The issues relating to social networking, online communication and the cyber world have perhaps never been so confronting nor concerning for parents and caregivers. Navigating the online world is somewhat of a challenge for those of us over 20 (perhaps not all) and we are sometimes at a loss as to how to guide and monitor our youth, whilst still embracing the online world and new technologies.
On Wednesday 9 August, Sonya Ryan, South Australian, Australian of the Year 2013 and founder of the Carly Ryan Foundation, came to speak to our College and the broader community about these issues. With over 120 guests, she shared an informative, insightful, and at times, quite emotional story of her own tragedy and the incredible work that the Foundation has gone on to do. Sonya provided a comprehensive overview of social networking and the cyber world, providing the audience with information about the most popular and accessible social network applications used by our young people today, the risks and common uses of these ‘apps’, the risks of sharing information online, sexting, cyberbullying, privacy settings, and Carly’s Law. It was most poignant that Sonya had received news that morning of the first arrest under ‘Carly’s Law’ – an emotional and moving development that was shared with the audience.
The evening concluded with a provision of both tangible resources and referrals to experts, professionals and advisors in the areas of not only online safety and guidelines, but also emotional health and wellbeing for students and their families. This seemed indicative of Sonya and the Foundation she has established, a provision of information and help for the community and, significantly, our children.
Sonya Ryan is pictured with Dean of Senior Students/Team Leader, Mrs Belinda Delyster and Principal/CEO, Mr Don Grimmett.