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2006 – The Department of Education’s E-Schooling Services was program was introduced. The project is designed to deliver online services and tools to support teachers in the provision of state-of-the-art learning opportunities for students. Topics include ICT professional learning and pedagogies, online conduct, cybersafety and digital literacy.
Also in 2006, an independent evaluation of the state’s Online Teaching and Learning System was conducted. OTLS provides teachers with an online platform to plan, deliver, monitor and evaluate online and blended learning programs. In the study, teachers reported improved student attendance, and boosted their motivation and engagement. Teachers also reported increased quality and quantity of students’ work and students’ desire to continue using ICT in the classroom.
2007 – The Director General launched her Classroom First Strategy, aiming for schools to become networked learning communities, using ICT as an integral part of everyday teaching and learning. The plan strives to improve student achievement, quality teaching, the flexibility of schools, support for school staff, accountability of schools and public confidence in schools.
One part of the project is the Online Professional Learning system, a platform offering online learning opportunities for educational staff. Within this system, the on-demand course ‘Teachers have Class!’ supports educators in the integration of ICT into teaching and learning.
The same year, the education department began the Schools Online Curriculum Services program, which offers a content management and search system, an online portal and curriculum management applications. The program was designed with the vision of transforming state schools into networked learning communities with well-integrated ICT. SOCS was implemented in 54 schools in 2007, with a plan to expand to all 800 schools in Western Australia by 2012.
2012 – The strategic plan for 2012-2015, “Excellence and Equity,” was released. The plan’s technology-related goals included expanding curriculum online, using technology to facilitate teaching and learning systems, and delivering ICT infrastructure to schools.
2013 – The Institute for Professional Learning hosted a webinar on cyberbullying for teachers. It included strategies to respond to cyberbullying, children’s exposure to social media, what schools can do to address cyberbullying, and legal information on the cyberbullying of teachers and steps to take when teachers learn that a student is being cyberbullied.
2015 – The education department last updated its student online policy in 2015. The Department provides online services to public school students for learning-related activities and strives to protect students from exposure to inappropriate online material and activities. Students’ passwords must be issued and maintained confidentially, students must be educated on the risks of online activities, and students will be appropriately supervised when using online services at school.
2016 – Through a partnership with Microsoft, the Department of Education will provide the latest version of Microsoft Office for current students for free. Students can download and install the applications on up to five computers and up to five mobile devices.
The Department of Education also released two strategic plans: “High Performance – High Care” and “Focus 2016.” High Performance – High Care builds on the Classroom First strategy, working towards success for all students, quality teaching, effective leadership, and strong governance and support systems. The plan will last through 2019 and, among other components, will explore the development of an online learning institute to strengthen technology-based learning and complement online professional collaboration among students, staff and parents. The Focus 2016 plan aims to guide school staff to implement the High Performance – High Care plan. Schools are to improve access to collaborative digital teaching tools and prepare for the introduction of online testing.
Child Health Promotion Research Centre
This research centre within Edith Cowan University promotes the health of children and young people by engaging and partnering with families, schools and communities. Among its research areas is mental health and, specifically, cyberbullying. It received funding from the Public Education Endowment Trust to run the Cyber Strong Schools project, which aims to help develop sustainable approaches to build the capacity of school staff in supporting students to function safely and positively as digital citizens.
Community Protection Western Australia
This government agency provides the public with access to photographs and information on dangerous, high-risk sex offenders in Western Australia. It identifies offenders based on the following tier system: (1) Missing sex offenders non-compliant reportable offenders; (2) local search for dangerous and high-risk offenders; and (3) community protection disclosure scheme.
Constable Care Child Safety Foundation
This nonprofit organization uses puppet theatre and interactive performances to address a range of personal safety, community safety and citizenship topics. Performances are designed for children two to 12 years old.
Department for Child Protection and Family Support
This department has provided child safety and family services to Western Australians since 2007. Its Signs of Safety Child Protection Practice Framework explores harm and danger in a child’s life, while also working towards safety measures to keep them safe. Its website includes information and reporting guidelines on child sexual abuse, among other issues.
This nonprofit organization works with and for families to improve parenting and the development of young children in Western Australia. The group aims to listen and respond to the voice of the child, and innovating based on the views of families and researchers.
