Telstra Foundation commits 8 million dollars to cyber safety partnership with The Alannah and Madeline Foundation

Media Release, 27 August 2012

The Hon. Julia Gillard MP, Prime Minister of Australia, today launched an $8million, multi-year partnership between the Telstra Foundation and The Alannah and Madeline Foundation to develop and deliver eSmart Libraries across Australia - one of the most significant community cybersafety programs ever undertaken in Australia.

Over the next six years, the Foundations will work with Australia’s 1,500 public libraries to roll out eSmart Libraries - a world-leading cybersafety system to better equip and connect local communities with the skills they need for smart, safe and responsible use of technology.

Telstra Foundation Chairman, Geoff Booth, said the partnership between the Telstra Foundation and The Alannah and Madeline Foundation takes the successful eSmart system beyond the schoolyard and into the broader community.

"Libraries are vital community hubs and play a key role in bridging the digital divide," Mr Booth said.

"The Telstra Foundation recognises the online digital world is changing the way we work, socialise, communicate, transact and organise our lives and this fast-changing environment presents new risks."

"This partnership, through eSmart Libraries, will give more Australians the opportunity to experience the social and economic benefits of new communications technologies whilst making the online library experience more inclusive and safer for everyone," Mr Booth said.

The Alannah and Madeline Foundation’s CEO, Dr Judith Slocombe, said the Foundation is committed to working with the Telstra Foundation and libraries to help the community, irrespective of income, ability or disadvantage, to increase their skills to become more empowered cyber-citizens.

"Many sectors of the community rely on their community library to use technology as they don’t have access to it in their own homes," Dr Slocombe said.

"eSmart Libraries is an extension of eSmart Schools, which The Alannah and Madeline Foundation has made available to all Australian schools in 2011. Since the national roll out of eSmart Schools, more than 1,400 schools across all states have adopted eSmart, with more schools coming on board each week.

"The Alannah and Madeline Foundation is proud to partner with the Telstra Foundation and we have a shared vision to help all Australians become smart, safe and responsible online."

The Telstra Foundation and The Alannah and Madeline Foundation will pilot eSmart Libraries in 20 clusters of libraries in early 2013 and afterwards, roll it out Australia-wide.

Over 54 per cent of Australians are members of libraries, which are regarded as central places for community members to learn and ask questions, making them the perfect location for this initiative.



Telstra and Everyone Connected

The broad focus of Telstra’s sustainability function is on digital inclusion, or what we call Everyone Connected. Telstra’s Everyone Connected initiatives include the longstanding Access for Everyone and Connected Seniors programs, and other programs delivered by the Telstra Foundation and Telstra Indigenous Directorate.

At Telstra, Everyone Connected means ensuring all Australians enjoy the everyday benefits of being connected to modern communication technologies - irrespective of age, income, ability, location or disadvantage.

Our Everyone Connected community programs enhance digital inclusion by utilising our core capabilities, assets, expertise and national presence to support access, skills development and safety for those Australians and communities most in need.

Over the past 10 years, the Telstra Foundation has committed $40 million to almost 7000 projects focused on improving the lives of children and young people, including $4.25 million already this year.

Earlier this year the Foundation announced it would extend its support to another one hundred organisations with the announcement of the $1 million Telstra Foundation Everyone Connected grants program. One hundred $10,000 grants will soon be awarded to local community organisations to support activities that help enhance digital inclusion - connecting disadvantaged children and young people to the internet, building their online skills or promoting cyber safety.

Telstra Foundation future investments will support programs which assist children and young people to access and use telecommunications services to help them fully participate in economic and community life.

The Alannah and Madeline Foundation

The Alannah and Madeline Foundation is a national charity protecting children from violence and its devastating impact. The Foundation was established in memory of Alannah and Madeline Mikac, aged six and three, who were tragically killed with their mother and 32 others at Port Arthur, Tasmania on 28 April 1996. The Foundation cares for children who have experienced or witnessed violence, and runs programs that help to prevent violence in the lives of children. Our vision is that every child will live in a safe and supportive environment. For more information visit: or call 1300 720 747.


An initiative of The Alannah and Madeline Foundation, eSmart is a world-leading system to help manage cybersafety and deal with cyberbullying.

eSmart is a behaviour change initiative for cybersafety and wellbeing. eSmart is an online system that provides a road map to the tools and resources that will equip the library community with the skills and knowledge they need for smart, safe and responsible use of technology.

eSmart Libraries is an extension of eSmart Schools, which has been adopted by more than 1,400 schools across Australia since its launch last year.