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Transcript 18992

Transcript of Remarks at bCyberwise Launch

Photo of Gillard, Julia

Gillard, Julia

Period of Service: 24/06/2010 to 27/06/2013

More information about Gillard, Julia on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 16/01/2013

Release Type: Speech

Transcript ID: 18992


As I think is well known, I love visiting schools. I love visiting schools so much I've contrived to manage to visit one during school holidays. So thanks to everybody who has made that possible.

To our wonderful principal who came off leave to make sure that we could be here today and to our school kids who without any grudging sense have come back to school to participate in this Life Education program. Thank you very much for being here. I know you had other choices today, it being school holidays so it's good to see the kids back at school.

We live in a remarkable age, with many modern opportunities and many challenges. And when we are talking about what happens on the online world with the internet, where we are with the digital age in which we live, we should never forget the opportunities it is giving us.

It's giving us an opportunity to transform education as we roll out the National Broadband Network. So kids in school can get the best of curriculum around the world. They can hook into the best teaching around the world. They can leave school having developed friendships with children in Japan or Korea or China.

They can use that online experience to help them learn a language in our region. They can take all of that with them into the world of work, as well as the benefits of staying in touch with friends through social media.

So this new age and our rollout of the National Broadband Network is creating new opportunities for our kids and our schools, just as it's creating new opportunities for businesses and new opportunities for people to stay in touch.

Ask anybody who regularly Skypes with a friend overseas or grandmum or granddad overseas about how this is transforming our world and the way in which we live.

But with all of those opportunities, there are actually new risks as well and we need to face up to those new risks.

We have taught our kids generation after generation about how to be streetwise and how to face up to stranger danger. If I had a dollar for every time my mother lectured me on the way out about not getting in cars with people you didn't know and not talking to strangers, I would be a far wealthier woman.

So generation after generation we have taught our kids about the dangers that they might encounter in the world that they inhabit and live in.

Now we've got to teach our kids about new dangers in a new environment in the cyber world.

We know many parents worry a great deal about cyber bullying, about the kind of bullying that follows you from the school gates into your home, that never gives you a break, that is there even when you are on school holidays or weekends, that is there even in the middle of the night because kids wake up and check their devices.

They do worry about that cyber bullying and the impact it has on their kids.

They worry too about the predators, the adults who are there, using the internet for their purposes. Pretending perhaps to be children, asking to meet children in the real world.

And I would have to say I was a little bit startled by that statistic that you gave us about how many children responded to your survey saying that they had gone and met someone in the real world that they had first met online and didn't know any other way.

And we don't need to draw too many word pictures for all of us to intuitively understand all of the risks that can come with that happening.

So there are dangers out there. And that's why this program is so important, and I am so pleased to be here to launch the new online cyber safety module that has been developed by Life Education and by McAfee. We really do thank them for it.

It will help our kids learn and I've had an insight into that sitting in the Life Education Australia van as we've worked through some of the things that kids go through in this program. And thank you very much for showing us how all of that works.

But it's very sensible, very practical information about who you would share the most secret and sensitive things with, like your password, as opposed to who you would share things with that you are more happy to have in a broader group, and how you make those judgments between what you would share with absolute strangers, what you would only share with your parent, what you would share with close friends, what you would share with people at school.

The really practical judgments that kids are faced with every day.

So I'm very pleased to be here to launch this online learning. It is going to be taken out to more than 600,000 children in 3,500 schools. I think that's truly remarkable and I want to congratulate everybody who will be involved in that process.

It's very important that our children in this modern world understand all of the opportunities, but also the risks that can come with the new environment in which we live.

I want to take this opportunity to talk about two other matters associated with safety and security.

We know that some of the risks with the online world aren't just risks for children. Through social media, we've seen some of the pressures that can be brought to bear by an environment in which unfortunately people with the benefit of anonymity sometimes say the cruellest and harshest things things to each other.

The trolling that happens, the bullying that happens - and that happens to children but also happens to adults. It's true, I think part of human nature, that people will say things that are sharper and harder under the cover of anonymity than they would say to someone's face.

