Editor's Note: Please note that this activity took place before COVID-19 social distancing restrictions were put in place. Defence is currently following whole-of-government guidance from the Department of Health in relation to COVID-19. For more information on Defence's response to COVID-19, visit https://news.defence.gov.au/national/defence-response-covid-19.
Having studied IT at school, and “always having an interest in it”, there was a good chance that Petty Officer Talei Stoll would work in the industry.
Talei joined the Royal Australian Navy 17 years ago as a Communication Information System sailor. Little did she realise then that she would end up where she is now - trailblazing a career in cyber security with the Chief Information Officer Group’s Defence Security Operations Centre (DSOC) as a Cyber Watch Coordinator.
Talei first put her foot in the door into cyberspace after returning from maternity leave in 2016, attending Maritime Cyber Operations Training before posting to the Royal Australian Air Force’s 462 Squadron and Navy’s Fleet Cyber Unit - contributing to the formation of Navy’s cyber capability.
“I decided to take the leap into cyberspace operations for the challenge, and I’ve definitely achieved that,” Talei said.
“I’ve only been at the DSOC for a month, but I’m enjoying my time here thus far and am excited to see what the future holds.”
Invited to be on the panel of the Department of Defence’s International Women’s Day 2020 Women in Cyber event, which was hosted by the Information Warfare Division, Petty Officer Stoll provided her insights into the perception of the cyber industry, which may be why there are such low numbers of women.
“When people think of cyber security they think of people in dark rooms in hoodies with code. And while that’s a part of it, it’s not all techie.
“There are other jobs in the cyber security realm. It’s really about challenging that type of mentality and perception and flipping it around.
“There are so many opportunities in Defence to work in cyber. As an example, Navy has just established a new category called Cryptologic Networks (CTN).
“So if this is something that interests you, there is a challenging career, in either the technical or non-technical worlds of cyber, that is just waiting for you to get into.”
Enquiries for a career in cyber can be made through Defence Force Recruiting, or through your career adviser for those already serving in the Australian Defence Force.
Imagery of the Women in Cyber event is available on the Defence Image Gallery: http://images.defence.gov.au/S20201141.