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    EDUCATION: Ararat 800 Primary School vice-captain Sarita left, and captain Byron, right, chat with cyber safety expert Susan McLean.

Cyber safety in education spotlight

Renowned cyber safety expert Susan McLean has spent four days in the Central Grampians region, educating the community on how to protect themselves online.

A former member of Victoria Police, Ms McLean established Cyber Safety Solutions in 2007. 

The company has since become a highly-respected and in-demand cyber safety consultancy in Australia.

Central Grampians LLEN facilitated Ms McLean’s visit last month, funded through the State Government’s Engage! program grant and Grampians Community Health. 

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It included targeted presentations for teachers, students and parents in Ararat and Stawell.

Central Grampians LLEN executive officer Jane Moriarty said the cyber safety sessions were designed to address growing issues such as online gaming, social media use and cyber bullying.

“Susan is internationally recognised as a leading expert in online safety, and we were very fortunate to have her come to our area for a second year in a row,” Ms Moriarty said.

“We know internet use can be a minefield for young people and their parents, and a lot of problems that occur online at home, tend to have a flow-on effect in the classroom.”

Ms Moriarty said the sessions had already generated important conversations about online presence and digital reputation.

“We are so pleased that more than 800 of our primary and secondary school students had the opportunity to see a cyber safety presentation and more than 100 teachers attended staff sessions across Ararat and Stawell,” she said.

“Additionally, we had about 50 parents attend our two free community sessions. 

“As a result, schools are having open discussions about what is appropriate online, and students have been going home and talking to their parents about what they learnt from Susan.”

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