Crown Princess Mary and Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark were the guests of honour yesterday at the official launch of eSmart Homes, a new cybersafety initiative by The Alannah and Madeline Foundation.
eSmart Homes is the latest initiative in the eSmart system, which uses a cultural-change approach to teach Australians to be smart, safe and responsible with digital technology. eSmart is already being implemented in almost 2,000 schools nationally and is being rolled-out to all 1,500 public libraries across the country.
Speaking at the official launch of eSmart Homes in Sydney, Crown Princess Mary said: “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.”
“Children, in particular, face significant risks in the online world, including cyberbullying, identity theft and the threat of exposure to sexual predators,” said Princess Mary. “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.”
Princess Mary, who is the International Patron of The Alannah and Madeline Foundation, was joined yesterday by the new National Patron of the Foundation Prime Minister Tony Abbott, and the Minister for Communications Malcolm Turnbull, at the Margaret Martin Library in Sydney. But these two blokes (who are not use to being upstaged, particularly by a woman) barely rated a mention in the press release and media coverage of the event.
One of the key components of eSmart Homes will be the eSmart Digital Licence, which promises to be 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 had a long-term association with The Alannah and Madeline Foundation, set up in memory of Alannah and Madeline Mikac, aged just six and three when they were tragically killed along with their mother and 32 others by a lone gunman at Port Arthur in Tasmania, on 28 April 1996.
In 2007, Crown Princess Mary’s charity, the Mary Foundation, was inspired by The Alannah and Madeline Foundation’s Better Buddies program to create the Danish initiative called Fri for Mobberi (Free of Bullying), which is being rolled out in kindergartens and primary schools across Denmark.
In the following year, 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.
In 2011, the Crown Princess attended a luncheon with business leaders and philanthropists from across Australia that paved the way for eSmart Libraries, which was launched in 2012 with a commitment of $8 million from the Telstra Foundation.
For more information on eSmart Homes, visit www.amf.org.au/esmarthomes.
The Alannah and Madeline Foundation is a national charity focusing on protecting children from violence and creating behaviour change in the community to reduce bullying and cyberbullying.