First Cyber Ambassadors selected for NSW Cyber Security Network
The NSW Cyber Security Network (NSWCSN) has appointed two high profile cyber security experts and a Macquarie University student to its Cyber Ambassadors Program, which aims to engage NSW high school students with careers in cyber security.
“With the appointment of these ambassadors and the recent launch of our workforce development program, we intend to give practical support and guidance to students and teachers in NSW high schools,” said Todd Williams, Director, NSWCSN. “The shortage of skilled cyber professionals is fast becoming a brake on our economy. We are here to help turn that around and help fuel the growth of the cyber security industry in NSW.”
Scott Sleap holds the 2018 Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching and is Deputy Principal, STEM for the Cessnock High School Learning Community. “I have a long association with education and started my career as a computing teacher over 20 years ago,” Dr Sleap said. “I am passionate about STEM education and providing students with the skills and capabilities to gain meaningful employment in the new economy.”
Alana Maurushat is Professor in Cyber Security and Behaviour in both the Schools of Social Sciences & Psychology, as well as Computing, Engineering and Mathematics at the University of Western Sydney. Her main research focus is in the areas of cyber resilience, cyber risk, high tech crime, civil liberties, and digital issues in law enforcement.
“I have been involved in many different high school ventures around cyber safety,” Professor Maurushat said. “My research has given me valuable insight into the behaviour of organised criminal groups, comprehensive knowledge of hackers of all different backgrounds, and an eye for the sorts of skills we need as a society to combat cyber crime.”
Jacinda Erkelens has just completed her Bachelor of Security Studies at Macquarie University. She is keen to encourage non-STEM people to consider careers in cyber security. “I would like to break down two barriers,” she said. “The gender barrier in this male-dominated industry; and the barrier to people who are not technologists being considered for jobs in cyber security.”
Each Ambassador will select a region or school to liaise with, to provide students with valuable knowledge from their own areas of expertise, to help build awareness of future career possibilities for them. The NSWCSN congratulates Scott Sleap, Alana Maurushat and Jacinda Erkelens on their appointments.
About the NSW Cyber Security Network:
The NSW Network for Cyber Security and Engagement (The NSW Cyber Security Network) brings together the state’s leading universities to galvanise NSW cyber-capability. It is an organisation which facilitates the growth of cyber capability in NSW, fosters collaboration between NSW universities which specialise in cyber-related research, promotes their capabilities, and supports their connection with industry and Government. It is funded by the NSW State Government through the NSW Office of the Chief Scientist and Engineer, and member universities.
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