Paul Litherland is regarded as one of Australia’s leading keynote speakers on internet awareness. As a WA Police Officer for over 20 years, with five years’ experience in the Technology Crime Investigation Unit, a section at that time that was internationally recognised as one of the leading technology crime divisions in the world. Paul was involved in criminal investigations including hacking, online sales fraud and romance scams, to cases involving international syndicates. He also worked specifically with children (and their families) who were either the victims of online crime, or the offenders themselves. Dealing personally with the victims of cyber bullying, grooming and predatory behaviour as well as the perpetrators themselves, Paul came to know all too well the heartbreak parents go through, as well as how frustrated they are with how little care the online world seems to show kids and as a result, he felt compelled to drive change.

One of these ways he drives change is to present to parents and students in schools and we were very glad to have Paul return to School on after postponing from earlier in the year. Paul spoke to all students in Years 7-9 and I think every child learnt something new form the information he presented!


The Top Ten Apps, with Facebook experiencing 18.4 million hits every day, followed by YouTube (14.2million) and Instagram with a rising 11.8 million. Many students and parents did not realise that Facebook owns Instagram. Paul was quick to point out that the Apps themselves are not the problem; it is the misuse of them and encourages parents to become familiar with the popular Apps that their children are using and work with their children to operate within them safely. Often parents do not understand the capabilities of the Apps and often allow their children onto Apps that are too old for them. Many Apps state 13 years as a minimum age due to laws that prevent them ‘mining’ the data of children.


Fortnite is experiencing 5 billion logs in a month. Fifteen years ago, the average age of an online gamer was 21 years, now it is only 14 years. He warned against buying items such as ‘skins’ through gaming sites as the number of scam websites trying to trick children is now up by 576%.

Paul had a sombre message to our students regarding online bullying and discussed other misuses of the online world. He also offered students and parents the opportunity to contact him via his website if they wished to. The website also contains information and advice to students and parents.