Princess Mary of Denmark has helped launch a new cybersafety initiative to provide peace of mind for Australian families and keep young people safe while using digital technology in the home.
The International Patron of The Alannah and Madeline Foundation joined key business, government and community leaders, including Prime Minister Tony Abbott in Sydney for the launch of eSmart Homes.
Princess Mary explained that while bullying has always been a serious issue, the digital revolution has exacerbated the incidence and impact of bullying by taking it beyond the schoolyard and into the home.
“Home is no longer a sanctuary. Bullying has moved from an issue confined to school hours, to an issue that can impact children every minute of every day,” she said.
“Children, in particular, face significant risks in the online world, including cyberbullying, identity theft and the threat of exposure to sexual predators.
“How we respond to these new challenges is crucial and The Alannah and Madeline Foundation’s eSmart Homes initiative will help parents set their home up to be cybersafe.”
The Alannah and Madeline Foundation’s Chairman, John Bertrand, reinforced the importance of creating a cybersafe environment in the home.
“We are living in an age where we are all digital citizens of a single global community. Children and young people are the greatest beneficiaries of this digital environment and are learning to navigate the online world at a younger and younger age,” Mr Bertrand said.
“Digital technology has become an integral part of our life, opening up a world of opportunities. However, the benefits of technology do not come without risks. It is therefore imperative we educate children – and indeed the adults around them – about how to navigate this world safely.”
eSmart Homes is the latest initiative in the world-leading eSmart system, which uses a cultural-change approach to teach Australians to be smart, safe and responsible with digital technology.
One of the key components of eSmart Homes will be the eSmart Digital Licence, a fun, interactive and challenging online testing tool designed to stimulate dialogue between parents and children about how to enjoy the great benefits technology brings to their lives, while at the same time educating them about safe and responsible online behaviours.
Crown Princess Mary has a deep interest in the wellbeing of children and has had a long-term association with The Alannah and Madeline Foundation.
In 2007, Crown Princess Mary’s charity, the Mary Foundation, was inspired by The Alannah and Madeline Foundation’s Better Buddies program and created the Danish initiative called Fri for Mobberi (Free of Bullying), which is being rolled out in kindergartens and primary schools across Denmark.
In 2008, the Crown Princess played an influential role in securing support for eSmart Schools during a visit to Australia. eSmart Schools was subsequently launched in 2011 and is now being implemented in almost 2,000 schools nationwide.
For more information on eSmart Homes, visit www.amf.org.au/esmarthomes