Release type: Speech


Cyber Battle Australia 2024, Adelaide


The Hon Brendan O'Connor MP
Minister for Skills and Training

I want to welcome you to the final of the very first Cyber Battle Australia.

I acknowledge that the competition is taking place on the land of the Kaurna people.

And I pay my respects to Elders past and present.

Congratulations to the 50 finalists who have made it to Adelaide today – you should all be very proud.

You go down as the first group to ever compete in a Cyber Battle Final south of the equator. 

And it’s great to see that many of you are flying the flag for different TAFEs around the country.

A big goal of the Albanese Labor Government is to put TAFE back at the heart of Vocational Education and Training.

And to elevate VET to the same status as university.

Because it should be seen as an equal education pathway and an equivalent vehicle of opportunity.

Nine out of 10 future jobs will require a tertiary qualification.

And about half of those will come through a VET pathway.

So, it’s great to see an event that brings together the best and brightest from our VET sector.

More and more, industry is looking to the VET sector to fill highly skilled occupations.

A recent study by AustCyber found that last year alone we needed an extra 12,500 cyber security workers.

And by 2030, the workforce demand will reach 85,000, an increase of 66 percent.

Which, I’m sure you know, puts all of you in a fantastic position for secure, well-paid work throughout your careers.

Which also underlines however the importance of events like this to promote the cyber security industry to future generations of professionals.

My hope is that many of you will go on to have long careers in the cyber sector, being part of the vital wall of defence that protects Australians and Australian businesses.

Unfortunately, we’ve become a lucrative target for bad actors, with Australia facing a diverse range of cyber threats, ranging from ransomware attacks to national security breaches.

In 2023, several high-profile cyber-attacks targeted Australian organisations and businesses – compromising the sensitive data of millions of Australians.

These attacks diminish the reputation of Australian companies and undermine the trust in them to keep the personal information of their customers safe.

The skills you’re all learning - and over the course of today putting to the test – are vital to the future health of our economy, and the ongoing prosperity of our businesses.

I wish you all the best of luck – and may the best hacker win.