Police and Community Youth Centres
This nonprofit creates opportunities for young people by providing development programs and recreational activities. There are 50 PCYCs and Blue Light Units throughout Western Australia.
The Smith Family
This charity helps disadvantaged Australian children succeed in school, keep pace with their peers and envision a better future for themselves. It offers learning support and mentoring programs, services for parents and career-planning resources, among other services.
Western Australia Police
The police department’s Sex Crime Division includes the Online Child Exploitation Squad, Child Abuse Squad, Child Assessment and Interview Team, Family Violence State Coordinator Unit, Sex Assault Squad and Sex Offender Management Team. The department has guides for parents on Internet safety, sexting risks and recognizing online predators, and information on recognizing and reporting child sexual abuse. It also has Technology Crime Services, which investigates crimes like hacking, identity theft, and email and social media.
Longitudinal Impact of the Cyber Friendly Schools Program on Adolescents' Cyberbullying Behavior (2016)D. Cross, T. Shaw, K. Hadwen, P. Cardoso, P. Slee, C. Roberts, L. Thomas, A. Barnes
This study found that whole-school cyberbullying interventions implemented in conjunction with other bullying prevention programs may reduce cyber-victimization more than traditional school-based bullying prevention programs alone.
School Policies on Bullying and Cyberbullying: Perspectives Across Three Australian States (2016)C. Chalmers, M.A. Campbell, B.A. Spears, D. Butler, D. Cross, P. Slee, S. Kift
This study suggests that there was some lack of information about bullying and cyberbullying in schools, which could affect the subsequent development, dissemination and sustainability of school anti-bullying policies.
Changing the Way We Do Child Protection’: The Implementation of Signs of Safety® within the Western Australia Department for Child Protection and Family Support (2015)M. Salveron, L. Bromfield, C. Kirika, J. Simmons, T. Murphy, A. Turnell
This paper describes a six-year large scale implementation of the Signs of Safety practise framework in a complex statutory child protection context in Western Australia.
A Snapshot of the Use of ICT in Primary Mathematics Classrooms in Western Australia (2013)L. Day
This paper reports on some of the findings of the Teaching Teachers for the Future Project.
Child Protection in Family Relationship Centres: Innovations in Western Australia (2013)J. Hannan
This paper outlines a model of child inclusive practice which is child inclusive but does not proceed to family dispute resolution.
Issues in Teaching and Learning Science, ICT, and Mathematics in Rural and Regional Western Australia (2007)S. Trinidad, S. Frid, L. Sparrow, D. Treagust
This research covers a range of aspects concerning teaching in remote and regional Western Australia, and indicates a number of direct and indirect influences such as living environment, professional development and allocation of resources.
Science, ICT and Mathematics Education in Rural and Regional Australia: The SiMERR National Survey (2006)T. Lyons, R. Cooksey, D. Panizzon, A. Parnell, J. Pegg
This report is based on a survey study of primary teachers, secondary science, ICT and mathematics teachers, and parent/caregivers. It focused on staffing situations in schools, the importance and availability of professional development opportunities and student learning opportunities, views on the science, ICT and mathematics curriculum, and the challenges facing schools.
An Exploratory Study of the Factors That Impact on the Application of Online Learning at the Department of Planning and Infrastructure of Western Australia (2005)A.C. Scholz
This study suggests that leaning outcomes generated by online learning practices, rather than being primarily correlated with the capabilities of the technology, are mediated by organisations' learning agendas, learning culture and learning context.
From Paris to Perth: Adopting an Annales perspective on the Social History of the Internet in Western Australia (2004)G. Pass
This paper argues that the integration of Annales style historiography, within a postmodern context, will provide a useful model to explore the history of a new technology, such as the Internet, within a local setting.
Internet Use in Rural and Remote Western Australia (2003)G. Madden, G. Coble-Neal
This study uses survey data to examine the demand for Internet in rural and remote communities in Western Australia.
This section contains details of the state’s laws as they relate to sexual offenses, children and the use of the Internet in the commission of criminal activity. Where possible, sentence details have been given, including whether an increased custodial penalty is imposed where the victim is a child.
