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October 2023

We're writing to provide you with an update on the CyberTaipan cybersecurity competition.

CyberTaipan is a national competition focusing on cybersecurity, based on the CyberPatriot competition, which has been running in the US since 2009. It employs a well-established framework to educate and inspire high school students to pursue further studies and careers in cybersecurity and STEM fields.

The CyberTaipan cybersecurity competition has been sponsored by the Australian Government Department of Industry, Science and Resources (DISR) through the Digital Careers Grant. And with financial support from Northrop Grumman Australia (NGA) and our other partners, CSIRO Education and Outreach (CEdO) has proudly delivered the CyberTaipan cyber security competition since 2020. 

However, it is important to note that the Digital Careers funding provided by DISR will conclude in January 2024, and unfortunately, CyberTaipan will not be delivered beyond 2023.

Since 2020, together, we've proudly delivered the following:

CyberTaipan 2022 winners, Team Mensa A, showing four students and two adult mentors
  • A three-phased national cybersecurity-focused competition that has engaged 546 teams, 2,270 students, and 267 coaches.
  • Cyber industry mentorship provided by 131 mentors to teams of educators and students. 
  • Cyber security-focused camps for 86 students, including one camp for 16 young women.

The CSIRO and NGA sincerely appreciate your support in inspiring young Australians towards further education and careers in STEM and Cybersecurity and expanding the pool of skilled digital professionals in Australia. Your involvement has been instrumental, and we'd like to highlight the pivotal roles you've played:

  • illuminating career pathways: Thanks to your efforts, we've made significant progress in showcasing the diverse and rewarding opportunities within the cybersecurity industry.
  • igniting interest: Your support has ignited students' enthusiasm, particularly among underrepresented groups, for computational thinking, AI, cyber security, and big data.
  • preparing for the future: Your work has directly contributed to preparing students for a future where up to 75% of jobs will demand STEM skills.
  • amplifying skillsets: With your assistance, students have honed essential skills in computational thinking, AI, and cybersecurity.
  • power of partnerships: Your active participation exemplifies how collaborations between schools and industries can elevate educational outcomes.
  • breaking stereotypes: Your involvement has encouraged students to explore the wide range of opportunities in STEM, inspiring them to break free from traditional roles and envision a more expansive future.

What's next?

Although we will not deliver CyberTaipan beyond 2023, our commitment to encouraging STEM career pathways continues through our selection of alternative programs.

Our CSIRO Education and Outreach mailer includes the latest information on program availability, upcoming events, student opportunities, teacher professional development and classroom activities. Subscribe now.

We also encourage you to follow us on the CSIRO Education Facebook page.

Do you want to bring STEM expertise into your classroom?

If you’re a mentor or registered teacher, you may be interested in:

STEM Professionals in Schools is Australia’s largest national skilled volunteering program for STEM professionals and classroom educators. We individually match teachers and STEM professionals so they can work together to increase teachers’ and students’ STEM skills, knowledge, and confidence through various activities. Each partnership is unique and flexible, as the partners decide for themselves what works best, with support from the national STEM Professionals in Schools team. 

STEM Together helps curious Year 5 to 10 students strengthen their confidence, capability, and connection with STEM. Its Future Shapers program recognises students and those that support them. Sign up for STEM Together updates to find out when Future Shapers applications open, and you could be recognised for your work with CyberTaipan with a tailored prize. 

Are your students interested in a career in the STEM industry? 

CSIRO offers Virtual Work Experience to students in years 10 and 11, regardless of location.

If you’re a coach, you may be interested in:

General Stream: Students work on collaborative, group projects linked to real-world CSIRO research and industry challenges. This will be under the guidance of experienced CSIRO staff and STEM professionals.  

If you’re a mentor, you may be interested in volunteering as a supervisor:

Defence Industry Stream: This specialised path allows students to immerse themselves in the Defence Industry virtually. They gain first-hand experience and exposure to real-world STEM skills supported by industry professionals. 

Both streams offer practical, hands-on experience that aligns well with the skills honed in the CyberTaipan competition. The Defence Industry stream is ideal for students interested in cybersecurity or related fields. Each stream comes with mentorship and an introduction to cutting-edge technology, making them valuable experiences for students eager to make informed choices about future STEM careers. 

The opportunity for students to participate in these work experiences could be a natural progression from their involvement in CyberTaipan, allowing them to deepen their expertise and broaden their perspectives in STEM. 

External to CSIRO

PECAN+ is an annual Cyber Security Capture the Flag competition for high school students in Year 10 and above, managed by Edith Cowan University. Challenges are aimed at various skill levels, from beginner to expert, and include Steganography, Forensics, and Cryptography.

Thank you

Once again, thank you. The CSIRO and NGA are profoundly grateful for the time, energy, and expertise you've dedicated to nurturing Australia's next generation of STEM talent.

Yours sincerely,
The CyberTaipan Team