In the Media

The Carly Ryan Foundation and online safety in the media:

07/09/2017: Tragic loss of Libby Bell: joint statement from Julie Inman Grant and Sonya Ryan

The Office of the eSafety Commissioner and the Carly Ryan Foundation acknowledge the trauma and pain caused within the Adelaide community following the tragic death of teenager Libby Bell who committed suicide following a reported campaign of bullying directed toward her, both online and offline.

“No child or family should have to experience such a heartbreaking tragedy, especially at the hands of bullying and cyberbullying,” says eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant

“Our Office applauds the many friends, family and others who have taken to social media with positive messages of support, and to take a stand against unacceptable bullying behaviour.”

The Carly Ryan Foundation was established by Sonya Ryan, who lost her own teenage daughter in tragic circumstances a decade ago when Carly was murdered by an online predator posing as a teenage boy.

“Loss is loss—there is no escaping the intensity of grief Libby’s parents and family are experiencing right now. I am personally offering my love and support to the family as they go through what no one should ever have to,” says Ms Ryan

“For every young person and for every adult experiencing pain or grief or the effects of negative behaviours such as cyberbullying—when there seems like there’s no way forward—know that you can reach out, that help is available.”

In dealing with cyberbullying and other online issues, the eSafety Office and the Carly Ryan Foundation believe in an holistic approach, working with the person being targeted, their family, their school, social media services, and when necessary, the police, to help address the issue.

“We all have a role to play in tackling these issues, and laws have their place in dealing with unacceptable behaviour in our society. However, it’s vital to raise awareness of the tools and resources that can prevent negative actions,” says Ms Inman Grant

“While laws can address the damage after the fact, they may not serve as a deterrent to teenagers, whereas education and early intervention can prevent devastating outcomes.”

The Carly Ryan Foundation works with schools across South Australia and the nation to empower young people to keep themselves and others safe while navigating the internet and apps.

“I see so many young people who think it is a sign of weakness to ask for help. When they learn that help is available, that they can take action, it has a life-changing effect,” says Ms Ryan.

If you know a young person experiencing serious cyberbullying, help is available. Any Australian under the age of 18, or an adult authorised by the young person, can report cyberbullying to

If you or someone you know needs help due to thoughts of self-harm or suicide, call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800.

For more information or to arrange an interview with Julie Inman Grant or Sonya Ryan, please contact:
Dominique Tomarchio
02 9334 7873 and 0427 178 689 or

10/05/2017: Carly's Law

PMYoung Australians will have greater protection from the vile grooming of online predators under tough new laws to be introduced by the Australian Government.

Carly's Law will make it a crime for an adult to use a carriage service to commit an act in preparation for, or planning to, cause harm to or engage in or procure sexual activity with a minor. Importantly, this will include those who misrepresent their age.

Carly's Law is the result of a tireless crusade by Adelaide mother Sonya Ryan, whose 15 year old daughter Carly was murdered a decade ago by an online predator posing as a teenage boy.

This is a testament to Sonya Ryan, who has turned a story about the loss of a life into one that will now save many lives. For a decade she has tirelessly worked to achieve an outcome that would better protect young Australians in the online world.

Now, she has achieved what she set out to do; a law that will protect young Australians and serve as an enduring legacy for Carly.

Carly's Law will enable law enforcement agencies to take action against predators sooner and with greater consequence. It will give police the power to intervene before predators have a chance to act, and will also serve as a strong deterrent, with a tough new sentence of 10 years prison for convicted offenders.

"We thank Senators Nick Xenophon, Skye Kakoschke-Moore and Derryn Hinch for their ongoing efforts to support Sonya Ryan and the Carly Ryan Foundation to see this measure achieved," Minister for Justice Michael Keenan said in a statement.

"Carly's Law complements the Government's ongoing work to counter online sexual exploitation of children, including through the AFP's ThinkUKnow program that educates students, parents and teachers."

