Cyber games winners announced

A team from Northcote High School are the 2017 champions of La Trobe University’s Cyber Games.

The winning team of three beat nine other teams in the final round of competition on Saturday 18 November and were given a direct-entry offer to La Trobe’s new Bachelor of Cybersecurity degree when they finish school, subject to achieving course prerequisites.

Northcote High School teacher Erik Koopmans said the school was thrilled to produce the winning team.

“We are honoured to be champions of the first annual Cyber Games competition and to have had the chance to compete against so many talented students,” Mr Koopmans said.

“Team members Issa Chanzi, Sam Eggleston and Kiarash Nikoo were thrilled to experience first-hand the world of cybersecurity in such a unique and engaging setting.

“We would like to thank La Trobe University, Cisco, Optus and Quantum Victoria for putting together this fantastic event which will hopefully be the first of many.”

During Cyber Games, which ran through 2017, students were given a glimpse into the dark world of cyber-attacks through the Cyber Games program, which saw them take part in an immersive interschool competition designed to nurture the next generation of cyber-defenders.

Other schools in the finals were Bendigo Senior Secondary College, Camberwell Grammar School, MacRobertson Girls’ College, Viewbank College and Charles La Trobe College.

Cyber Games was a collaboration between La Trobe University – which will be offering a Bachelor of Cybersecurity and a Master of Cybersecurity in 2018 – and Cisco, Optus, the specialist science and mathematics centre at Quantum Victoria, the Science Teachers’ Association of Victoria and Life Journey/Day of STEM.

Cisco Network Consulting Engineer Ahmad Jaber ran the cyber-attack simulator using real-life scenarios that progressively increased in complexity and difficulty.

La Trobe Vice-Chancellor Professor John Dewar congratulated the winners and said Cyber Games was part of the University’s commitment to provide students with the opportunities and skills they would need to work in cybersecurity – one of the world’s fastest-growing employment fields.

“There is a huge need for a new workforce of cyber defenders,” Professor Dewar said.

“This initiative will not only educate a new generation of cyber-literate students, it will also help close the gap on a looming skills shortage.

“Cyber Games simulated real-world threat scenarios for these secondary school students, who we hope will go on to study cybersecurity at La Trobe University and perhaps then work for Cisco, Optus or any of our other business partners.”

President of the Science Teachers’ Association of Victoria and Director of Quantum Victoria Soula Bennett said cybersecurity was a great career option.

Managing Director of Optus Business John Paitaridis said Optus and La Trobe University had a joint-commitment to build the skills of the future for the knowledge economy.

“Initiatives like Cyber Games deliver interactive and innovative learning opportunities in cyber education and exciting game-changing ways in which we can connect and engage whilst creating pathways for our youth into the jobs of the future,” Mr Paitridis said.

Media contact: Sally Heppleston – - 9479 5353 / 0408 556 018