Shepparton’s Word and Mouth will use a $1000 government grant to run a social media safety seminar for its new youth committee.By Rhiannon Gavalakis
Shepparton’s Word and Mouth will use a $1000 government grant to run a social media safety seminar for its new youth committee.
The Shape It grant was awarded to 20 regional organisations to kick-start a project to help create positive change in their local area.
Word and Mouth executive officer Ian Coldwell said the seminar would teach youth about the pitfalls of using social media, such as facebook and twitter.
‘‘We are aware that social media is not always used appropriately,’’ Mr Coldwell said.
‘‘Because our young people represent the youth of Shepparton, we feel a (safety session) is a valuable thing to do.’’
Mr Coldwell said bullying and sexting — the act of sending sexually explicit messages or photos — were particular areas of concern.
‘‘We want young people to use appropriate interactions with each other, that’s the message we want to get out there,’’ he said.
He said the grant would be used to cover the cost of the safety session and a professional guest speaker, and there might be the opportunity for youth outside the committee to attend.
Youth committee member Brad Corken said it was important to educate young people about what they said and how they acted online.
‘‘I think young people need to be aware of the impact of what they say on social networking sites,’’ he said.
‘‘It’s important to be aware of the cultural diversity of other people. What you say may be out there for a long time and it may not be deleted.
‘‘If you are going for a job as a young person, your profile is only a search away for employers.’’
Mr Corken hopes members will act as a voice for youth in Shepparton, through taking away positive messages from the session and setting an example for others.
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