- Children and Community Services Act 2004. Division 9A. Reporting sexual abuse of children. Doctors, nurses, midwives, police officers, teachers and boarding supervisors who believe on reasonable grounds that a child has been sexually abused or is the subject of ongoing sexual abuse are required reporters of such abuse. Failure to report belief that abuse is occurring or has occurred as soon as possible is subject to a penalty of $6,000.
- Working with Children (Criminal Record Checking) Act 2004. This law established the compulsory screening strategy in Western Australia for people who work with children. It aims to deter people from applying to work with children when they have a relevant charge or conviction on their criminal record indicating they may harm a child, detect new charges and convictions of people who have already undergone the check and prevent them from engaging in child-related work when they may harm a child, and protect children by raising awareness that safeguarding children is a community responsibility. The WWC Screening Unit within the Department for Child Protection and Family Support is responsible for administering the WWC Check.
- Section 186, Criminal Code. Occupier or owner allowing young person to be on premises for unlawful carnal knowledge. This section states that any person who owns, occupies, or manages a premises and induces or knowingly permits a child to be on the premises for the purpose of being unlawfully carnally known by any person is guilty of a crime. If the child is under 16 years old the offender is liable to two years’ imprisonment; if the child is under 13 years old the offender is liable to 20 years’ imprisonment. It is a defence to prove that the offender reasonably believed the child was 16 or older, but consent of the victim is not a possible defence.
- Section 187, Criminal Code. Facilitating sexual offence against child outside WA. This section prohibits doing an act outside Western Australia that would constitute an offense under the Sexual Offences chapter. A person who does any act for the purpose of enabling another person, who aids another person, or counsels or procures another person to engage in prohibited conduct is guilty of a crime, punishable by 20 years’ imprisonment.
- Section 191, Criminal Code. Procuring person to be prostitute etc. This section states that any person who (a) procures a girl or woman under 21 years old who is not a common prostitute or of known immoral character to have unlawful carnal connection with a man; (b) procures a woman or girl to become a prostitute; (c) procures a woman or girl to leave Western Australia to become an inmate of a brothel; (d) procures a woman or girl to leave her usual abode to become an inmate of a brothel; or (e) procures a man or boy for any of these offense is guilty of a crime. Punishment is not to exceed two years’ imprisonment. The victim’s consent is not a defence.
- Section 204A, Criminal Code. Showing offensive material to child under 16. This section defines offensive material as describing, depicting, expressing or otherwise dealing with matters of sex, drug misuse or addiction, crime, cruelty or violence, or revolting or abhorrent phenomena, in a manner that is likely to cause offence to a reasonable adult; or (b) depicts a person (whether engaged in sexual activity or otherwise) who is, or who is apparently, a child under the age of 16 years in a manner that is likely to cause offence to a reasonable adult; or (c) describes, depicts, expresses, or otherwise deals with sexual activity of any kind between a human being and an animal; or (d) promotes, incites, or instructs in matters of crime or violence. This also includes publications classified as RC, Category 1 restricted or Category 2 restricted, or X. Material includes moving visual images, photographs and holograms. A person who, with the intent to commit a crime, shows offensive material to a child under 16 is liable to five years’ imprisonment. It is a defence to prove that the accused believed on reasonable grounds that the child was 16 or older, and was not more than three years older than the child.
- Section 217, Criminal Code. Involving child in child exploitation. A person who (a) invites a child to be in any way involved in the production of child exploitation material; (b) causes a child to be in any way involved in the production of child exploitation material; (c) procures a child for the purpose of the production of child exploitation material; or (d) offers a child for the purpose of the production of child exploitation material is guilty of this crime. Offenders are liable to 10 years’ imprisonment.
- Section 218, Criminal Code. Producing child exploitation material. This section states that a person who produces child exploitation material is liable to imprisonment for 10 years.
- Section 220, Criminal Code. Possession of child exploitation material. This section states that a person who has possession of child exploitation material is liable to imprisonment for seven years.
