From IB to Cyber Security - Spotlight on Alumnus Kaden


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“The International Baccalaureate (IB) is a global leader in international education—developing inquiring, knowledgeable, confident, and caring young people. Our programmes empower school-aged students to take ownership in their own learning and help them develop future-ready skills to make a difference and thrive in a world that changes fast."*

We love hearing from Academy Alumni as to where their IB Diploma has taken them for University studies and in life. Kaden Dale (Class of 2021) has taken a unique path in his career interest in cyber security, commencing a Bachelor of Computing and Cyber Security with the University of New South Wales, Canberra at the Australian Defence Force Academy, a fully sponsored offer under the Defence Civilian Undergraduate Sponsorship Program.

Kaden shares where his IB studies are taking him in 2022:

"Since finishing at QAHS, I have moved to Canberra to start my university studies in the ACT. During my final year at QAHS, I applied to the Department of Defence to be considered for what is known as a Defence Civilian Undergraduate Sponsorship or DCUS. The DCUS is a sponsorship program that is offered each year, to around 30 Australian citizens, who are applying to university for the first time, to study in fields that the Department of Defence believes are going to be important for Australia's defence but currently lack a supply of university graduates. This year's DCUS courses included Aeronautical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Computing and Cyber Security.

In essence, I study my chosen degree, a Bachelor of Computing & Cyber Security, as a civilian student at the Canberra campus of the University of New South Wales while sharing the grounds and classes with Australian Defence Force Academy military students. Provided I pass all my subjects throughout my degree, my university fees will be completely paid for by the Department of Defence, along with a $2000 per year allowance for expenses and an opportunity of 12 weeks paid work experience within the Department of Defence. Upon the completion of my degree, I will have the opportunity to join the Defence Graduate Program, opening pathways into positions within organisations such as the Australian Signals Directorate and the Defence Intelligence Organisation. DCUS also does not bring with it any obligation for military service.

For other students who may be interested in the DCUS, there is a defence jobs application, interview, UAC (Universities Admissions Centre - NSW/ACT) application and possible security/psychological clearance processes. This process can differ year to year so make sure to look for up to date information on the Department of Defence and UNSW Canberra websites as it becomes available. The application process also starts quite early (around August/September) so it's best to start early.

Outside of academics, I have been able to transfer my part-time job at Woolworths that I had worked throughout my QAHS life back home to a new store here in Canberra. I was taken on by a local online manager who was impressed with my efficiency statistics in online order picking, something I did do somewhat frequently but wasn't my main job back home. I'm now work focused on fulfilling online orders for a suburban store and online home deliveries for many areas of western Canberra."

Kaden liaised with our Guidance Officer Mr Paul Haydock on his desired future studies path and was able to locate the Defence Civilian Undergraduate Sponsorship Program as an opportunity best suited to his career pathway. Congratulations Kaden on making what you wanted to do become a reality for life after QAHS.

*Source: International Baccalaureate Organization. (2005-2022). About the IB. Retrieved 24 February, 2022 from

Vanessa Rebgetz

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Last reviewed 25 February 2022
Last updated 25 February 2022