Letters to the editor | December 6, 2017

Allan Kuhn, Brendan Hallam and Ewan McDonnell of Horsham Coles promote the supermarket's Christmas Appeal for Redkite. Picture: DAINA OLIVER
Allan Kuhn, Brendan Hallam and Ewan McDonnell of Horsham Coles promote the supermarket's Christmas Appeal for Redkite. Picture: DAINA OLIVER

Respectful relationships

LADS, we need to talk.

Driving along, you see a girl walking down the street, so you honk your horn, whistle or call out to show your appreciation, right?

Wrong. Most women don’t like this at all. It’s not “a compliment”.

Our recent young people and walking study found this type of behaviour makes young women aged 15 to 20 feel vulnerable and unsafe while walking.

The study of over 1000 young people commissioned by Victoria Walks and Youth Affairs Council of Victoria and funded by VicHealth found 40 per cent of our young people do not feel safe walking in their community. Only 15 per cent of young women feel safe walking after dark. A top concern was being approached by strangers.

Walking is very important to young people’s health. Our study showed they walk to get to places and to relax. With the costs of the growing obesity epidemic we need to encourage physical activity.

Females particularly like walking. Victoria Walks is calling on local and state governments to invest in making our streets safer and easier for young people to walk so they can develop healthy habits as they transition to adulthood. But we need males to reconsider their actions.

Young women, many as young as 15, told us they are regularly harassed while walking. We don’t tolerate this sort of behaviour in schools and workplaces.

Men who think it is okay to objectify women in public places should take a good hard look at themselves, grow up and stop it.

Dr Ben Rossiter, executive officer, Victoria Walks

Cyber training push

VICTORIA is leading the push to implement a national training model to give Australians the skills they need to secure jobs as cyber security experts, filling critical shortages in the banking, telecommunications and defence industries.

Thanks to support from the Andrews government, Box Hill Institute has spearheaded the development of the Cyber Security National Program as it prepares to roll out its new Advanced Diploma in Cyber Security.

The government invested $4.7 million from the $50 million TAFE Back to Work Fund to support Box Hill to develop its cyber security qualifications.

Box Hill has worked with industry to develop Australia’s first dedicated vocational qualifications in cyber security, a Certificate IV in Cyber Security as well as the Advanced Diploma in Cyber Security.

Led by Victorian TAFEs in partnership with TAFEs from every state and the Australian Capital Territory, the program will deliver common qualifications across the country based on courses developed at Box Hill.

Commencing in term one, the Cyber Security National Program will partner with industry nation-wide to provide on-the-job experience for students and address the national skills shortage in cyber security.

The program will give students access to accredited training provided by qualified teachers and trainers so they can get a job and help protect Australians online.

The state TAFEs will also lobby the Federal Government to fund a national cyber security internship program and participating TAFEs will form local industry reference groups to ensure delivery is meeting industry needs.

Victoria is the Asia-Pacific’s centre for cyber security – the Data61 Cyber Security and Innovation Hub opened in Docklands in 2016 and is on track to create 140 specialist jobs, including positions for PhD students.

Cyber security graduates are vital in the growing fight against cybercrime, which affected almost half of small and medium Australian businesses in 2015 and costs the nation’s economy about $17 billion a year.

Gayle Tierney, Training and Skills Minister

This story Letters to the editor | December 6, 2017 first appeared on The Wimmera Mail-Times.