This story is part of the July 30 edition of Good Weekend. See all 15 stories.
Julie Inman Grant leads the world’s first regulatory agency designed to keep people safe online, after an influential career working with US Congress, as well as in senior positions at Silicon Valley giants Microsoft and Twitter.
But she’s also just a mum, albeit one who understands better than most the pressures parents face in keeping their kids out of harm’s way online.
Australia’s eSafety Commissioner, Julie Inman Grant.Credit:Rhett Wyman
“My daughter is 16 years old,” says Australia’s eSafety Commissioner, “and I knew that the world was going to be very different when she was about three, and was more interested in playing with my phone than she was playing with a doll.”
Fast-forward to her current experience with 10-year-old twins, and the challenge feels even bigger. “They say, ‘Mum, every kid except for us has a phone.’ And … they’re just not ready yet,” she says. “They just don’t have the cognitive ability to self-regulate, to deal with the content, conduct, and a whole range of other things that we need to prepare them for.”