Thursday Workshop (Qld, Vic, NSW)
Understanding Friendship in The Digital Space
Susan Mclean, National Centre Against Bullying


The online world can bring  with it many amazing opportunities but it can also allow toxic friendships or ‘pretend’ to fester and grow. What actually is an ‘online friend’? How can the internet be used  for good rather than evil? Why do many young people choose to abuse others online and why do they think its OK? The plethora of apps and platforms available to young people mean that working out what is acceptable online behaviour can be difficult. What actually is an  ‘online friend’? What should schools be doing to manage and moderate their students online word? What are the legal obligations? How a friendship can be either strengthened or ruined due to the digital space. This workshop will look at the reality of the online world and how trusting young people can be sucked in with a clever account or promise. What are the latest concerns for young people (all the latest apps and platforms) in the digital space and how social media sites can be used to enhance rather than diminish a friendship. What are the privacy considerations and how can we use social media to enhance rather than  ruin a friendship. What are young people doing online and what must be you aware of. There are benefits to Social Media use, we just have to find them.
About Susan
Susan is Australia’s leading expert in the area of cyber safety and was a member of Victoria Police for 27 years. She was the first Victoria Police officer appointed to a position involving cybersafety and young people where she established and managed the Victoria Police Cybersafety Project. She has completed advanced training in the USA in 2007, 2012 & 2015 including the Protecting Children Online Certificate from Fox Valley Technical College and has successfully completed the ‘University Certificate in Child Safety on the Internet’ from the University of Central Lancashire, United Kingdom. She also has qualifications from Netsmartz/NCMEC (USA) and NSPCC/CEOP (UK). She has also been awarded The National Medal, the Victoria Police Service Medal - 2nd Clasp, and the National Police Medal.
She collaborates with a variety of international bodies and is a member of both the Federal Government’s Online Safety Consultative Working Group and the National Centre Against Bullying (NCAB). Susan provides regular advice and assistance to Australian families and schools in relation to online issues and has developed comprehensive Policy for a range of organisation and also authored resources for the Victorian Education Department. Susan is married with 3 children and is a passionate advocate for young people to have safe and positive online experiences. The second edition of her best-selling book, Sexts Texts and Selfies (Penguin) is the definitive guide for anyone who works with or cares for young people.