We’re always looking to collaborate on projects that help people confidently access online opportunities and reduce online harm. We have partnered with Miss New Zealand Lucy Brock on a project called Safe Clicks focusing on online safety and wellbeing for young people. Here’s a note from Lucy on her project so far:

As part of winning Miss New Zealand in May this year, I had the opportunity to create my own project. This is the largest and most important part of the role, to create something that will help to drive positive change in New Zealand.

After the Netsafe annual report landed on my desk on a Monday morning while at work, I decided to have a read through to understand what it was all about. I work as a Senior Creative Strategist for a creative agency called Motion Sickness and we had been enlisted to help pull together some ideas for Netsafe. At this time, the effect of the horrific Christchurch attacks and how this unfolded online was also very fresh on everyone’s mind. Online safety and wellbeing therefore felt like a topic I really wanted to take on.

Fast forward a month or so later, I had come up with the idea of Safe Clicks as my project. My goal with Safe Clicks was to travel to schools around New Zealand and educate on a range of topics specifically related to the online space in the form of school presentations.

Having worked earlier this year with Brave, an organisation that seeks to educate on sexual violence in New Zealand, I had learnt a little more about the potential challenges in the online space, particularly the topics of revenge porn and child sexual abuse material.

These however were just a segment of the topics I wanted to cover.

Having young cousins who had had their own online challenges in school and having also experienced some myself when I was younger at school (in the days of msn messenger and bebo!) I understood there was lots of ground to cover in this space.

Over the past couple of months I have presented to six different schools around New Zealand in four different cities. I was fortunate to receive guidance from the Netsafe team to help formulate my presentations and to make sure was on the right track.

In my school presentations I have covered the topics of online safety, online bullying, combating child sexual abuse material, revenge porn, hate speech, wellbeing in relation to social media and most importantly, how to seek help.

I’ve learnt so much along the way.

I’ve learnt that most of the students are unaware that they can get confidential support and advice from experts on this topic.

I’ve learnt that there’s often an intangibility or secrecy to the nature of the online space and the issues that occur online. They’re not often talked about until it gets to a critical stage.

I’ve learnt that kids also don’t often know they have rights and protection.

Success for this project is about getting a conversation started. Letting kids know how and where to seek help. Educating on how to navigate the digital world we all live in.

It’s a project that’s just getting started and is something I plan to make bigger and better in 2020. I am presenting the project in December this year at the international Miss World Event. If it is well received, it has the potential to be supported by the Miss World organisation and implemented globally.

We wish Lucy all the best with the Miss World Event!