Telstra Foundation Funds Programs to Reduce Online Bullying
11 February 2008 at 3:00 pm
The Telstra Foundation has announced a new $2 million program that aims to reduce bullying and harassment of children using the internet and mobile phones across Australia.
The new program will provide grants starting from $75,000 per year over three years for organisations to tackle cyber safety issues ranging from bullying to internet addiction and identity theft.
Telstra Foundation Chairman, Herb Elliott, says children are using the internet and mobile phones at an increasingly young age, but unfortunately some were becoming victims of bullying and harassment, and even crime.
Elliott says there are more and more reported incidents of children and young people who are victimised at the hands of bullies or people doing the wrong thing online and the Foundation wants to reverse this growing trend, and support programs and research that help keep kids safe while they make the most of the exciting opportunities the internet and mobile phones offer.
He says in particular, the cyber safety grants will focus on funding programs to help educate parents about online technology, and simple steps they can take to create a safe online learning and social environment for their child.
Recent reports have revealed the growing number of children and young people using technology:
– 93% of teenagers use the Internet,
– 84% use chat rooms daily,
– 59% of children use a mobile phone, and
– 33% of children aged 8 or 9 started to use the Internet at the age of 5 or 64.
The Telstra Foundation says it is putting a ‘spotlight’ on cyber safety and wants to work with people in community organisations with new ideas and solutions to help keep children safe online.
The program will focus on four areas:
– encouraging children and young people to be actively involved in developing solutions;
– approaches that assist in educating parents to become more competent in addressing cyber safety issues;
– research that will enrich understanding of cyber safety issues; and
– approaches that bring together the community to share ideas and
An application form is available at www.telstrafoundation.com. Applications open on 4 February 2008 and close on 4 April 2008. Successful projects and applicants will be announced in June.