Government launches advisory group on Cybersafety

06 April, 2011 by IF

Press release from the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy

The Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy Senator Stephen Conroy today launched the 2011 Youth Advisory Group (YAG) on Cybersafety and a new advisory group for teachers and parents.


Senator Conroy joined Member for Deakin Mike Symon at Ringwood Secondary College in Victoria for the announcement and said he was delighted to welcome the new schools participating in the YAG, which is now it in its third year.

The YAG has expanded its membership to include around 1,300 students aged eight to 17 from 130 schools representing all states and territories throughout Australia. These students will participate in a series of one-week consultations and provide advice to the government on cybersafety issues faced by their peers.

"The Government listens to and acts on the advice from YAG members," Senator Conroy said.

"Advice from past YAG members has informed key cybersafety initiatives aimed at keeping children safe online, such as the Cybersafety Help Button, which I launched in December last year.

"The button was developed in response to advice from YAG members who told the Government they wanted a ‘one-stop shop’ for online advice and assistance."

Mr Symon said the success of the YAG had led the Government to create a similar group for teachers and parents.

"The Teachers and Parents Advisory Group will complement the good work already being done by teachers and parents by providing a forum where members can share ideas on how to protect children online and promote cybersafety messages," Mr Symon said.

"The Teachers and Parents Advisory Group will go-live this afternoon at 2.00pm AEST and I look forward to hearing their thoughts on cybersafety issues as they play such a critical role in keeping children safe online."

Mr Michael Phillips, Principal of Ringwood Secondary College said Ringwood Secondary College was conscious the solution to cybersafety and cyberbullying lies with the young people themselves.

"We are really committed to improving the safety of our students and to capturing the student voice. The YAG initiative gives us a vehicle to do that," Mr Phillips said.

"Whatever we can do to strengthen the partnerships that allow young people to be better informed, more resilient, and know how to navigate tricky situations, is a great thing.

"The YAG, and the opportunities to extend parent partnerships, will assist in leading people to behave in better ways, whether that’s in real time or in the cyber-world," Mr Phillips said.

These two advisory groups are part of the Government’s Cybersafety Plan which includes education, international co-operation, a joint parliamentary committee, research, law enforcement and filtering measures.

The YAG program commenced last week with more than 160 students from 20 Victorian schools participating in the first online consultation sphere.