The Australian Federal Police (AFP) has announced the winners of its inaugural ThinkUKnow Volunteer Awards.

Coinciding with International Volunteer Day on Tuesday, Minister for Justice, The Hon Michael Keenan MP, announced the recipients of the awards.

“Today, on International Volunteer Day, I announce the recipients of the inaugural ThinkUKnow Volunteer Awards, recognising six of Australia’s most dedicated volunteers for their commitment in working to make Australians safe, resilient and respectful online,” he said.

“The recipients have contributed to the success of the ThinkUKnow program by delivering cyber safety and crime prevention presentations, and championing cyber safety within their organisations and local communities.”

ThinkUKnow provides free presentations on sensitive online topics such as sexting, cyber bullying, online child exploitation and online privacy.

It offers specific sessions for parents, carers and teachers as well as ThinkUKnow Youth sessions for students in grades 3-12.

Developed by the AFP in 2009, following the success of the UK model, the initiative is a partnership between the Australian Federal Police, Commonwealth Bank, Microsoft and Datacom.

The program follows a Think, Say, Do philosophy, teaching people to identify possible online threats and how to properly report them.

“ThinkUKnow is a unique program that draws on the latest research, technological advances and police investigations to deliver free cyber safety education to parents, carers, teachers and youth,” said Keenan.

While industry partners play a strong role in supporting the presentations, the scheme is largely comprised of volunteer work, with 622 volunteers from law enforcement and industry nationally.

South Australia Police was announced the ThinkUKnow Youth Partner of the Year, for its support of the program.

After only joining the program in 2014, South Australia last year delivered 461 ThinkUKnow youth presentations to 29,177 students.

Officer in charge of the SA Police State Community Engagement Section, Alex Zimmermann, said the volunteer work had helped to protect young people online.

“Those in our crime prevention sections have made a significant contribution to the delivery of the information and resources across both schools and the community,” he said.

“This is a great example of agencies working together in a bid to keep our young people safe online and provide appropriated education to ensure they make smart choices.”

The 2017 ThinkUKnow Volunteer Award winners are:

  • Nicolas Bartsch – Australian Federal Police
  • Graeme Ellice – Bankwest
  • Stephen Goddard – Commonwealth Bank
  • Kal Thompson – Datacom
  • Grant Clayton – Microsoft
  • Graham Higgerson – Neighbourhood Watch