improving digital safety during these transition years.

Project lead, Dr Joanne Orlando from the University’s Institute for Culture and Society said a digitally safe home environment enables children who are often beginning to use the internet more independent of adult guidance, to effectively control the risks of the internet, alongside leveraging the opportunities that technology provides.

“Given the intensity and range of children's technology use, parents and grandparents cannot realistically be aware of, or understand the myriad of decisions children make every time they go online,” said Dr Orlando.

“The Family Digital Safety resource will use the experiences, perspectives, and needs of children and their families to inform a meaningful, evidence-based guide for this age group's complex online life post COVID-19 as they transition to independent internet use.”

The project is one of nine initiatives to share in $2.25 million in funding in the third and final round of the grants program, which is led by the eSafety Commissioner and complements its existing education programs.

Minister for Communications, the Hon. Michelle Rowland MP, said the not-for-profit sector plays an important role in supporting government to address complex social issues.

“These grants will help unlock each recipient’s unique expertise to create new channels and content addressing specific issues and age groups, helping us to reach more Australians with vital online safety education.”

eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant said she is excited to welcome nine new partners in online safety that share her passion for helping Australians to have positive and safe experiences online.

“We need to keep developing fresh ways to reach and educate Australians if we’re to keep pace with technology.

“Working with partners means more voices, more insights and more ways to inspire a generation of young people to scroll with safety online,” Ms Inman Grant said.

To find out more about the Online Safety Grants Program, visit: Online Safety Grants Program (opens in a new window).

For online safety advice for all Australians, visit esafety.gov.au(opens in a new window).


7 November 2022

Danielle Aiken, Media Officer