On Tuesday 3 September the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE) celebrated its first year of operation.
Minister for Home Affairs, the Hon. Peter Dutton MP, joined AFP Deputy Commissioner Karl Kent at a morning tea to congratulate staff and partners on the significant milestones achieved in the ACCCE’s first year.
“Working in partnership across the public and private sector, and civil society, a lot has been achieved in building the foundations for the ACCCE over the past 12 months. I sincerely thank all those who have contributed to these efforts; those on the frontline and those behind the scenes”.
The ACCCE’s achievements in its first year include:
Attendees at the celebratory morning tea included State Manager Queensland Commander Jamie Strauss, ACCCE Coordinator Operations Detective Superintendent Daniel Evans, Coordinator Outreach, Prevention and Engagement Jodie McEwan, and ACCCE partners including Bruce and Denise Morcombe, Sonya Ryan from the Carly Ryan.
New social media pages
The ACCCE has launched Facebook and Twitter pages to inform and empower the community about countering online child exploitation, and to keep our partners better informed on all ACCCE happenings!
Minister for Home Affairs, the Hon. Peter Dutton MP, at the ACCCE first anniversary event in Brisbane, 5 September 2019
Designing the ACCCE
The ACCCE Blueprint is a culmination of 12 months of design work.
It provides the “single source of truth” by outlining the strategic framework for the ACCCE – why the ACCCE was established, what is its role, its specific functions and how it will operate – all aligned to the mission of driving a collaborative national response to counter the exploitation of children.
The ‘Stop Child Abuse – Trace an object’ Europol campaign was recently recognised by the European Ombudsman for Excellence in Innovation/Transformation. The campaign asks members of the public to examine objects extracted from the backgrounds of sexually explicit materials involving minors to try to identify their origin (location/country) and potentially assist in identifying and locating victims and offenders.
Mental health initiatives for child exploitation workers
The ACCCE Child Sexual Exploitation Welfare Dialogue was held between 20 and 21 June and included Chief Psychologists and representatives from the AFP, the Department of Home Affairs (DoHA), and State and Territory police.
Dr Roberta Sinclair from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police presented Taking Care of Caregivers, examining psychological wellness and support for online child sexual exploitation employees.
The dialogue outlined a minimum standard for national mental health practices for online child exploitation teams and investigators.
Addressing legislative reform
The ACCCE National Child Exploitation Legal Dialogue took place in Sydney between 27 and 28 June 2019, with expert representatives from Commonwealth departments including the AFP, DoHA, the Office of the eSafety Commissioner, the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions, and State and Territory police.
Agenda items included child exploitation offences, legislation and proposed reforms, controlled operations including benefits and limitations, case studies, Artificial Intelligence for law enforcement, prosecution, the classification of child exploitation material, and emerging issues and challenges.
International experts talk tech
The ACCCE and AFP Technology & Innovation hosted a technology workshop in Brisbane from 8 to 11 July 2019. International law enforcement and industry experts from the United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand and Australia workshopped best practice for ACCCE technological solutions.
The workshop included:
International presenters included Peter Pilley of Pathfinder, Arnold Guerin, Technology Specialist from the Canadian Police Centre for Missing and Exploited Children, and Satya Jackson, Director of Wired to Protect, engaged by the UK Home Office to design and deploy a National Image Database to tackle online child abuse material.
AFP Commissioner Andrew Colvin, Assistant Commissioner Debbie Platz, and Commander Child Protection Justine Gough attended the Alannah & Madeline Foundation ball in Melbourne, along with staff from child protection.
Assistant Commissioner Platz reiterated her tremendous respect for the foundation and their partnership with the ACCCE and the AFP in working to prevent child exploitation.
|AFP Commissioner Andrew Colvin, Assistant Commissioner Debbie Platz, Commander Child Protection Justine Gough and Lesley Podesta, CEO of the Allanah & Madeline Foundation, with ACCCE staff and friends at the ball.|
The recent YTVC provided attendees with the latest developments, strategies and solutions in the collaborative effort of combatting crimes against children.
The conference is aimed at practitioners in the fields of law enforcement, prosecution, education, child protective services, social work, children's advocacy and therapy who work directly with child victims of crime. The ACCCE was a sponsor of this year's conference. The conference was attended by law enforcement experts from 17 countries and regions, and was opened by Kate and Tick Everett, parents of Dolly and the founders of Dolly's Dream.
The ACCCE would like to congratulate AFP child protection members Amy Critchley, awarded Most Outstanding Female Intelligence Practitioner, and Danielle Leske, awarded Most Outstanding Female investigator at the recent 21st annual Australian Council of Women and Policing Awards.
