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Lesa Gale Talks About The Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE)

Lesa Gale has over 30 years’ experience with the Australian Federal Police and was appointed Assistant Commissioner in January 2020.

A significant portion of her career has been dedicated to roles within child protection, where she has overseen significant reform in combating the exploitation of children and people smuggling.

Assistant Commissioner Gale has pioneered pathways for International Law Enforcement Organisations to adopt a collaborative approach to child exploitation, human trafficking and slavery- related matters in the South-East Asia region.

A new podcast about online child sexual exploitation brings some hard-to-tell stories out from the shadows and into the public consciousness in order to help prevent this horrendous crime type.

The Australian Federal Police-led Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE) podcast explores the scale of the issue, victim experiences, the psychology behind offender behaviour, advocacy, prevention and government intervention.

In an AFP first, this podcast provides the Australian community with behind-the-scenes access to the men and women who work tirelessly to end the exploitation of children.

AFP Commissioner Reece P Kershaw today launched the series alongside Minister for Home Affairs, Karen Andrews and father and Australian actor Rodger Corser.

“Although some listeners may find parts of the content confronting, these are stories that need to be told,” said Commissioner Kershaw.

“The issues raised throughout the series need to be acknowledged and talked about by the Australian community”.

“Last year the ACCCE received than more 21,000 thousand reports of online child sexual exploitation. It’s important that we raise awareness about this crime type and normalise discussion.”

The series provides listeners with an understanding of what constitutes online exploitation and just how easily children can be targeted by anyone, from anywhere.

Episodes will give parents, guardians and carers tips and advice on how to protect kids online, as well as how to identify and report offensive online behaviour.

“We hope this podcast gives listeners the tools to equip them to educate themselves and others, speak up and report online child sexual exploitation – help us put an end to this crime type,’ said Commissioner Kershaw.

‘Closing The Net’ is available now on all major podcast platforms. Visit to report online child sexual exploitation, and for information about support services. For more information about online safety, visit

Episode guide: Hiding In Plain Sight - Stopping online child sex offenders and protecting children from harm is what drives the women and men of the ACCCE.

What You Don’t Know May Hurt You - It’s now easier than ever for our children and young people to receive inappropriate contact via online devices, apps and games.

I’m Just A Kid - Not all online child sex offenders are adults. Sexual exploitation by peers and image based abuse are rife issues in the technology and platforms we use every day.

Offensive Behaviour - What motivates an online child sex offender and how can law enforcement use that information to help protect our kids?

Turning Grief Into Hope - Some families are torn apart by the death of a child. Others are galvanized by it and turn their grief into hope for others.

Knowledge Is Power - Knowing more about technology and about what is and isn’t appropriate online is critical to protecting our kids online.

Prevent, Prepare, Pursue and Protect - Go inside the ACCCE with those who work tirelessly to protect children from harm and bring child sex offenders to justice.

The Good Fight - If a child discloses online abuse to you, how should you support them and where should you go to report the abuse?

The Borderless Crime - Bringing an end to online child exploitation requires a collaborative international response and Australia is leading the charge.

Target Zero - Australia’s law enforcement agencies are working to stay one step ahead of online offenders and ultimately wipe them out.

The correct legal term is Child Abuse Material – the move to this wording was among amendments to Commonwealth legislation in 2019 to more accurately reflect the gravity of the crimes and the harm inflicted on victims.

Use of the phrase "child pornography" is inaccurate and benefits child sex abusers because it:

  • indicates legitimacy and compliance on the part of the victim and therefore legality on the part of the abuser; and

  • conjures images of children posing in 'provocative' positions, rather than suffering horrific abuse.

Every photograph or video captures an actual situation where a child has been abused.


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