Congratulations to Year 12 student Tamara Baker on her appointment to the inaugural Online Safety Youth Advisory Council.
Australia’s eSafety Commissioner has formed this new council to give young Australians a voice in shaping online safety policy for the future and designing youth-centred initiatives.
Announced by the Australian Government in December 2021, the council will advise the government about issues young people experience online and explore ways of supporting them to have positive online experiences.
Tamara, one of 24 young council members from across Australia, said Director of Research and Innovation, Lauren Sayer encouraged her to apply.
“Miss Sayer sent me an email as she saw the advertisement on a Twitter post online, and she said, ‘you’d be perfect for this’ and that it was right up my alley,” she said.
“Especially because I really care about making the world a safer place, specifically in the online community. Right now, many kids don’t have any or much cybersecurity knowledge, and it makes it a dangerous place.”
The 2019 Melbourne Knowledge Week ambassador, an MGGS student since Prep, said she is excited about the new opportunity.
“I thought that it would be a good opportunity to further what I want to do with my life, what I want to do in the world,” she said.
“So I put in an application, and Miss (Lauren) Sayer (Director of Research and Innovation) wrote me a lovely letter of recommendation.
“It (the appointment) is very exciting and a good step in the right direction. I had work experience last year with the Australian Signals Directorate and saw what the environment was like and how the cybersecurity experts of Australia work with politicians.
“From that experience, I felt there definitely needs to be some improvement, especially basic knowledge not just for politicians but also for the wider community.
“I’m hoping that my role in the eSafety Commission will help with spreading more education and specifically spreading education so that our policy in government can keep up with the growing demands and the ever-evolving technology we use.”
Tamara said the opportunity allowed her to follow her passions, use her voice and gain valuable experience to help her with her goal of a career in technology.
The CSO and AWSN Women in Cybersecurity Special Recognition Award recipient said she wanted to change the cybersecurity workforce.
Tamara’s passion for the industry started in Deputy Director, Middle Years Billie Staples’s technology club.
Executive Director, Research and Innovation, Lauren Sayer said “Tamara has always been a strong advocate for cybersafety and awareness at MGGS.”
“She has volunteered to run sessions for her peers and staff around cybersafety so when the opportunity arose for her to share these skills on a national level, I encouraged her to apply.
“It is a brilliant opportunity for Tamara to share her skills and inform policies for young people at a national Level.”
eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant said the Online Safety Youth Advisory Council was a way to give young people like Tamara a voice.
“Younger Australians should not continue to be at the coal face of this great social experiment we call ‘the Internet’,” she said.
“They spend a lot more of their life in the online world than older people, so we need them to share their opinions and experiences on how to make the internet safer and more inclusive.”