CBAA Secures $140,000 funding to develop eSafety campaign designed by youth broadcasters

Amy Leiper, 21st October 2021
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The Community Broadcasting Association of Australia (CBAA) announced today that it has been awarded $140,000 in grant funding by the eSafety Commissioner to help deliver online safety education to young people.

This innovative project is one of 23 supported so far under the three-year $9 million Online Safety Grants Program, administered by the eSafety Commissioner with funding from the Australian Government.  

In 2020, eight non-government organisations (NGOs) shared $2.25 million in funding in the first round of the program, while $4.5 million has now been awarded to 15 organisations in round two. 

CBAA’s CEO, Jon Bisset, said, “We at the CBAA are excited to begin work on our eSafety project. We will utilise the unique and diverse national network of young broadcasters in communities around Australia to co-design a range of engaging, impactful, and inclusive online safety education resources to reach a national audience of over five million Australians through trusted local voices and channels.

“Our aim is to increase the positive and safe use of digital technologies by children and young people in at-risk communities throughout Australia, contribute to driving diversity and inclusion online, and maximise opportunities for all Australians to understand the online safety support, complaints, and referral pathways they can access.”

The project will include:

  • Co-design of project content with young people aged 12-18 in four locations;
  • Development of a package of educational resources for over 450 radio stations nationally (including a focus on resources for at-risk communities, including culturally and linguistically diverse communities, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and LGBTQIA+ communities);
  • Production of a podcast series focusing on online safety for diverse and at-risk children, young people and key influencers; and
  • Provide training and support for young community radio announcers to enable confident and localised ongoing conversations around online safety.

eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant said community organisations have a deep understanding of the diverse communities they work with and are often well placed to develop tailored online safety education programs to reach their audiences effectively. 

“These grant projects aim to give young people the skills to recognise and deal with staying safe in the online world – teaching them what positive, healthy online interactions look like,” Ms Inman Grant said. 

“Our aim is to empower young people to speak up about online abuse and harassment. Youth consultation and co-design is one of the key objectives of the grant program and an element in many of the projects.” 

Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, the Hon. Paul Fletcher MP, said the internet had become part of daily life, so it was vital that young people learnt early on how to keep themselves safe from potential online harm. 

“Staying safe online is a lot like staying safe in the real world. It’s important for children and young people to identify possible dangers early in life and learn how to seek help when confronted by an online safety issue,” Minister Fletcher said. 

“The projects the Government is supporting are innovative and tackle a range of potential pitfalls a young person could come across online.” 

Ms Inman Grant reminded NGOs that round three of the Online Safety Grants Program will be open next year to share in $2.25 million in support to get projects up and running. 

Grants of between $80,000 and $1 million are available to develop services, resources and products that improve the online safety of Australian children, especially for at-risk audiences. 

“I encourage NGOs with skills and capabilities in online safety to apply. For more information, go to www.esafety.gov.au,” Ms Inman Grant said. 

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Abstract
This article is intended as a resource for community broadcasters and researchers. It draws on interviews and discussion with community broadcasters and activists to identify practical examples of funding methods. The seven common methods of funding a community station are detailed. These are: support from the station's own community; patronage from a larger organisation; commercial advertising and sponsorship; competitive grants; service contracts; support by NGOs; support by governmental agencies. The article points to resources where the reader can discover more fully how each funding method is used, and concludes that a prudent station may use several methods to help ensure economic sustainability.