Cyber Me gets helping hand through City’s Innovation Fund

A $15,000 grant will help two former journalists progress an innovative web-based, online teaching application that aims to keep young people safer in the online world.

‘Cyber Me’ is the brainchild of Lorraine Horsley and Linda Parkes.

The typical elements of game playing such as point scoring, competition or rules of play – primary and early secondary students are given the tools to apply critical thinking in a pseudo (controlled) online environment.

The duo has been working with Edith Cowan University (ECU)’s School of Science, under the supervision of ECU Security Research Institute member Dr David Cook, to develop the technology required to implement Cyber Me to ensure it looks and feels like a real online experience for users.

The program encourages users to think critically. A pilot group, involving Year 4 students from across the City, will be involved in early testing of Cyber Me in Term 4 2018.

“We are thrilled to have the support of the City of Joondalup – the funding will help us to further develop the program,” Ms Horsley said.

“It’s fantastic that the City shares our vision with this new approach to cyber safety.”

The $15,000 grant was obtained through the City of Joondalup’s Innovation Fund, which offers grants of between $5000 and $20,000 to foster local initiatives that bring and create new business activities into Joondalup, adding to the City’s business dynamic through innovative or digital based activities.

City of Joondalup CEO Garry Hunt said the funding stream was established in recognition of advances in technology, which have changed the way businesses, government organisations, consumers and the community work, interact and live.

“In order to achieve our vision of a high performing economy underpinned by a culture of entrepreneurship, innovation and investment, the City has a goal to build Joondalup’s reputation as a place for innovation and creativity by enhancing growth in the creative industries and innovative businesses that expand local strategic employment,” he said.

“The Innovation Fund is one way we can help entrepreneurs like Lorraine and Linda take that next step on their journey. Congratulations to them, we wish them every success.”

Lorraine and Linda, who have extensive media and public relations backgrounds, are also planning to roll out critical thinking and media workshops in schools next year.

The Cyber Me Year 4 program is scheduled to be fully functional for the start of the 2019 academic year.