In brief: education and training providers, clubs and associations in Queensland should consider how they will respond to the recommendations made by the Queensland Anti-Cyberbullying Taskforce

The Queensland Anti-Cyberbullying Taskforce (Taskforce) was established by the Government to devise a strategy to reduce cyberbullying and to ensure that Queensland has a best practice approach when it comes to responding to Cyberbullying and its effects on young people. The Taskforce has proposed a community approach to this challenge, focusing primarily on the engagement of parents, educators, and social media as the first line of response to this challenge. The Taskforce's recommendations are available here.

The 29 recommendations can be distilled into four key action items:

  • Raise awareness of Cyberbullying and its affects with parents and carers; 
  • Institutions and organisations involving young people are to have specific policies around the prevention of cyberbullying and mechanisms to intervene if cyber bullying occurs;
  • Improve online security particularly in relation to social media platforms; 
  • Implement methods for monitoring the prevalence and impact of bullying.

The Queensland Government has accepted, at least in principle, all 29 recommendations.

What are the likely impacts of the recommendations by the Queensland Anti-Cyberbullying Taskforce ?

Following this report, schools, universities, vocational education and training providers, clubs and associations which should implement suitable bullying and cyberbullying prevention policies and training. 

If such policies are already in place, we recommend that they be reviewed against the recommendations to determine whether any improvements can be made.

Regular training and communication around those policies and expectations should be rolled out by schools, universities, clubs, associations and training facilities.  Records of such training should be retained to demonstrate the steps you have taken to respond to the risk of cyberbullying.  Such records may also help you to assess how well your policies and processes are working.

If you provide students with an email address or IT access, your organisation should consider what steps can be taken to make those platforms as safe as practicable.

Finally institutions should have in place mechanisms for reporting and investigating alleged bullying and cyber-bullying.  

This is commentary published by Colin Biggers & Paisley for general information purposes only. This should not be relied on as specific advice. You should seek your own legal and other advice for any question, or for any specific situation or proposal, before making any final decision. The content also is subject to change. A person listed may not be admitted as a lawyer in all States and Territories. © Colin Biggers & Paisley, Australia 2019.

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