Office of the eSafety Commissioner
Hi, this is Susan McLean, and today I’ll be talking to you about the office of the eSafety Commissioner. We are very lucky in Australia to have a federal government department devoted to online safety. We are the only country in the world. The office started its life as the children’s e-Safety Commissioner, where it only dealt with issues involving young people.
It has grown and developed to encompass all areas of online safety for all Australians. The current safety commissioner is Miss Julie Inman Grant, who has had an extensive background in working in the digital space with American government officials, Microsoft, Twitter and Adobe.
She’s also a mum of three. So she brings a unique perspective to her role. But I want to go through with you some of the things that I like about what the eSafety Commissioner does and how they can help you as a parent or as a young person who might be watching this.
When you visit the department’s website, there’s lots of different places that you can explore.
There is a portal for parents. There is a portal for older Australians. There is one for young people. There is some information there for Primary Schools and even younger.
The Office of the eSafety Commissioners website also is the home of the image based abuse portal and and eSafety women. eSafety Women is a particular group within the eSafety office that looks at women fleeing domestic violence and how to make sure that they are as safe as possible whilst not disconnecting them from technology use to assist them to avoid technology facilitated abuse, which we know happens far too often.
But as a parent, I would encourage you to visit the eSafety Commissioner’s website, eSafety.gov.au, and have a good look at all the resources that they offer. There is also a portal for educators with lessons, lesson plans, with videos that you can use with your students. There are games as well for younger people. And of course, they’ve just started a partnership with Playschool on the ABC so that your little tots can actually learn online safety while watching an episode of Playschool.
There are links on the website to a range of reporting options. There are a list of apps and games and platforms. What they are, what they do. What age does your child have to be to use them. But two important features that I want to point out for you. One is reporting serious cyberbullying. If your child or someone in your care under the age of 18 years is a victim of serious cyberbullying, and you’ve reported that to the site and the site has failed to act, well through the office of the eSafety Commissioner’s portal, you can report that and they can then assist you in having that content removed.
The other thing I’d like to draw your attention to is the image-based abuse portal. This is open for all Australians, regardless of age, who have been the victims of image based abuse. This is where an intimate image has been taken without your consent and shared. Or perhaps it’s been shared initially with consent, and now it’s being posted online to humiliate or blackmail you. Through a process with the eSafety commissioner, an arrangement and a relationship has been formed with the main tech companies to assist in having these images removed quickly to make sure that the harm is minimised.
So please remember one of the first places you should go for information about online safety is the Office of the eSafety Commissioner. I’m sure you will enjoy their resources as much as I do.
So I’d love if you could join me on the 8th of July for a very special Facebook live event called Let’s Get Appy. During that live event, I’ll be going through the latest apps and platforms that young people are using, the good, the bad and in-between.
I’ll also be discussing the latest Facebook Kids Messenger app, which is one of the best ways for young people to be able to communicate online in a way that is solely controlled by a parent. This will go live at 8PM. Please visit my Facebook page to register your interest to attend, and I look forward to seeing you there.