(Australian Associated Press)
Almost half of Australian parents say cyberbullying is their biggest fear for their children, more so than drugs and alcohol, a survey shows.
The survey, conducted by Telstra, found 40 per cent of Australian parents said cyberbullying was their biggest worry, and 20 per cent were concerned about online safety.
This is ahead of drugs (15 per cent) and alcohol and cigarettes (nine per cent).
In Queensland, where children returned to school last week, the issue is becoming more serious with one in three Queensland parents reporting their child had been cyberbullied – above the national average of one in four.
Australian eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant said young people needed to be empowered to inspire their friends to speak out against bullying.
“In short, we all need to understand that the process of ‘upstanding’ is truly outstanding,” she said.
However, only 18 per cent of Queensland parents claim to have a good understanding of what cyberbullying is.
To combat that lack of understanding is Project Rockit, first launched as face-to-face workshops in 2006 by Melbourne sisters Lucy and Rosie Thomas, but now available as an immersive online experience.
“We were driven to take our successful youth-led approach and program to a digital platform after seeing the difference we were making at each school we visited,” Rosie Thomas said.
Project Rockit urges parents to work with the schools, and their children, to develop safe ways to combat cyberbullying.