The ACCCE also congratulates Adèle Dèsirs and Jeanie Murray from the Queensland Police Service for their nominations.
The Excellence in Policing awards celebrate and showcase the achievements of Australian law enforcement leaders.
The awards ceremony was attended by her Excellency Dame Annette King, High Commissioner of New Zealand, Minister for Home Affairs, the Hon. Peter Dutton MP, and conference patron, Terri Irwin, and her children Bindi and Robert.
National Child Protection Week was celebrated between 1 and 7 September. The aim of the week is to engage the community to support families and protect children. This year National Child Protection Week introduced a ‘child development’ communication frame to promote the message that kids do well when parents are supported.
The ACCCE was pleased to support National Child Protection Week through social media, and by attending the Canberra launch with Governor General for the Commonwealth of Australia, His Excellency David Hurley.
|Members of the ACCCE Prevention and Engagement team with Commander Child Protection Justine Gough promoting National Child Protection Week|
The ACCCE has now completed market research gauging the knowledge, perceptions and attitudes of Australian parents, carers and teachers to online child sexual exploitation.
Key findings included:
This research will be used by the ACCCE Prevention Working Group to develop strategies to raise awareness and encourage prevention in the broader community.
The ACCCE has also commissioned research into Online Child Exploitation and Digital Harm in Indigenous Communities. This research will be finalised in November 2019 in coordination with relevant government agencies, including the Office of the eSafety Commissioner, and Indigenous stakeholders.
Both research reports will be publicly released in early 2020.
In June the Philippines National Police and the National Bureau of Investigations visited the ACCCE to discuss the collaborative and integrated approach Australia has taken to protect children, including through financial intelligence.
Following the leadership visit, two Philippine Protection and Anti-Human Trafficking investigators completed a four-week placement with the ACCCE and the Brisbane JACET, designed to build trust and relationships, develop an understanding about the complexities of each other’s jurisdictions and promote close cooperation to combat child exploitation across jurisdictions.
Up to 16 Philippine officers will be placed within various Australian JACET teams until the end of 2020.
In July representatives from the ACCCE and AFP’s Technology & Innovation met with Microsoft’s Public Safety and National Security Industry Lead to further industry relationships. Microsoft’s Lead specialises in the needs and challenges of law enforcement and related agencies in regard to current and emerging technological advancements and trends.
In July the ACCCE met with a study group undertaking a Master of Arts Program in Criminal Justice Administration in Thailand. The purpose of their study trip included examining Australian law regarding child sexual abuse, Australia’s plans to tackle new and emerging forms of crime, private sector cooperation, and rehabilitation and prevention programs/measures.
In July the ACCCE briefed the Australian and New Zealand Cybercrime Joint Management Group on the direction and vision for the ACCCE. This was followed by discussions on synergies with cybercrime, and opportunities for collaboration with the Australian Cyber Security Centre.
The ‘Face of the ACCCE’ introduces you to the ACCCE team; their roles, responsibilities and personalities!
Coordinator Outreach, Prevention and Engagement
Ms Jodie McEwan is the newly appointed Coordinator Outreach, Prevention and Engagement, and will be responsible for the implementation of targeted prevention strategies, working groups with a focus on education and awareness, and lead the National Missing Persons Coordination Centre.
Jodie will also work closely with ACCCE stakeholders, particularly non-government agencies.
Jodie has enjoyed a long career in the AFP, primarily in roles that focus on strategic stakeholder engagement and operational and executive support.
We spoke with Jodie...
What interests you most about working at the ACCCE?
What was your previous role?
What would you like to achieve in the next 12 months within the ACCCE?
Favourite song, movie or book?
7-13 October, 2019
Stay Smart Online Week
Continuing the 'Reverse the Threat' of cybercrime theme and empowering Australians to take control of their online identity. Join the Stay Smart Online community to keep up to date with the latest online security information.
19 October, 2019
Walk for Freedom
Walk for Freedom is a global fundraising and awareness event in response to human trafficking.
20 October, 2019
Alannah & Madeline Foundation Buddy Run
This 1km anti-bullying fun run in Melbourne promotes inclusion and respect, to help make a difference in the lives of children.
22 October, 2019
Safe Children Conference 2019
A Sydney conference on how you can be a part of the child protection revolution.
25 October, 2019
Day for Daniel
Register to participate in a National day of action to raise awareness of child safety, protection and harm prevention.
Only by working together can we combat the online exploitation of children.
If you think a child is in immediate danger call Triple Zero (000), Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000, or your local police.
Visit www.accce.gov.au/report for details on how to report crime.
Ask the ACCCE a question, provide feedback or suggest content for future newsletters at www.accce.gov.au/contact-us.