Australian Cybersecurity Education Summit 2019: Speakers


Mike Burgess

Director-General, Australian Signals Directorate

In December 2017, the Prime Minister announced Mr Burgess as the Director-General of the Australian Signals Directorate and he commenced his appointment on 4 January 2018.

Prior to his appointment to ASD, Mr Burgess was an independent consultant specialising in strategic cyber security advice. In 2017, Mr Burgess was also a member of the Federal Government’s naval shipbuilding advisory board, a member of the board of the Australian Cyber Security Growth Network and a non-executive director of SC8 Limited.

Mr Burgess was a member of the Prime Minister’s expert panel for Australia’s 2016 Cyber Security Strategy. Previously Mr Burgess was the Deputy Director for Cyber and Information Security at the Defence Signals Directorate (DSD) from 2008 to 2013.

Mr Burgess has a degree in electronics engineering from the South Australian Institute of Technology. He worked in private industry before joining the Defence Science and Technology Organisation in 1991 working in the field of imaging radar. Mr Burgess joined DSD as a collection engineer in 1995. During his career at DSD Mr Burgess held a variety of roles spanning the intelligence, security, capability development and executive aspects of DSD’s business. He left DSD in early 2013 to become Telstra’s Chief Information Security Officer. He held this role until November 2016.


Richard Buckland

Professor, Cybersecurity UNSW Sydney

Richard Buckland is a Professor in Computer Security, Cybercrime, and Cyberterror at UNSW Sydney. He has trained thousands of Security Engineers over the past two decades, many of whom are now leading Australian cyber security professionals. He is the Director of UNSW’s Security Engineering Capability Institute (SECedu) which is a joint educational partnership between UNSW and the Commonwealth Bank. UNSW Security Engineering students are well known in the industry, winning the Government’s national cybersecurity university challenge CySCA every year since it commenced in 2012. Richard is regularly consulted as a commentator by the media on cyber security issues, appearing on ABC TV and radio, Sky News and in print media. His online lecture videos have had millions of views, and he is sought after as a keynote speaker on security and education internationally.

Richard is a passionate educator. He promotes teaching which is inspiring, which is a pleasure for students to experience, which is hands on and interactive, which has extremely high technical standards, which changes students, and which is based around teachers as mentors partnering with students and learning in a close educational community where all help and encourage each other. He has been awarded both the Australian ICT educator of the year and the Australian Engineering Educator of the Year, as well as nearly a dozen other major peer reviewed awards for the impact of his educational work with schools, universities, the vocational sector, professional development for experts, and open public education. He is the UNSW Academic Student Advocate, and has held leadership positions and been awarded educational honours from numerous educational bodies within Australia and internationally. His security engineering courses at UNSW are extremely popular and this year have an intake of nearly 500 students.


Brendan Hopper

General Manager, Commonwealth Bank Cybersecurity Centre

Brendan Hopper is the General Manager of the Commonwealth Bank Cyber Security Centre which works around the clock to actively defend customers and vital bank infrastructure from cyber threats. He formerly led the Bank's Cyber Architecture, Secure Coding and Penetration Testing practice. He has been a well known member of the Australian security community for over 15 years – initially in vulnerability research with a strong technical and applied security focus, and then also in security leadership and policy.

Brendan has been a highly successful influence on Australia security education since 2009 – contributing to cyber security curriculum design, course creation, and lecturing at the University of New South Wales as well as speaking at a number of academic and industry conferences and panels on security education, the emergence of the profession, the importance of employers and educators working together rather than as isolated stages in a linear process, empowering community amongst students, and how to make security fun.

Brendan is a forthright and engaging speaker, who speaks openly about the principles behind his remarkably successful experiences in education, in mentoring, and also about the unexpected joys of helping students learn.

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Rachael Falk

CEO, Cyber Security Cooperative Research Centre

Rachael is the Chief Executive Officer of the Cyber Security Cooperative Research Centre (Cyber Security CRC). The Cyber Security CRC is focused on delivering research with impact and solving industry-led cyber security problems with innovative, research-driven solutions.

 Rachael comes to the Cyber Security CRC with a strong commercial and cyber security background having practiced as a lawyer for 15 years both in leading law firms and also in-house at Telstra Corporation Limited. Rachael became Telstra’s first General Manager of Cyber Influence. More recently she has been a cyber security consultant. She is the co-author of the ‘Five Knows of Cyber Security’, and has a keen interest in legal and policy issues surrounding cyber security.

 Rachael also holds a Bachelor of Arts from the ANU and Bachelor of Laws (Hons) from the University of Technology (Sydney) and in 2016 graduated from the ANU with an  Advanced Masters in National Security Policy (Hons) from the National Security College.