Cyber Security in the Spotlight

27th October 2021

The Federal Government has released a range of initiatives this week to help protect personal information online and provide support through grants to the workforce and future careers in cyber security.

The exposure Draft ‘Online Privacy Bill’ was released with landmark privacy legislation to protect Australians and children online and enable the creation of a binding Online Privacy Code.

Federal Member for Forrest Nola Marino MP said this new code will lead the world through the Government’s ongoing work to ensure social media companies’ take greater responsibly to protect their users – including people in the South West.

Online platforms subject to the code will need to comply with strict new privacy requirements, including stronger protections for children on social media. Under the code, social media platforms will be required to take all reasonable steps to verify their users’ age and give primary consideration to the best interests of the child when handling children’s personal information. The code will also require platforms to obtain parental consent for users under the age of 16.

Written submissions on the Online Privacy Bill are due on 3 December 2021 and submissions to the discussion paper on 7 January 2022.

More information on the draft bill and to make a submission see here.

Applications for the Cyber Security Skills Partnership Innovation Fund are now open and will provide more than $60 million in grants of between $250,000 and $3 million.

Ms Marino said these grants will support innovative projects that will boost Australia’s cyber security workforce.

“This is a great chance for South West businesses to nominate a project that will increase the strength, skills and diversity of our cyber workforce and boost the participation of women and jobs for regional and remote areas.”

Eligible activities include developing and delivering specialist cyber security courses for professionals, retraining programs, professional development, apprenticeships, establishing new internships, cadetships, work experience and staff exchanges, and establishing cyber labs and training facilities.

Applicants must submit a joint application, with one lead organisation that is the main driver of the project and is eligible to apply, and at least one other project partner.

Applications close 6 December 2021, and more information is available here.

Australian students are set to benefit from a new $14.9 million education initiative designed to boost cyber security skills and prepare them for future careers in cyber security.

Questacon’s Cyber Ready Program consists of a series of challenges and teacher training modules developed for primary, secondary and tertiary students across Australia.

Ms Marino said the program is about inspiring and preparing Australian students for a career in cyber security while ensuring future generations can protect themselves online.

“I want as many students as possible in the South West to see the opportunities in cyber security that could lead to a potential career in this growing industry.”

More information on the Questacon Cyber Ready Program for students, teachers and community leaders is available here.