Keenan said the law also builds on work the Government initiated with states and territories in October 2016, appointing a working group to review existing and potential initiatives to combat child sex offenders.

The working group will report back before the end of 2017 on operational aspects of sex offender registration schemes, post-sentence court-ordered schemes, the restriction of overseas travel by convicted child sex offenders and public notification schemes.

Photo - Sonya Ryan with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull following the announcement of the introduction of Carly's Law

10/02/2017: Welcome 2017

Happy 2017 everyone!
As we begin the year we would like to remind you all of the information we have readily available to email you if you have any questions with regards to apps and online games;

Musical ly
Pokémon GO
and so on...

Remember, in the terms of service of most apps it requires that users be at least 13 years old to use these platforms. Check the app review store before allowing your child/teen to download any app and learn as much as you can about it so you know how to set privacy, turn off location settings, completely understanding how your child can use it while keeping themselves and their family safe.

09/02/2016: Safer Internet Day

In support of Safer Internet Day, the Australian Federal Police (ThinkUKnow) and the Carly Ryan Foundation has joined together to launch its Family Online Safety Contract, a tool to help families stay safe by making an agreement around the things they see, say and do online. ‪#‎SID2016‬ ‪#‎onlinesafety‬ ‪#‎saferinternetday‬ ‪#‎connection‬ ‪#‎teamcarly‬


Download the Family Online Safety Contract

26/10/2015: Thread is now available for Android!

Today, Thread was officially launched in Sydney by eSafety Commissioner Alastair MacGibbon, Minister Susan Close, Senator Nick Xenophon, Google, Kojo and the SA Government.

Download it in the playstore

2015 Sydney Android App Launch

08/02/2015: Thread

Thread AppThread is now available at

A new personal safety app developed by the Carly Ryan Foundation (CRF) which enables children and other users to send emergency alerts and broadcast their GPS location to trusted contacts was unveiled by Education and Child Development Minister Jennifer Rankine on January 28th 2015.

The Thread app - developed with funding from the State Government and Google - is the latest in a range of measures to improve children and young people's safety in our State.

Minister Rankine launched Thread alongside CRF Director Sonya Ryan, and said it will help children and young people become more educated and aware of their personal safety, and give parents discreet contact with their children when they're not in a supervised environment.
“The safety and protection of their children and young people is at the forefront of parents' and carers' minds, which is why we support the Carly Ryan Foundation in supporting and alerting families on how they can help protect their children from the dangers which sadly exist in our society," Ms Rankine said.

The State Government was pleased to contribute to the app's development, and I'm confident it will be a vital tool for families, particularly as children move out into the world on their own.

This support is one of a range of measures I have introduced to strengthen child protection, including enhanced safety screening of professionals and volunteers who work with children, increased resources for the Child Abuse Report Line and the creation of a dedicated Incident Management Division to improve the way schools report and respond to safety concerns."

CRF Director Sonya Ryan said she hoped Thread would encourage families to talk openly about the importance of regular communication, personal safety and mutual trust.

“While Thread has an underlying focus on safety, it is also about building trust between children and their parents, and making it known that their safety and whereabouts is important," Ms Ryan said.

Ms Ryan said that the devastating loss of her daughter Carly had given her a chilling insight into how easily young people could find themselves alone and exposed if they innocently misplaced their trust.

“Sadly, young people are not fitted with the benefit of experience when it comes to navigating the outside world, and often have more limited financial means, transport and social supports compared to adults; this can make them vulnerable in emergency situations. We wanted to create an app that was not only simple, secure and accessible to a range of different age groups, but also functional within an emergency situation - which is where the GPS messaging and alert features have the potential to make a very real difference."

