AWSN Cadets



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.



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






Physically located in Australia

18+ years of age

Have 0-3 years of work experience in the security industry





3+ years of security industry experience

Physically located in Australia

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
  • Job-internship opportunities
  • Special interest groups
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 critical professional skills (such as leadership and powerful communication skills)



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: 



Liz Bonny
Diane Loi
Jacqui Loustau


The AWSN Cadets was co-founded by Liz Bonny, Diane Loi and Jacqui Loustau in 2017. They wanted to create a program for female tertiary students to come together to learn and practice their cybersecurity skills. They also wanted to break the perception that security was only Pen testing and to connect female students from different Universities/Tafe’sTertiary institutions. 

It started off with some small technical workshops where the students learnt from generous coaches who gave up their time to teach them what it’s really like to work in security. They learnt about malware revere engineering, pen testing, forensics, application security and visited various SOC’s across Melbourne.  

This first cohort became great friends (and are still friends). They have all now graduated and moved into various jobs in software development and cybersecurity. 

Since then, the program has grown nationally and has been opened up to also those who are transitioning into security. 

The national program is now managed by Skye Wu and Jo Cave. 

Skye Wu
Jo Cave