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SM TAFE students crowned national cybersafe champions  

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

7 December 2023

South Metropolitan TAFE (SM TAFE) student team 'data daemons' recently won first place in the National 2023 TAFEcyber Retrospect Labs Incident Response Student Challenge.  

Twenty-seven teams and 120 participants Australia-wide battled it out in an intensive ten-day cyber security and incident response test. It was ‘TAFE vs TAFE’ as students put their skills into action before a judging panel of four representatives from across the nation.   

2023 marks the second year SM TAFE students have won the challenge, which is testament to the state-of-the-art facilities and training program offered which allows students to learn in an industry-standard setting and graduate with job-ready skills.   

Congratulations to Matt Lily, Christine Hall and Ronan Caunter of the 'data daemons' team for being fantastic advocates for SM TAFE cyber security training and setting the benchmark for cyber students across the nation.   

Malicious cyber activity is growing worldwide, driving a dramatic increase in demand for cyber security solutions and the strong need to skill the next generation of network defenders.  

The three students are undertaking the 22603VIC Certificate IV in Cyber Security and had positive feedback from their competition experience.   

“I am so incredibly proud of this achievement and my team. We knew the competition was going to be tough as we knew the other teams were equally knowledgeable. We committed ourselves to late nights after work and approached the problems systematically. Interested in a cyber career? This would be a great way to find out if cyber forensics and incident response is for you,” student Matt Lily said.   

“Definitely get involved! Thank you to Retrospect and TAFEcyber for the opportunity to participate, to our lecturer, Dwayne Smith, who encouraged us to enter and to my teammates for a great shared experience,” student Christine Hall said.  

Ronan Caunter added: “As difficult and technical as it all may seem, perseverance is paramount. Our team was almost ready to give up at one point, but we stuck it through and even managed to come out of it as the top team of the competition!” 

TAFEcyber is a consortium of 11 TAFEs focused on the skilling of the fast-growing Cyber Security workforce through education and training. Together with Retrospect Labs, TAFEcyber conducted this critical incident response challenge once again on a national scale.  

To prepare trainees for real-world scenarios, the challenge was completed using Retrospect Labs’ cyber security exercise platform, Gauntlet. The hands-on challenge involved technical tasks such as forensic analysis of technical artefacts, as well as the broader aspects of responding to critical incidents, such as briefing various stakeholders, drafting media statements, and considering legal and privacy implications. 

Interested in a career in cyber security? SM TAFE offers the 22603VIC Certificate IV in Cyber Security and the 22445VIC Advanced Diploma of Cyber Security which can lead to specialisation in the fast-growing field which is forecast to triple in size in the next decade, translating to huge employment potential within the industry and increased job opportunities. Both courses are fee free in 2024.*

The state-of-the-art Training Cyber Security Operations Centre(opens in a new tab)  (TCSOC) at SM TAFE provides a secure training environment designed to simulate realistic cyber-attacks relating to attack, defence and monitoring, offering leading-edge training for IT students.   

* Please note that eligibility requirements apply to some of the free training. Please see the FAQs on our Skills Ready page(opens in a new tab)  for further information.