Some of the app's key features include:

  • A compulsory check-in function that allows parents to organise alerts for when their child arrives at their intended destination or misses their scheduled arrival, as well as an ad hoc check-in function for older users to discreetly keep in touch with their families
  • An emergency alert function which simultaneously connects users with the 000 and their nominated contacts in an emergency
  • Chat and photo functions giving users the power to instantly summon friends for help even in non-emergency situations
  • Free to download and use, meaning users can send and receive information without call credits
  • A discreet and aesthetically-pleasing design aimed at an increasingly tech-savvy audience
  • Automatic email back up function to ensure location, data and other information can be easily retrieved by police and emergency services
  • Pin-sensitive to prevent unauthorised use and impersonation
  • Links to additional resources including the Carly Ryan Foundation, Google Safety Centre, Youth Beyond Blue, Crime Stoppers, Kids Helpline, Lifeline and Think You Know

The Thread app will be available immediately for Apple users via the Apple App Store. An app designed for Android devices is expected to be available to download on the Google Playstore in March.

27/01/2015: Thread



Its here!


Official launch date, 28th January 2015.


More information to come...

01/06/2014: Stay Smart Online Week 2014

Stay Smart Online Week takes place from June 2-6.

With Australians seemingly sharing more and more of their information online with each passing day, cybercrime has become one of this country's most common and dangerous threats. Recent hacking attacks on Apple and eBay have proved that cyber criminals are getting bolder with their targets. Add to this the fact that Australians transfer at least $7 million each month directly into the bank accounts of international fraudsters and it's abundantly clear that cyber security should be top of mind for all of us.

Visit the Stay Smart Online Website at where you can find more information and helpful resources for you and your family, like the free Stay Smart Online Alert Service.

Open discussion within your home regarding safe internet use. Secure all your devices, protect online accounts and protect your child.

Look at the privacy settings on social networking sites and apps and be sure that your child or teen understands the importance of never sharing personal and private information with strangers online.

Remember, there is no such thing as privacy online.


31/03/2014: Oz Comic Con 2014

The Carly Ryan Foundation will be at Oz Comic Con on April 5th & 6th in Adelaide!

Come and visit us for free information and merchandise! Stand A1102

We will be visted by some special guests over the weekend so be sure to drop by and say hello!

12/12/2013: Premier Jay Weatherill approves Grant for CRF Phone App

Thanks to a $50,000 grant approved by Premier Jay Weatherill, The Carly Ryan Foundation's dream of a mobile phone app that will help protect young people from criminals will become a reality.

Mr Weatherill said community safety was a key priority for the Government and the $50,000 would allow the foundation to continue its important work in developing this safety tool.

The Foundation and local company Kojo will develop the app, updates to come.

10/09/2013: New Office

The Carly Ryan Foundation officially opened its new office in the Adelaide Hills on Saturday 31st August. This shop front will also act as a safe house and information centre for the community. 

Senator Nick Xenophon who joined Ms Ryan to open the centre, said: "This new shopfront means it can be a drop in centre and will drive support for the community".

For further information please email



16/05/2013: Cyber Security Awareness Week

20th-25th May 2013

With people sharing more and more of their personal information over the web, Cyber Security Awareness Week aims to help all Australians using the Internet - whether at home, in the workplace, or at school - to better understand the simple steps they can take to protect themselves online from scams, invasions of privacy and other attacks on their personal and financial information.

25/04/2013: Speakers in Schools

Speakers in Schools is inviting you to an exclusive seminar with Sonya Ryan from the Carly Ryan Foundation where she will educate parents, teachers and students about safe social networking, cyber bullying, protecting private information, online gaming, sharing information and Federal Law.

Monday 6 May
5.30pm to 7.30pm
Telstra Building
30 Pirie Street, Adelaide

Register your place here

14/01/2013: Sonya Ryan | The Can Stories - Short Films on Great Australians

Watch Sonya's story and help share her message.



15/11/2012: Child Safety App Development

The Carly Ryan Foundation is undertaking the development of a mobile application designed to promote the safety of children and youths nationwide.
We are creating a service that provides young people with the ability to communicate instantly with their carers and loved ones at any time they feel threatened, unsafe or intimidated.
To help support this development and support the Carly Ryan Foundation, please click here to donate to our cause.