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ECU cyber-safety report released nationally

Friday, 11 September 2009


Edith Cowan University's ‘Review of Existing Australian and International Cyber-safety Research' has today been released by Senator Stephen Conroy, Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy.

Commissioned as part of the Federal Government's $125.8 million Cyber-Safety Plan, the report is the most comprehensive review of cyber-safety literature available.

The review clearly demonstrates that cyber-bullying is the most likely form of inappropriate online contact children will experience, and represents a real and important issue for young people in Australia. 

ECU's Dr Julian Dooley, who completed the review, said the work addressed a large range of risk areas, ranging from those associated with online content, to those associated with contact facilitated by online means.

"This review provides a thorough and detailed overview of the risks associated with technology use, and will likely have important implications for many different sectors, particularly the education sector," he said.

When releasing the report, Senator Conroy said it substantiates the view that while the internet offers enormous possibilities and opportunities for young people, Australian and international research indicate there are clear issues for children's safety online.

"Current research indicates that while less than 10 per cent of Australian children report cyber-bullying behaviour, international prevalence rates of around 50 per cent have been reported," Senator Conroy said.

"This report will complement the important work of the Consultative Working Group and Youth Advisory Group and will also assist the cyber-safety initiatives of the Australian Communications and Media Authority and the Australian Federal Police."

Dr Dooley is part of ECU's Child Health Promotion Research Centre.

The report is available for download from the Australian Government - Department of Broadband, Communications & the Digital Economy (Dept BC&DE) website.

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