Sonya Karras had Year 12 students laughing, calling out—and so quiet you could hear a pin drop—in the Ulumbarra Theatre this morning.

“I love coming to BSSC because I always feel like I make a connection,” Sonya Said. “There is always a group who are willing to come up and tell me their stories at the end of my presentation.”

Approachable and open, unflappable and unshockable, Sonya was lost in a small crowd of students as soon as her ‘Whole New World’ presentation was over.

Her powerful message began with the admission, “I’m not here to tell you to stay home, drink milk and love your parents,” and went on to cover a vast range of information about staying safe—the consequences of excessive alcohol consumption—the amount of hacking, stalking and appropriating of private information that occurs in cyber-space—the ubiquity of drink-spiking and how party drugs can mess up a life. All of it told with a mix of humour and compelling real-life examples.

“How many of you have a plan—and a back-up plan—to get out of a dangerous situation? You never have to stay in an unsafe situation—get yourself out of there! It’s okay to lie to a drunk driver.”

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