Eight organisations score grants for cyber safety initiatives

Netsafe, an independent, non-profit organisation focused on online safety, has awarded grants to eight projects that aim to combat online abuse, bullying and harassment in New Zealand in the first round of its annual online safety partnership grant program.

Netsafe administers the grants on behalf of the Ministry of Justice, which provides a total of $350,000 for two rounds each year. The second round of 2017 opens on 17 July

The successful projects are:

Staples VR, a New Zealand based virtual reality production studio. Founder Aliesha Staples said the company had created a series of online 360 degree video experiences that show the options available for dealing with harmful digital communications.

Sticks ‘n Stones, an Otago based, student led anti-bullying charity is creating an online support tool for youth. Director and co-founder Karla Sanders said the funding would help provide young people with practical steps, ideas and advice in language that resonated with them. “It’s advice from young people who understand what it’s like to go through the same situation,” she said.

The University of Auckland has created a social action model for boys and young men to promote ethical behaviour around intimate digital images, and a broader context of gender equality.

Girl Guiding New Zealand has created the WAGGGS Surf Smart programme that provides resources enabling volunteers to equip girls with the skills they need to use the internet safely.

The Student Communication And Safe Practices Charitable Trust has developed an E-resource portal for schools showing films of teenagers in real life at-risk scenarios that students can relate to as well as decision-making pathways where students can work through consequences safely. They show the negative and positive outcomes of their decision making and what to do to keep themselves safe.

Violence Free Communities in collaboration with high school students and teachers, Telethon Kids Institute of Australia, and Netsafe, will run an Australian evidence-based Cyber Savvy Schools programme training students to lead their school in the safe use of technology and supporting them to drive cyber safety initiatives in their school and community.

Antworks Studio has produced three short online safety films for young adults to tell stories about cyberbullying, internet safety and revenge porn, targeted primarily towards a young adult audience.

The University Of Waikato has produce a digital awareness and capabilities pilot focussed on Year 9 teachers’ and students’ digital awareness and capabilities as part of a wider Hillcrest High School pilot project on digital citizenship.