Cyber graduates step into work

Two Flinders University cybersecurity graduates are the latest beneficiaries of the Premier’s Defence Industry Scholarship program.

Tung Dang and Darcy Owens have joined the team at Swordfish Computing under the program and have joined the South Australian digital science and technology services company which is employing the next generation of cyber leaders.

The Premier’s Defence Industry Scholarship Program offers defence industry work placements to students completing degrees in science, technology, engineering, maths (STEM) or business, majoring in project management or logistics.

The program also offers financial assistance of up to $10,000 to each student for the duration of the placement to cover expenses related to their placement. In addition, financial assistance is also made to SMEs involved in the program to support the administration costs of student placements.

Swordfish Computing general manager Marcus Saunders says the program provides a great opportunity to engage with students and show them the career opportunities available within the company.

“Attracting the attention of graduates can be challenging as we are competing with larger companies and government departments which have strong brand recognition with well-resourced graduate recruitment programs,” he says.

“This program encourages students to consider the many great employment opportunities within the South Australian defence industry and lessens the likelihood of them leaving the state in search of their first job.”

For Marcus, one of the greatest benefits of taking on students through the scholarship program is that it gives the company the opportunity to upskill graduates in-house and identify the roles best suited to them.

“We aim to employ people that will be truly happy and successful working with our team and clients, and to take advantage of the career progression opportunities we have available,” he said.

“The program enables the students to gain great experience and determine whether working in the defence industry is the right choice for them, and ultimately helps set students on the right career path as they exit university.”

Darcy Owens, one of three scholarship recipients from Flinders University in the latest round, has joined Swordfish as a Junior Software Engineer after completing his placement with the firm.

“Some of my family and friends work in defence or defence adjacent industries, so from what I’d been told about the jobs they do this opportunity interested me quite a bit,” he says.

“The experience working at Swordfish Computing has been great. The team was very inviting, friendly and always willing and able to help – I never really felt like I didn’t know what to do or what the next step was.”

Fellow Flinders scholarship recipient Tung Dang says the Swordfish team was most supportive of his transition to working in a professional environment.

“The team has been very supportive and helped me a lot during my placement. I am learning and experiencing many new things and it has been very fulfilling,” he says.

“I applied for multiple internships and scholarships throughout 2020, and this would have to be one of the best. I was constantly given updates throughout the process whilst being provided with clear direction throughout each step of the way. The interview was fun and insightful, and it was great to talk with people that are clearly passionate about what they do.”

Flinders University computer science student Andrew Morley also completed his placement at Swordfish with a high level of preparedness for the workforce, enjoying learning new technology and integrating this with other systems during the work-integrated learning experience.

APC Technology, Cyber-Cx, REDARC, Willbridge Gilbert Aztec and Supashock are among other local companies to host Flinders University students as part of the Premier’s Defence Industry Scholarship Program.

The $600,000 initiative, funded by the South Australian Government and administered by the Australian Industry Group, has been able to provide up to 60 scholarships to help industry build in-demand skills, knowledge and experience through work-based learning opportunities.

Find placement vacancies through the Premier’s Defence Industry Scholarship program online at www.defencescholarships.aigroup.com.au

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