Australian Aid: Friendship Grants
As the Assistant Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, as well as Member for the Parkes electorate, I am pleased to share the news about Australian Aid Friendship Grants. These grants will bring a new and diverse group of community partners from across Australia into the aid program by awarding grants to organisations who are not currently partnering with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Eligible organisations include charities, local governments, professional organisations, diaspora groups and volunteer groups. I know we have many such groups in the Parkes electorate doing valuable work that could be eligible for a Friendship Grant.
Grants of $30,000 to $60,000 are available to expand or enhance existing aid activities in the Indo-Pacific region, including through new projects.
Eligible activities include those which build on existing projects to improve the lives of poor and vulnerable people in a way that is sustainable, which use successful or innovative approaches to problem solving that have potential for wider application, and activities that assist and strengthen an overseas community’s capacity or socio economic situation.
Applications are open now. To check your eligibility and register your interest, visit: www.dfat.gov.au/FriendshipGrants.
Regional journalism cadetships
I would encourage local media outlets in the Parkes electorate to apply for funding for cadetships of up to $40,000, which are on offer to help strengthen local journalism. Applications are now open to eligible media organisations for cadetships funding and will close on 27 July 2018.
The Coalition Government is supporting cadetships to help publishers stay competitive and create opportunities for aspiring journalists to get their start. 100 cadetships will be available in the first funding round.
The cadetships the Government is supporting will help small publishers cut through and hire more journalists, giving them the backing they need to grow their organisation and help support our next generation of journalists.
The package will open up new opportunities for students in Australia’s regional media sector and stimulate growth in smaller media organisations.
Funding is also available for 60 regional journalism scholarships to support students from regional and remote Australia to undertake journalism studies. This funding will be provided to higher education institutions, which will administer the scholarships on the Government’s behalf.
The Government announced the measures as part of its comprehensive 2017 Broadcasting and Content Reform Package to help strengthen our regional media. For more information on the media reforms or the grant opportunities visit: www.communications.gov.au/regional-innovation
New reviews of online safety
Two independent reviews into Australia’s online safety legislation are in the works, to ensure it remains effective and relevant in protecting all Australians online.
The Government has appointed Ms Lynelle Briggs AO to conduct a review of the Online Safety Act, which sets out the powers, functions and governance arrangements for the Office of the eSafety Commissioner. Ms Briggs will examine whether the provisions in the Online Safety Act remain fit-for-purpose.
Ms Briggs will, at the same time, review particular Schedules of the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 (BSA) which regulates the internet and content services industries in relation to prohibited content. The review will look at the type of content covered and best practice approaches for regulating online content.
As more and more Australians are using online services every day, it is timely that this legislation is reviewed. The reviews will ensure we continue to have the right controls and support systems in place to protect Australians against harmful online content and ensure people can confidently participate online.
It’s important to have the right measures in place to address illegal or offensive content, and that the Office of the eSafety Commissioner has the appropriate powers to help Australians if and when they need it.
Since its launch in 2015, the Office of the eSafety Commissioner has developed a range of resources and initiatives to help all Australians navigate safely online. This includes a portal to report image based abuse, a complaints scheme to remove harmful cyberbullying material and access to immediate and tangible support. Ms Briggs is expected to report to Government later this year.
For more information on the review and how to have your say, visit www.communications.gov.au/enhancing-online-safety-act-online-content-scheme