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TAFE NSW’s Pooja leads the way for women in IT

TAFE NSW Wagga Wagga

TAFE NSW’s Pooja leads the way for women in IT

A TAFE NSW cyber security graduate is using skills gained in the classroom and on the job to help keep a major Albury building and facility management firm safe from online criminals.

Pooja Dhanwan, who completed a Certificate IV in Cyber Security at TAFE NSW Wagga Wagga, is now working as a help desk officer and cyber security trainer at Albury’s Joss Group, as one of three women in the company’s IT department.

As part of her duties, Ms Dhanwan, works with her colleagues across the company, training them to be aware of cyber threats and helping them to understand how to avoid the risks.

“I compare it to air bags in cars – people think they don’t need to know about them until they have a crash – so it’s a great opportunity to share the skills I’ve learned at TAFE NSW and at work to keep us safe,” she said.

“TAFE NSW provided me with hands-on experience which has perfectly integrated into what I’m doing in the IT and cyber security spaces with the Joss Group, and I really enjoy helping my colleagues and continuing to learn from them in turn.”

“I’m also giving back by teaching IT at TAFE NSW, so I’m able to bring my learnings from industry to educate the next generation of students.”

As one of a small but growing number of women working in cyber security, Ms Dhanwan has entered the industry at a time when the Data Institute estimates Australia will need an extra 17,600 cyber security professionals by 2026.

The Joss Group’s Office-IT manager Deirdre Bridge said Ms Dhanwan was an important addition to the team, which is aiming to increase its number of women in IT.

“Recruiting someone of Pooja’s calibre has been great for our team and we’re already using her to train other staff which is a great testament to what she has learned on the job and through her studies at TAFE NSW,” Ms Bridge said.

“The contribution she’s made in the IT and cyber security space reflects really well on the value to us of recruiting TAFE NSW graduates who arrive in the workforce with the practical and technical knowledge needed to make an immediate difference.”

Ms Dhanwan is reluctant to call herself a role model for other women, saying she’s still learning her profession, but she hopes her experiences will encourage women to train for an industry with strong job opportunities.

“I was the only woman in my class at TAFE NSW but since then I’ve seen more women coming into the sector and I tell them that if I can do it, they can too,” she said.

“There are lots of job opportunities in this role and there’s so much to learn and experience, so I’d encourage any women with an interest in IT to study at TAFE NSW and get started on a great career.”

Media contact: Melanie Pope, TAFE NSW Communications Specialist,, 02 7920 5000