E-safety Commissioner to improve online safety for children

9 Jul 2015

AMA President, Professor Brian Owler, has said the establishment of the Office of the Children’s e-Safety Commissioner is an important step to increase the online safety of Australian children and has encouraged young people to explore and embrace this new avenue to report cyber bullying.

The new Commissioner, Mr Alastair McGibbon - a former Australian Federal Police Officer and a recognised expert in online safety - will oversee a complaints system that will issue formal notices to quickly remove harmful cyberbullying material that targets Australian children on large social networking sites. These notices can also be issued to individuals who upload cyberbullying material aimed at Australian children.

Professor Owler said that cyberbullying is a serious health threat for young people that can result in a range of health and development problems, including an increased risk of suicidal thoughts and suicide.

He said the Government’s appointment of the Children’s e-Safety Commissioner recognises the growing reliance by children and young people on online social networking, and represents a serious approach to reduce the impacts of cyber bullying on Australian children.

Full AMA media release.