Dads kick off National Child Protection Week

High-profile dads across the country will join forces on Father's Day today to encourage parents to better understand how to keep kids safe online and in the community.

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) will launch a child safety public awareness campaign on Father's Day, which coincides with the start of National Child Protection Week. The theme of this year's National Child Protection Week is Putting Children First.

Australian cricket legend Adam Gilchrist AM; Australian Rugby Union player Nic White; Brumbies lock Cadeyrn Neville; Australian professional footballer Archie Thompson; Indigenous community leader Noel Pearson; television presenters David Koch, Michael Rowland, Karl Stefanovic, Scott Cam, Peter Gleeson and Chris Kenny; plus radio personality Ray Hadley OAM have joined the campaign, while also sharing insights about why they each love being a dad.

AFP Commissioner Reece Kershaw APM said while fathers across the country would celebrate their special day with family, the best gift they could get was knowing their kids were safe online and in the community.

"With children being home-schooled and traffic online dramatically increasing during COVID-19, it is important parents understand what their children are doing online, who they are interacting with and what platforms they are using," Commissioner Kershaw said.

"Our children are constantly receiving inappropriate contact via online devices, apps and online games.

"Research commissioned by the AFP-led Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE) found only 52 per cent of parents and carers talk to their children about online safety.

"Parents need to educate themselves about how devices work, what apps and platforms are suitable for their children, and what to do if they suspect a predator is trying to contact their child.

"The AFP works day and night to keep our children safe. If it takes a village to raise a child, advances in technology now means it takes a country to keep them safe.

"We need parents, teachers, technology companies and businesses to help the AFP stop children falling victim to online grooming and being preyed upon by child sex offenders."

The AFP has a number of practical and simple tips for parents, carers and schools to help keep kids safe.

More information on keeping kids safe online and in the community is at the ACCCE website.

The video will premiere on the AFP's Facebook, Instagram and Twitter on Sunday 6 September.

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Read the AFP Annual Report 2019-20

The Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation

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