- Section 320 Criminal Code. Child under 13, sexual offences against. This section states that a person who sexually penetrates a child, or who incites, procures or encourages a child to engage in sexual behaviour is guilty of a crime and is liable to 20 years’ imprisonment. A person who indecently deals with a child, indecently records a child, or procures, incites or encourages a child to do an indecent act is guilty of a crime punishable by 10 years’ imprisonment.
- Section 321, Criminal Code. Child of or over 13 and under 16, sexual offences against. A person who sexually penetrates a child or procures, incites or encourages a child to engage in sexual behavior is liable to imprisonment for usually 14 years, unless the child is under the care of the offender in which case the sentence is 20 years, or the offender is under 18 years old and the child is not under his/her care in which case the sentence is seven years. A person who indecently deals with a child, or procures, incites or encourage a child to do an indecent act, or who indecently records a child is liable to seven years imprisonment, unless the child is under his/her care in which case the sentence is 10 years or the offender is under 18 and the child is not in his/her care in which case the sentence is four years. It is a defence to prove that the accused person believed on reasonable grounds that the child was 16 or older and was not more than three years older than the child. However, where the child is under the care, supervision, or authority of the accused person this defence is immaterial.
- Section 321A, Criminal Code. Child under 16, persistent sexual conduct with. This section defines the crime as doing a sexual act in relation to the child on three or more occasions each of which is on a different day. The sexual acts need not constitute the same prescribed offence and only one of the acts must have taken place in Western Australia. A person guilty of this crime is liable to 20 years’ imprisonment. It is a defence to prove the accused person believed on reasonable grounds that the child was 16 or older and the accused was not more than three years older than the child.
- Section 322. Criminal Code. Child of or over 16, sexual offences against by person in authority etc. A person who sexually penetrates a child who is under his or her care, supervision, or authority is guilty of a crime and is liable to imprisonment for 10 years. A person who procures, incites, or encourages a child who is under his or her care, supervision, or authority to engage in sexual behaviour is guilty of a crime and is liable to imprisonment for 10 years. A person who indecently deals with a child who is under his or her care, supervision, or authority is guilty of a crime and is liable to imprisonment for five years. A person who procures, incites, or encourages a child who is under his or her care, supervision, or authority to do an indecent act is guilty of a crime and is liable to imprisonment for five years. A person who indecently records a child who is under his or her care, supervision, or authority is guilty of a crime and is liable to imprisonment for five years. It is no defence to a charge under this section to prove the accused believed on reasonable grounds that the child was 18 or older.
- Section 343, Criminal Code. Child stealing. Any person who forcibly or fraudulently takes or entices away or detains a child, or receives or harbors a child known to have been taken in such a manner, with the intent to deprive any parent or guardian who has the lawful care of the child, is guilty of this crime. Punishment is not to exceed 20 years’ imprisonment.
- Section 557K, Criminal Code. Child sex offender, offences by. A person who is a child sex offender and who has been warned by police that another person is also a child sex offender and that consorting with the other person may lead to a charge under this section, who then habitually consorts with the other person is guilty of an offense and is liable to two years’ imprisonment and a $24,000 fine. It is a defense to prove that the accused person was the spouse or partner of the other person, or that the other person was their child or relative. A child sex offender who is in or near a school, kindergarten or child care centre, or a public place where children are usually present and where children are present at the time, without reasonable excuse is guilty of an offense. This is punishable by two years’ imprisonment and a fine of $24,000.
2006 – Western Australia passed an online grooming law, called “Using electronic communication to procure, or expose to indecent matter, child under 16.” Under this law, any adult who uses electronic communication with the intent to procure a person under 16 years old to engage in sexual activity, or who exposes a person under 16 to any indecent material with the intent to procure a person the offender believes is under 16 to engage in sexual activity or expose a person the offender believes is under 16 to indecent matter is guilty of this crime. An offense is punishable by five years’ imprisonment. When the victim is believed to be younger than 13 years old, the penalty increases to 10 years. A mistake of age defense can be proven if the offender reasonably believed the victim was over the age of 16 or 13, respectively.
2010 – A section on distributing child exploitation material was added to the criminal code. Distributing child exploitation material includes making it available for electronic access by another person, or entering into an agreement to do so. A person who distributes child exploitation material, or who possesses it with the intention of distributing it, is guilty of this crime and is liable to imprisonment for 10 years.