Our volunteers shine with Women in Security awards nominations

THE quality of AISA volunteers has again been highlighted with several nominated in this year’s CSO Women in Security Awards.

Nominated are:

  • Mandy Turner: Brisbane branch chair (Most Outstanding Woman in Security in Australia, and Security Champion)
  • Laura Lees: Sydney committee member (Best Student Security Leader)
  • Simon Stahn: Brisbane committee (Male Champion of Change)
  • Sharmila Packiaraja: Darwin chair (Unsung Hero in Security)
  • Nicole Murdoch: Board member (Security Champion)
  • Chloe Hatzis: Melbourne committee member (One to Watch)

Speaking from Darwin, Ms Packiaraja (pictured) told AISA that progress had been made for women in security but there was still room for improvement.

“How many people are getting on board? Are they getting on board for the right reason or are they doing it because they are meeting their KPIs?” she said.

“It’s a huge question. People need to be honest about this.

“They need to think about the future generation … and change their behaviours and get out of their old school way of thinking.”

In some instances, direct managers might disregard higher-up intentions to become more pro-woman, she said.

“Like, everything looks good on paper but is it actually implemented? That is the question.”

Outside of her job as an information security manager at Kinetic IT in Darwin, Ms Packiaraja is active in the community promoting cyber safety through school, university, government and industry engagement and through thought leadership.

“You can’t be the saviour all the time so you’re building their knowledge and awareness.”

She said that in IT transformations and deployments, security considerations could be regarded as a “roadblock”. Women tended to be good communicators, she said, which helped smooth the way.