What we do
Carly Ryan was 15-years-old when she was murdered by an online predator. It was the first crime of its type in Australia, occurring in 2007 when social media was a new phenomenon and paedophiles were starting to infiltrate the online space. Determined to help prevent harm to other innocent children and families and to help them navigate their online journey safely, Carly’s mum Sonya incorporated The Carly Ryan Foundation in 2010.
The CRF is a certified online safety program provider under the Office of the eSafety Commissioner and delivers online safety and healthy relationship seminars to students and parents. The organisation also provides a range of services and support in the areas of internet safety and crime, cyberbullying, connection to resources and counselling and contributing to law and policy reform.
The harm-prevention charity is based in Carly’s home state of South Australia but presents its education program ‘Project Connect’ nationally. Its team will deliver in excess of 300 seminars throughout the year while balancing its political advocacy work which has already seen ‘Carly’s Law’ introduced into the Commonwealth Criminal Code in 2017 and in South Australia in 2018.
The CRF is a member of the Online Safety Consultative Working Group and contributed to the establishment of the Office of the eSafety Commissioner. In January 2018, the organisation was invited to join the new eSafety and Mental Health Steering Group.
Sonya is also a member of the education and prevention working group with the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE)
Sonya Ryan was a finalist in the 2017 Human Rights Awards and is a previous winner of South Australian of the Year.
In 2018, Ms Ryan opened a United Nations conference in Bangkok. In the same year, she was awarded the Mother of the Nation Award at the Interfaith Alliance for Safer Communities: Child Dignity in the Digital World Forum held in Abu Dhabi. This award was in recognition of her distinguished efforts in supporting mothers and children.
Ms Ryan accepted the award in honour of her daughter's legacy and was grateful for the opportunity to represent Carly on a world stage.
Sonya's lived experience of extreme suffering demonstrates the strength of a mothers love connection with her daughter - the unparalleled power of love.