CyberTaipan is presented by Northrop Grumman Australia in partnership with AustCyber, the Australian Cyber Security Growth Network. The pilot season was sponsored by BlackBerry, PwC Australia and Woodside Energy.
Mike Gallagher, strategy director, Northrop Grumman Australia, said, "STEM education is vital to the future of Australia and its national security. Programs such as CyberTaipan play an important role in teaching not only technical skills, but also professional skills such as leadership, communications, collaboration and teamwork."
The competition aims to attract youth from a variety of backgrounds and experiences, as diversity is critical for creating the best solutions to complex cyber challenges. The CyberTaipan pilot included more than 130 high school and community group students from Queensland, NSW, Victoria and the ACT.
After working hard throughout 2018 to qualify, 10 teams made it to the national finals. Team TSS from The Southport School in Queensland won first place at an awards ceremony held 16 March at Parliament House.
"We are thrilled with the interest this competition has received, as it shows a real appetite for this kind of challenge. Engaging youth and ensuring Australia is a leader in cyber education is what drives our work at AustCyber," said Michelle Price, CEO, AustCyber.
CyberTaipan is modelled on the US Air Force Association’s CyberPatriot program, which has seen more than 130,000 youth participate during the past 11 years. In addition to Australia, Northrop Grumman has expanded the program to the UK and Saudi Arabia.
Diane Miller, director of global cyber education and workforce initiatives, Northrop Grumman, said, "I am delighted with the success of CyberTaipan to date, and I hope it inspires participants to pursue further study and careers in cyber security.
"The enthusiasm I’ve witnessed among the Australian students and educators is inspirational, and I have no doubt the program will continue to grow in future years to help address the shortage of cyber professionals."
AustCyber is part of the Australian government’s Industry Growth Centres Initiative, which aims to tap new sources of economic growth by maximising Australia’s competitive advantage in six knowledge-driven, high-value sectors.
Northrop Grumman is a leading global security company providing innovative systems, products and solutions in autonomous systems, cyber, C4ISR, space, strike, and logistics and modernisation to customers worldwide.