There are a growing number of informed parent groups from states across Australia that are working independently within their school communities to raise awareness on this issue.   Their efforts to date have included trying to establish who is responsible for mandating wireless technologies, who will take responsibility for long-term health implications, and promoting precautionary measures within their schools. 

There is a general lack of awareness about the possible long-term health implications amongst parents, staff and education authorities.  Informed parents face a massive obstacle of having to educate their school communities before being able to address the core health issues about the use of wireless technologies in schools.  The situation in Australia is made more challenging as each state has their own education department with different structure, policies etc.

A health crisis is looming if the government and education authorities continue to neglect their responsibilities and ignore the calls from leading scientists, doctors and civil society groups to take immediate precautionary measures to reduce children’s exposure to wireless radiation. 


In 2007 parents in Victoria first raised theirconcerns about the introduction of WiFi in schools.   Aware of the potential health risks, parents asked the Department of Education to switch off the wireless when it was not in use.  The State Government admitted at the time that it had not done any research on the health implications of using wireless technology before WiFi was introduced in schools. 

Today, 6 years later there has still not been any research conducted on the long-term health effects to children from low-level exposure to WiFi radiation, yet it is now mandatory for schools across Australia to extensively install wireless infrastructure.   Furthermore, policies such as the Digital Education Revolution aim to make students carry laptops or tablets enabled with WiFi and 3G connectivity.  The future projection is for students to access more resources online via the national curriculum (videos, tutorials, books and online quizzes etc).  This means that children will be exposed to more wireless radiation.  

Since the Victorian Government has been the first state in Australia to mandate wireless smart meters in all homes and businesses, children and teachers in Victoria are now exposed to more environmental EMR from wireless technologies for longer periods of time.  This increase in exposure to EMR from wireless technologies in school and now increasingly at home is seeing more reported cases of students and teachers experiencing adverse health symptoms. 


The following is a summary of the correspondence between parents and the school, education authorities, federal government and ARPANSA – including links to the emails, letters and their replies.

Most recent email to the Department of Education & Training Education Queensland (DETE Qld)- as they state that "The department is in the process of reviewing its policies and procedures in relation to Wi-Fi in schools" 

click to view correspondence with DETE 

In Queensland parents from WiFi in schools Australia wrote to their child’s primary school Principal in March 2012 informing them of the potential dangers from WiFi use and provided supporting scientific evidence.  As a precautionary approach and as advised by governments andauthorities overseas, they asked the school to revert to a wired system.  After having consulted the Department of Education QLD, the Principal advised that they will not disconnect the WiFi as the school is compliant with the Australian safety standards.   

click to view email response from Principal

As an immediate and minimum precautionary measure the parents requested for their child to sit as far away as possible from the WiFi access points.  Although the Principal advised that the teacher would turn off the WiFi in their child’s classroom when it was not in use, the Principal failed to support any further investigation into this matter and dismissed the potential health risks.  The school did not adopt a strict policy to ensure this minimum precaution was practiced throughout the school year or in other classrooms.

The parents then contacted the Region Director of the Department of Education, Training and Employment (DETE), Queensland with their concerns.  Given the scientific evidence of potential long-term risks and the criticism of the current obsolete safety standards by leading scientists, the parents wanted to establish if a risk assessment had been conducted and if a management plan had been created to reduce the long-term health risks to children.  If such a risks assessment was conducted, the parents wanted it to be made publicly available for independent evaluation by concerned parents and staff.   

click to view email to the Regional Director.

Unfortunately, the Regional Director failed to even acknowledge the known and suspected long-term health risks to children from EMR, he did not provide answers to the questions raised, nor did he refer the case to someone in government that could provide answers.  Instead a standard response was issued stating that they are compliant with the Australian safety standards. 
The parents also asked their local MP to pass on their concerns to the State Education Minister as they wanted considered answers to their important questions.  The response letter from Jonh-Paul Langbroek the State Minister for Education, Training and Employment was disappointing.  The letter was virtually identical to the Regional Director’s letter and yet again, it failed to provide the parents with answers to their questions.  

click to view response letter from StateMinister Langbroek.

Parents from WiFi in schools Australia approached Peter Garrett, the Minister for School Education, Early Childhood and Youth to seek his assistance with this matter.  They wanted the relevant authority responsible for mandating WiFi in schools to acknowledge that they have considered the long-term risks to children, and also have their questions addressed. 

click to view email to Minister Garrett.

The Branch Manager from the Digital Infrastructure and Resources Branch (DETE) responded on behalf of Minister Garrett.  The letter stated, “The Australian Government works in partnership with state and territory government and non-government education authorities to implement digital education policies such as the Digital Education Revolution initiative. However, education authorities have primary responsibility for decisions about the educational hardware, software and networks best suited to the specific needs of their schools. As such, the choice to install wireless networks is one that is made by education authorities and is not mandated at the federal level.”

The letter also mentioned that since the issues raised fall within the responsibility of the Minister of Health, a copy of the correspondence had been sent to Minister Plibersek’s department for consideration.   
click to view response letter on behalf of Minister Peter Garrett.

Parents from WiFi in schools Australia have not had a reply from Minister Plibersek.   However, the Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing, Catherine King MP asked the Australian Radiation Protection Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) to respond on her behalf.  

See the ARPANSA section of this website to see their response.