THE DIGITAL world comes with a unique set of challenges for our communities, we often hear about digital literacy, but an increasing concern is digital safety.
A recent series of workshops hosted by the Alpha Qld branch of the Isolated Childrens’ Parent’s Association (ICPA), targeted a teenagers and their parents.
Directly addressing resilience and staying safe online, the workshops not only of benefited the local community, but also acted as a template of a model that could be rolled out to a wider audience.
Featuring workshops presented by cybersafety expert, Susan Mclean, Outback Futures Be True 2 U and Sammi’s Fresh Fitness, the day was the brainchild of Alpha parent and Better Internet for Rural, Regional and Remote Australia (BIRRR) co-founder, Kristy Sparrow.
Ms Sparrow said the the day attracted 60 secondary aged students from the Clermont, Barcaldine, Tambo, Emerald, Springsure and Alpha districts.
“Catering costs were donated by Lions Clubs of Emerald and Springsure, with assistance provided by the Alpha Branch Country Womens’ Association,” she said.
Thirteen year old, Alpha student, Sienna Bettridge said she enjoyed the workshops.
“The Cybersafety workshop showed me how what you post on social media when you are younger can affect your future when you are looking for employment and opportunities,” she said.
ICPA, Alpha branch Treasurer, Sarah Bridgeman thanked event organisers and sponsors and said ti was a wonderful day.
“As a parent, I found the workshop very informative, frightening and eye opening,” she said.
“We should never stick our heads in the sand and think it won’t happen to our kids and the more informed we are, is the best place to be in to deal with internet issues.”
Parent, Angie Bettridge said she her daughters learned a lot from the speakers.
“Even though we have a relatively open communication about Social Media use this made us sit down and talk about it again,” she said.
“It reminded us to recap on our family rules with internet use and also talk about issues that have risen since our last conversations.
“A timely reminder that this is a case of continuing conversation.”
The workshop was sponsored by Telstra, with support from the Barcaldine Regional Council, Alpha Country Women’s Association (CWA), Alpha State School Parents and Citizens, NBN Australuia and David Littleproud MP.