Centacare has partnered with Port Adelaide Football Club and CatholicCare NT to produce much-needed online safety packages for schools across South Australia and the Northern Territory.

Funded by the Australian Government’s $9 million Online Safety Grants Program, `Power Up: Online’ will use sport as a hook to connect with secondary school students in metropolitan, regional and remote communities.

Working with AFL and AFLW players, the co-designed eLearning modules will empower students and young people to stay safe online by broadening their understanding of respectful relationships, healthy boundaries and gendered power dynamics.

Centacare Director Pauline Connelly said Power Up: Online is a unique offering.

“Motivating through sport will provide schools with an enhanced learning space, while working with young people to improve self-agency, foster safer online environments, and develop confidence to advocate,’’ she said.

“Sport is a site of gendered relations. This makes it ideal as a platform to discuss eSafety which is intrinsically linked with primary prevention of gender-based violence.

“Power Up: Online will engage upper secondary students around online safety, with an inclusive emphasis around cyberbullying, body image, respectful relationships and personal boundaries.’’

Power Community Limited General Manager Jake Battifuoco said: “As role models, we recognise messages delivered by Port Adelaide Football Club players hold considerable weight and that we can influence and educate young people to stay safe online.”

The project is one of nine initiatives to share in $2.25 million in funding in the third and final round of the grants program, which is led by the eSafety Commissioner and complements its existing education programs.

Minister for Communications, the Hon. Michelle Rowland MP, said the not-for-profit sector plays an important role in supporting government to address complex social issues.

“These grants will help unlock each recipient’s unique expertise to create new channels and content addressing specific issues and age groups, helping us to reach more Australians with vital online safety education.”

eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant said she is excited to welcome nine new partners in online safety that share her passion for helping Australians to have positive and safe experiences online.

“We need to keep developing fresh ways to reach and educate Australians if we’re to keep pace with technology.

“Working with partners means more voices, more insights and more ways to inspire a generation of young people to scroll with safety online,” Ms Inman Grant said.

To find out more about the Online Safety Grants Program, visit: Online Safety Grants Program

For online safety advice for all Australians, visit esafety.gov.au