OHPI has taken a lead role in fighting cyberbullying, particularly among children. In 2012, we actively participated in the Coalition’s Review of Online Safety for Children. Some of our recommendations were eventually included in the Enhanced Online Safety for Children Bill that will come up for consideration before the Senate next month. The submission can be viewed here.
Over the last six months we have also been working closely with the NSW Parents’ Council to raise awareness against online hate speech among children. We are pleased to have the CEO of the NSW Parent’s Council, Noel Hadjimichael, as the member of the OHPI Board of Directors.
At the launch of OHPI’s online hate reporting tool, fightagainsthate.com, in December last year, Mr Hadjimichael spoke of the powerful impact that parents, teachers and schools together can have on young Australians facing the pain, isolation or fear arising from being victims of online hate, cyberbullying and other forms of discrimination.
OHPI is pleased to support the inaugural Parents Congress, to be held in Sydney on March 8, 2015, organised by the Parent’s Council of NSW. The congress will tackle a whole gamut of parent engagement issues.
The Congress will place special emphasis on the subject of online hate given that parents have relatively little knowledge of the online spaces that their children inhabit. In the first panel, Rabbi Zalman Kastel and the New Zealand-based online educator Karen Boyes will focus some of their comments on this subject. In the second panel, Tony Cook from the Commonwealth Government and Julie McCrossin, a board member of one of Australia’s top girl’s schools, will look at this issue from a policy framework.
If you are a parent concerned about increasing cyberbullying among schoolgoing children, attend to the event. There will be a live webcast of the event as well, for registered parents who can’t make it to the venue in Sydney. You can register to the event at www.parentscouncil.nsw.edu.au or contact the organisers at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com for more information.