AWSN Cadets

Australian Women in Security Network


AWSN Cadets  is an outreach program run by the Australian Women in Security Network (AWSN) that connects, supports and inspires female-identifying tertiary students and early career professionals.


Sign up below!



Is this you?

  • Female-identifying;
  • An Australian resident;
  • 18+ years of age;
  • Have 0-3 years of work experience in the security industry.



Is this you?

  • 3+ years of security industry experience
  • An Australian resident;
  • 18+ years of age;
  • Can be male-identifying or female-identifying



AWSN Cadets members may benefit from:

  • Networking events
  • Practical workshops
  • One-on-one mentoring opportunities
  • Discounted/free tickets to security conferences and events (as available)
  • Discounted/free professional development opportunities (as available)
  • Leadership opportunities

AWSN Cadets Coaches may benefit from:

  • Giving back to the security community by connecting, supporting and inspiring future security talent
  • Networking with peers who also enjoy mentoring others
  • Teaching practical skills
  • Public speaking opportunities
  • Sharing security research with others
  • Developing soft skills (such as leadership and communication skills)



We connect our members to the networks and resources they need to grow as security professionals.


We support our members by providing them with a safe space to explore and develop their confidence and skills in security.


We inspire our members to be bold and embrace a career in security, by exposing them to ideas and real-world experiences drawn from different areas of security.

Mission Statement

“AWSN Cadets will make tangible, positive changes to our society and the world, by attracting and retaining the best talent to Australia’s burgeoning, rewarding, and crucially important security industry.”


According to the Women in Cyber Security Literature Review conducted by the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (2017, p. i), women make up only 11% of the global cybersecurity workforce. Within the Asia Pacific region, this number is an even lower figure  at 10% (Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet 2017, p. i).

Such statistics have been attributed to a number of barriers faced by women upon entering or working in the cyber security industry. Marketing, role models, and hiring practices are not the only barriers that continue to deter women from entry:

AWSN Cadets Digital Forensics workshop

“…Workplace culture, a lack of flexible working arrangements, and persistent discrimination impede women’s retention in the industry”

(Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet 2017, p. i).

Given the benefits that a diverse workforce can provide (Percival 2016)(Burgess et al., 2009, p. 81)(Loehr, 2015) (Herring, 2009), AWSN Cadets believe that more effort should be made to attract and retain women to the Australian security industry. 


The AWSN Cadets program is run by its members, for its members.

  • The Cadets program is managed by a Committee comprised of 2-5 AWSN Cadets members within each local Australian state or territory.
  • The Committee’s core business is to organise local Cadets events throughout the calendar year.
  • All volunteers are supported in their roles as Committee Members, by:
    • 1-3 Industry Advisors: Female-identifying security professionals with > 3 years of industry experience;
    • The National Program Manager.

AWSN Cadets Volunteers 2020

National Program Managers

Skye Wu

National Program Manager (June 2020 – Present)

Jo Cave

National Program Manager (June 2020 – Present)

Liz B.

National Program Manager (March – May 2020)


1-4x Committee Members needed!

Alison Kidd

Industry Advisor

Yvonne Sears

Industry Advisor

Alison Dean

Committee Member


1-3x Industry Advisors needed!

Mal Parkinson

Committee Member

Jessica Williams

Committee Member

Tharanga Kasthuriarachchi

Committee Member

Adeline M.

Committee Member


More volunteers welcome!

Kathleen Kennedy

Industry Advisor

Kavitha Kamath

Committee Member

Ingrid M.

Committee Member


More volunteers welcome!

Bex (Hirdman) Nitert

Industry Advisor

Maddy Badarinathee

Committee Member

Meidi van der Lee

Committee Member


More volunteers welcome!


Industry Advisor

Maeesha Lohani

Committee Member

Charlotte Leonard – Brown

Committee Member


Committee Member

Akansha Pandey

Committee Member


More volunteers welcome!


Industry Advisor


Committee Member


Committee Member

AWSN Cadets Program Co-founders (2017)

Liz B.



Diane Loi



Jacqui Loustau

AWSN Founder

Past AWSN Cadets Volunteers

AWSN Cadets Melbourne

Cathy (Yunqiu) Weng – Committee Member
Ninessa Subrata – Committee Member
Aretha Peethamparam – Committee Member
Caitlin Sauza – Committee Member
Alison Fenwick – Industry Advisor



  • 11th March – AWSN Cadets program makes its events available nationally for all members via video conference, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.


  • 5th March – AWSN Cadets program is founded in Brisbane, QLD.
  • 19th December: AWSN Cadets program is founded in Canberra, ACT.


  • 29th June – AWSN Cadets’ first anniversary, with membership increasing from 10 to 65
  • 1st September – The first ever AWSN Cadets Committee is formally inducted, to start a new chapter of AWSN Cadets history.


  • 29th June – AWSN Cadets’ first anniversary, with membership increasing from 10 to 65
  • 1st September – The first ever AWSN Cadets Committee is formally inducted, to start a new chapter of AWSN Cadets history.
  • 29th June – AWSN Cadets was co-founded by Liz, Diane and Jacqui.
  • 14th August – First workshop held by Noushin Shabab on the topic of malware reverse engineering with 10 founding Cadets members.