Education remains at the heart of National Child Protection Week


AFP encourages the public to listen to the award-winning film close the net series of podcasts during National Child Protection Week to learn how to protect children from online sexual exploitation.

National Child Protection Week starts today (Sunday 4th September 2022) and is held across Australia every year to raise awareness about the prevention of child abuse and all matters relating to the protection of childhood.

With the prevalence of children and young people accessing the internet, online safety is becoming a growing concern worldwide. The need for the community to be aware of the risks our children may face and to prevent online child sexual exploitation is more important than ever.

A study by the AFP-led Australian Center for Combating Child Exploitation (ACCCE) in 2020 found that only about half of parents talk to their children about online safety. AFP is working hard to change that by creating resources for parents, guardians and teachers to show that knowledge is power with this type of crime.

close the net was launched in 2021 and continues to be recognized for its innovative and compelling content. It just won the Branded Podcast of the Year category at the 2022 annual Radio Today Podcast Awards.

The 12-part series highlights how quickly online predators can groom children. The series was produced in response to an increase in reports of online child sexual exploitation to the ACCCE.

AFP Commander ACCCE and Human Exploitation Hilda Sirec said the podcast contained content that was sometimes uncomfortable to hear but needed to be said.

“The podcast gives listeners an insight and understanding of what constitutes online sexual exploitation and how easily children can be targeted by anyone, from anywhere,” said Commander Sirec .

“Protecting children from sexual exploitation is the responsibility of the whole community and I encourage those who have not yet discovered the podcast to listen to it, especially as we are celebrating National Prevention Week this week. child protection.

“We are honored to have received an award at the annual Radio Today Podcast Awards, as it shows the community cares about this area of ​​work and hopefully encourages parents, caregivers and teachers to better protect their children and loved ones online.”

AFP and ACCCE teamed up with producers Media Heads to develop the two-season podcast, which has been downloaded nearly 85,000 times, hit number one on the Australian Documentary Podcast charts and, most importantly, has led to more discussions and revelations about online child sexual exploitation. .

The series includes compelling insights from more than 55 child protection experts from law enforcement, government, academia and non-governmental organizations. The podcast is considered a valuable source of information and advice on online child sexual exploitation.

The Radio Today Podcast Awards recognize the most innovative individuals and organizations in podcasting across the Australian media and marketing landscape. The Branded Podcast of the Year category recognizes the most creative and effective use of a podcast by a brand, agency or organization.

close the net was also recognized at the New York Festivals Radio Awards and shortlisted for an award at the Australian Podcasting Awards.

close the net is available on all major podcast platforms.

The ACCCE is committed to ending the exploitation and abuse of children and is at the center of a collaborative national approach to addressing organized child abuse.

The Center brings together specialist expertise and skills in one central hub, supporting child sexual abuse investigations and developing prevention strategies focused on creating a safer online environment.

Members of the public who have information about people involved in child abuse and exploitation are asked to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

You can also report online by alerting the Australian Center for Combating Child Exploitation via the Report Abuse button at

If you or someone you know is affected by child sexual abuse and online exploitation, there are support services available, visit to find out more

Further advice and support for parents and guardians on how they can help protect children online can be found on ThinkUKnow, an AFP-led education program designed to prevent the sexual exploitation of children on line :

Parents and guardians can also find a wide range of information and support to help them keep children safe online at

Note to media:


The correct legal term is Child Abuse Material – the move to this wording was part of amendments to Commonwealth legislation in 2019 to more accurately reflect the seriousness of the crimes and the harm inflicted on victims.

The use of the term “child pornography” is inaccurate and benefits child sex offenders because it:

  • indicates legitimacy and compliance on the part of the victim and therefore legality on the part of the aggressor; and
  • conjures up images of children posing in “provocative” positions, rather than suffering horrific abuse.

Each photograph or video captures a real situation where a child has been abused.

Media inquiries:

AFP media: (02) 5126 9297

Connect with AFP: Follow our Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, instagram and Youtube pages to find out more about what AFP is doing to keep Australia safe.


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