CYBER SAFE: On the Road to Regions tour at Mulgildie State School (back row) game development officer Blaka Mara, Hayden Galloway, Ava Curtis, NRLW star Chelsea Baker, (front) Nate Curtis and Annah Araya.
CYBER SAFE: On the Road to Regions tour at Mulgildie State School (back row) game development officer Blaka Mara, Hayden Galloway, Ava Curtis, NRLW star Chelsea Baker, (front) Nate Curtis and Annah Araya. Contributed

League with a lesson in Monto

CYBER safety is an issue close to NRLW star Chelsea Baker's heart.

Mrs Baker, known for her colourful hair changes when she plays State of Origin or for Australia, says her and her young family have had a "couple of scares” themselves online, so she takes it very seriously.

This is one of the reasons why she was the perfect choice to address students today at Monto State School, Mulgildie State School and St Therese's Catholic Primary School Monto as part of NRLs Road to Regions program.

"If you ask kids in Grade 3 if they have a smartphone, most of them will put their hands up,” Mrs Baker said.

"Teaching them cyber security is just common sense.

"If we give kids personal experiences, like mine, they are more likely to take the lessons on board.”

Mrs Baker said with technology developing as quickly as it was, it could be hard to keep on top of it for your children.

"My kids, Madison (9) and Quade (7) have tablets but not smartphones,” she said.

"It's not the strictest regime, it's not time-based but rather what is actually on their tablets, so I keep a track of what apps they are downloading.”

NRL game development officer for South and Central Burnett Blake Mara said the Road to Regions program was about recognising players had a responsibility to promote positive change.

"Whether professional, semi-professional or a volunteer, once you are around the game long enough, you realise it is more than just a game,” he said.

"It's about using the game as a vehicle to drive societal change.”

Previous years of Road to Regions have included domestic violence as their theme.

Having an NRL or NRLW star as the voice of the message is a way of "inspiring kids in the regions who can sometimes get a bit forgotten about”.

The other players who have been visiting towns in the North Burnett and Central Queensland are Joe Ofahengaue, from Brisbane Broncos, and Adam Doueihi, from South Sydney Rabbitohs.

Monto State School Year 3-4 teacher Zoe White said the students seemed to enjoy the "interactive” presentation, especially the role-playing.

"It was about things like whether you should give your passwords to other people and what you should put online, so it was pretty basic but it's important kids are told these things,” Ms White said.

The presentation finished with rugby league trivia with the awarding of NRL water bottles to the victorious students.


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