Promoting the 4Rs of online safety for Safer Internet Day in Australia

  • Awareness
  • 01/04/2019
  • Office of the eSafety Commissioner, the Australian Safer Internet Day Committee

The Office of the eSafety Commissioner is the Australian Safer Internet Day (SID) Committee. In addition to the official theme "Together for a better internet", the organisation encouraged all Australians to collaborate with their communities and support each other in developing the critical skills required for navigating the online world, known as the 4Rs – Respect, Resilience, Reasoning and Responsibility.

Using SID-branded colours, the eSafety office developed a campaign around the 4Rs of online safety using four distinctive animals, graphics and messages to support each R. These engaging animals were used consistently across the website, social marketing, advertising, educational resources and marketing collateral. The 4R animals are:

  • Rex the dog, who treats himself and others with respect at all times.
  • Karlie the koala, who takes responsibility for her friends, just like she has got her mother's back.
  • Zara the Zebra, who has learnt the importance of reasoning and critical thinking.
  • Terry the Turtle, who shows resilience by getting back on his feet when he's taken a tumble.

Picture of the 4Rs of online safety and their respective animals, by the Australian eSafety office


Promotion activities reached an estimated 10 million people in Australia, and the elements developed by the Australian SID Committee were shared online all over the world.

The eSafety office doubled the number of SID supporters from 2018 to 497 official supporters, including major telecommunications (Optus) and utilities organisations (Origin Energy) promoting SID on their customer portals and apps, and Australia Post promoting SID on the screens of 300 of their retail stores. Target audiences included youth, educators, parents, private sector organisations, government (including MPs, Ministers, Assistant Ministers and the Prime Minister), sporting organisations (including athletes and teams), online safety providers and organisations, prominent Australian influencers, law enforcement agencies and not-for-profits.

SID 2019 was promoted on national television (see below), radio, online and in print. The eSafety office reached over 1.2 million people on social media, trending #1 on Twitter during the day.

More than 100 people submitted pledge boards, 21 people created videos and over 43,000 students participated in the eSafety office's virtual classrooms.

Ministerial packs were developed and sent to all MPs and Ministers in Parliament, to encourage support of SID among their constituents.

The promotional activities resulted in a 58 per cent increase in website visit compared to SID 2018.

Safer Internet Day celebrations kicked off with a launch event at the Clifton Hill Primary School in Melbourne, with the participation of Minister for Communications Mitch Fifield, history-making teen explorer Jade Heimeister, and eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant. They shared their own thoughts on what a safer, more positive internet might look like, and what each of us can do to help make this happen.

A 5x2 metres Safer Internet Day mural was painted with the pledges of supporters and students for a safer internet. Below, watch a timelapse of the mural and the event.

The students also had the opportunity to assist to an eSafety presentation on how to use their "digital super powers" to create positive online communities. Tens of thousands more school children across the country learned this same lesson by participating in virtual classrooms.

Picture of Safer Internet Day 2019 celebrations in Australia

For further information, please download the eSafety office's SID 2019 infographic and check the Australian Safer Internet Day Committee's profile page.

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