And we see that in the online environment every day.

This has caused a lot of problems for people as they have felt the pressures of being bullied on Facebook or through Twitter or in other social media environments. I think we can all imagine what that feels like.

I think we all know what it feels like to be in a room of people, perhaps you can remember back to a day in your school days when you felt humiliated in front of the classroom or in front of your sporting team and that happened in front of ten, twenty, thirty other people.

Many people are living with the feeling of humiliation in front of thousands, indeed tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of people because of the way that these social media environments work.

So that is a cause for concern and it has brought pressures on to individuals.

So I'm pleased that today we will be releasing new guidelines for social networking sites which commits companies such as Facebook and Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft to work in accordance with these protocols. And these companies have agreed to make this commitment.

This commitment is about protocols and guidelines which sets out clear information about the acceptable use of these environments, education and awareness-raising about what is acceptable and not acceptable behaviour online.

And a single point of contact for government, as well as a point of contact for further information.

I think this is a step forward by these giants of social media. We need to see a further step forward. We need to see Twitter also agreeing to use these protocols and guidelines because it is on Twitter that so much of the damage has been done by trolls.

And I do call on Twitter to replicate what has been done by other major social media companies, and embrace these guidelines.

This is part of a continuing package of work from the Government, including our cyber safety help button, which more than 660,000 people have downloaded so they can have an app that gets them help if they are feeling uncomfortable with what is happening online.

So this is an important development, not only because it will help keep our kids safe, but it also will make a difference, I believe, for the way in which adults engage with social media and some of the harm we've seen come from social media.

Today in my view is all about safety and security: safety and security in a new environment, in a modern world. Unfortunately the online environment is not the only safety challenge we face.

And standing here with Julie Owens in this part of the world, I do want to take this opportunity to make a comment or two about some other safety questions.

We've seen overnight yet again a report of another shooting in Sydney's south-west. Unfortunately news of shootings in Sydney's west and south-west has become all too common.

We are seeing reports of violence in suburbs in Brisbane.

Now people who make their lives in these suburbs, in these parts of our great nation, deserve to be able to get about their business, to raise their families in an environment that is safe and secure and peaceful.

Australians overwhelmingly go about doing the right thing every day. They get up early, they work hard and their biggest aspiration is to make a good life for themselves and their children, and they deserve to do that in an environment where they can feel safe and secure.

So whilst these questions are always principally for State Governments and for our police authorities, they do concern me. It's not my intention as Prime Minister to try and step into the shoes of State Government. That wouldn't be right.

State Governments needs to get about their responsibilities and I'm not going to be running commentary on how Premier O'Farrell or Premier Newman or indeed anybody else is responding to this violence.

I also do want to congratulate the police. They do an incredibly tough job in very difficult circumstances and often don't get much thanks as they do it.

But I do think that at this time, all levels of government need to be doing everything that can be done to address this violence.

So in that spirit I have asked Jason Clare, our Minister for Home Affairs, to prepare for Cabinet and for Government some options to address this violence and to explore the limits of the Federal Government's legal and constitutional responsibilities in this area.

What we can do, we will be working through that because I am very concerned about the circumstances for communities in Sydney's west and more broadly.

If I can go back to where I started at today's event, I do want to thank everybody who is involved.

I want to thank those people who have shown such dedication to making a difference for our kids. I suspect when people first conceived of some of this idea that there was plenty of fashionable advice that that wouldn't ever work, you are going to take a van around the country and do what?

And here we have a real demonstration today that it can work and can make a difference to kids. And when I can be told sitting in that van that upper primary school-age kids sit engaged for an hour-and-a-half in this module of learning, and that they want to know about it and they want to take all of the lessons with them, I think that's a remarkable thing to learn.

Many Australians would be shaking their heads in wonderment that kids can be engaged for an hour-and-a-half in anything. So well done to you for achieving that and I'm very proud to be here today and to be associated with this launch.

Thank you.

Transcript 18992