05 Dec Sarisha Joins Elite Netsafe Squad
Most of us ignore ads that pop up on social media – after all, they’re often trying to sell us something we don’t need.
However, when Year 12 student, Sarisha Claassen, saw an ad on Instagram for applications to be a part of Net Safe’s elite new ‘Youth Action Squad’, she was intrigued.
As a member of the College’s Digital Leadership Council, Sarisha feels very strongly about everyone’s right to be safe on the internet. “I thought I might as well apply”, she says, “because it’s something I feel passionately about”. One online application and a Skype interview later and she was delighted to be offered one of just 10 coveted places on the Youth Action Squad. The group has been put together to work with Netsafe, providing input on how young people use the internet and the problems that they face when online.
Since then, it has been a whirlwind of getting to know her fellow squad members and learning about the big issues facing internet users today. In October they were invited to attend NetSafe’s Trans-Tasman Online Safety Conference at the Hilton in Auckland. The squad spent a whole day training together and was able to listen to speakers from industry leaders and social policy makers. “It was amazing”, says Sarisha, “and harrowing. One woman was speaking about her own personal experience with cyber abuse and it was very shocking.” She adds: “I’m really looking forward to using what I have learned in the work we are doing with Netsafe as well as my work as part of the Digital Leadership Council”.
by Roisin Lamb
Photo: Sarisha (second from left) and her fellow Y.A.S. members