Iconic partnership to bolster parents in cyber safety battle

28 October 2019



  • Bankwest and Telethon Kids Institute announce three-year cyber-safety partnership
  • Partnership follows research showing parents’ concern with cyber safety
  • WA-designed and developed cyber-safety app will be available to all Australians

Bankwest and Telethon Kids Institute have today announced a new partnership, bringing together two iconic Western Australian organisations to support parents in their cyber safety battle.

Bankwest’s three-year commitment shores up the research by Telethon Kids Institute into cyber safety and reinforces the financial institution’s 124-year commitment to the WA community.

The partnership will also involve Bankwest lending its extensive digital expertise to the development of an Australian-first App that will help parents keep their children cyber-safe.

The partnership was prompted by Bankwest research, which revealed high levels of concern among Australians for children’s online safety and confusion over where to seek help and advice.

The survey showed more than three quarters of respondents (78%) were concerned about children’s online safety, with the same number worried about online grooming or stalking.

Cyber bullying was also among the top concerns (77%), followed by the effects of screen time on children’s health (73%) and its negative effects on children’s social skills (70%).

Bankwest’s support for Telethon Kids Institute’s cyber safety research will be complemented by a WA-developed, nationally-available smart resource app, scheduled for release in mid-2020.

The app will integrate seamlessly into parents’ daily lives, delivering trusted information backed by research and behavioural science, as well as ideas, strategies and personalised support.

Quotes attributed to Telethon Kids Institute’s digital technology researcher, Prof Donna Cross:
“Our research shows the key role parents play in helping to develop the digital skills of their children, especially given most of their children’s online behaviour – both good and bad – happens at home.”

“Most parents grew up in a time when apps and game consoles were rare, but now children have smart phones in their pocket, so we’re often unsure about how best to deal with the technologies in their daily lives.”

“We liken children’s digital behaviours to their swimming behaviours. If we want children to remain safe around swimming pools we spend time with them in the pool teaching them how to swim, over time we spend less time in the pool but still supervise them to ensure they are safe. We also teach them how to help others who may get into difficulties in a pool with rescue skills and first aid.”

“We need to do the same with children’s digital skills, we need to know how to ‘get in’ and teach our children skills to enjoy and use digital environments safely, we need to actively supervise them, we need to show them how to keep safe and help others who may have difficulties.”

“Parents are struggling to know how best to monitor, how to educate and how to install safety barriers – and that’s where we come in.”

Quotes attributed to Bankwest Executive General Manager Sinead Taylor:
“I’m delighted two iconic, WA-based institutions are coming together with the goal of making a positive difference to the online safety of children in a rapidly changing digital world.

“This partnership is a natural fit and allows Bankwest’s expertise in tech and cyber safety to complement and amplify Telethon Kids Institute’s trusted, evidence-based support for parents.

“Our involvement in people’s daily lives brings an awareness of digital dangers, and we’re proud to support Telethon Kids Institute’s education in safe behaviours and healthy online attitudes.

“The research made it clear how we could best support Telethon Kids Institute, because while children’s online safety was a concern, there was a disconnect on where to seek help and advice.

“By leveraging our digital experience and strong customer focus, we can help Telethon Kids Institute establish itself as that trusted source for parents - on-hand and available when needed.”


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