Respected expert new Optus Cyber Chair

Internationally-respected cyber security expert Professor Jill Slay AM has been appointed as the inaugural La Trobe University Optus Cyber Chair, and will lead cyber security teaching, research and industry collaboration at La Trobe.

Professor Slay has a long history of combining teaching and research with an active involvement in advising government and defence on real world cyber security initiatives. In her new role at La Trobe, she will provide leadership of the Cyber domain at the University and foster excellence in teaching and high-impact research across the University.

Vice-Chancellor Professor John Dewar said the inaugural appointment would establish La Trobe University as a sector leader in a multi-disciplinary and industry-engaged approach to cyber security teaching, research and policy development.

“Under the leadership of Professor Slay, La Trobe will deliver high-impact research that provides tangible and holistic solutions to critical cyber-related issues for governments, industry and the community. Employers are crying out for a workforce with the expertise to combat a growing cyber threat and Professor Slay will also be instrumental in developing new, innovative teaching programs in conjunction with industry,” Professor Dewar said.

The La Trobe Optus Cyber Chair was created in recognition of the critical importance of cyber security in Australia’s future digital world. Part of Professor Slay’s role will involve establishing a virtual facility at La Trobe University to conduct research and develop solutions to real-world problems in the field of cyber security.
John Paitaridis, Managing Director, Optus Business, said: “Our partnership with La Trobe University demonstrates the importance of industry and academia collaboration in addressing the growing pervasive threat of cyber crime.

“The appointment of an expert of Professor Slay’s calibre is an endorsement of the work we are doing together to build Australia’s cyber security and digital capability through skill development, innovative research and thought leadership.”

Professor Slay is currently Director of the Australian Centre for Cyber Security at the University of New South Wales (UNSW). She was made a member of the Order of Australia in 2011 for her service to the Information Technology industry through contributions in the areas of forensic computer science, security, protection of infrastructure, and cyber terrorism.

She was made a Fellow of the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium for her service to the information security industry. She is also a Fellow of the Australian Computer Society and will continue to serve as the Director of Cyber Resilience Initiatives for the ACS.

In the last 10 years, Professor Slay has published a book and more than 120 refereed book chapters, journal articles or research papers on information assurance, critical infrastructure protection, security and forensic computing.

Through a variety of collaborators, she has instigated cross-disciplinary research that draws on social science, anthropology, law, drugs and crime, police and justice studies, as well as systems and communications engineering and IT. Her multi-disciplinary approach fits perfectly with La Trobe’s cross-college Bachelor of Cyber Security and Master of Cyber Security programs, which draw on University experts in Law, IT and business.

The respected academic has supervised 18 PhDs through to completion, and has supervised many Master and Honours theses. She has been awarded more than $2 million in Australian Government grants including an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship.

Media Contact: Tim Mitchell– or 0437 457 780 or Claire Bowers -, 0437 279 903