Safe Kids are eSmart Kids

An Albanese Labor Government will ensure all Australian schoolchildren can develop the digital and media literacy skills they need to stay safe and thrive in the online world.

That's why Labor will support the national rollout of the eSmart Digital Licence+ for primary and secondary school students, as well as the eSmart Media Literacy Lab for secondary school students, to be developed and delivered by the Alannah & Madeline Foundation. 

The eSmart Digital Licence+ equips children with the digital literacy required to harness the opportunities and deal with the challenges of the internet. The eSmart Media Literacy Labempowers young people to think critically, create responsibly, and be active citizens online.

Improving digital media literacy are keyrecommendations of the ACCC’s Digital Platforms Inquiry report, but delivery of these programs is currently limited to schools who can afford it or have philanthropic support. 

It’s another example of the Morrison Government doing too little, too late. Australian children deserve a government that is on their side and prioritises their safety online. 

That’s why Labor’s plan will expand this to all schools, ensuring all Australian children have access to critical knowledge and skills in the digital economy.

The Shadow Minister for Education, Tanya Plibersek said “for years our kids have been getting a pen licence as they learn to write - this is the pen licence for the digital age.” 

“Labor wants to ensure these resources are available to all children, regardless of what school they go to. It’s crucial all our kids learn the skills they need to keep them safe online,” Ms Plibersek said.

The Shadow Minister for Communications, Michelle Rowland said the internet was providing new opportunities but also posing challenges when it comes to online safety. 

“Whether it’s to confront cyberbullying or disinformation, we need to provide our children with the best tools available. Australian kids deserve no less.”

The Assistant Shadow Minister for Communications and Cyber Security, Tim Watts said “any parent can tell you that during the pandemic we’ve seen more kids spending more time on screens. Unfortunately, the experts tell us we’ve also seen more kids exposed to the ugly side of being online.” 

“We need to act now to ensure every Australian child has the skills and knowledge they need to stay safe online,” Mr Watts said.

Alannah & Madeline Foundation CEO, Sarah Davies AM, said “it is critical that legislative and industry changes are coupled with initiatives that build digital intelligence and media literacy skills in children and young people, as well as in schools, early childhood settings, families, and support services. We want every Australian school student to have access to our comprehensive suite of Australian curriculum-aligned, and evidence-informed eLearning programs so they are empowered with the skills to effectively and safely use technology today, and in the future.”

The eSmart Digital Licence and Media Literacy Lab are among the most comprehensive digital and media literacy resources available in Australia, developed with the DQ Institute in Singapore to internationally recognised global standards

Improving digital skills and enhancing eSafety is a whole of society effort and Labor is pleased to support the Alannah & Madeline Foundation in leveraging its good work in our community.

This commitment will cost $6 million over three years which is a small but powerful investment in digital skills to support our children’s safety online, their participation as digital citizens and the development of Australia’s future workforce.