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Radhika Orari aspires to address cybersecurity challenges in Bhutan

Posted: 24 April 2023

Bhutan, Experience, Impact, In Australia, Scholar,

Radhika Orari of Bhutan is studying a Master of Data Science at Deakin University with the support of an Australia Awards Scholarship. Radhika is passionate about assisting Bhutan address its cybersecurity challenges and has thrown herself into building her skills and networks while in Australia, both on campus and outside the university setting.

Radhika was featured as the ‘face of’ the Australia Awards – Bhutan promotions for study commencing in 2024. Through her reflections below, we gain an insight into her Australia Awards experience and advice for prospective Scholarship applicants.

What made you decide to apply for an Australia Awards scholarship?

I applied for an Australia Awards Scholarship because it presented an incredible opportunity to pursue my passion to safeguard the cyberspace of Bhutan while furthering my education and career aspirations. As a cybersecurity professional in Bhutan, I recognised the critical need for data-driven solutions to address the country’s cybersecurity challenges. Pursuing a Master of Data Science through an Australia Awards Scholarship was a natural fit, as it provides an opportunity to acquire knowledge and skills that could be applied directly to safeguard Bhutan’s cyberspace.

The scholarship not only offered a unique opportunity to access world-class education and training but Australia Awards are committed to fostering leadership and development among individuals from diverse backgrounds. It was inspiring for me to be part of a community of scholars with a shared vision of making a positive impact in the world.

Where and what are you studying?

Currently, I am pursuing a Master of Data Science at Deakin University in Melbourne. While pursuing my master’s degree is the primary goal of the scholarship, I am also committed to exploring how data science skills could be used for tackling security challenges from the industry perspective. To achieve this, I started by joining cybersecurity and data science clubs at the university where I had the opportunity to meet and listen to industry experts.

Radhika with other Victoria-based scholars

How has your Australia Awards Scholarship contributed to your personal and professional growth so far?

Through my studies and experiences, I have gained a deeper understanding of the intersection between data science and cybersecurity and how the two can be used to address complex challenges facing cyberspace. I am passionate about giving back to my community and I have already started to put my skills into action by volunteering as an in2science e-mentor. More importantly, I have learnt how to collaborate with people from diverse backgrounds and leverage their experiences and knowledge to solve complex problems. I am grateful to Australia Awards for not only providing me with world-class education but also opening doors to a variety of opportunities that have contributed to my personal and professional growth.

Can you share how you are growing your professional network during your Scholarship?

To expand my exposure to Australian culture and industry practices, I joined the Australian Women in Security Network and the Australian Information Security Association, both of which have provided me with valuable networking opportunities and exposure to industry experts and capacity development including workshops and training. I also had the opportunity to participate as a mentee in the cybersecurity mentoring program by AWSN, which allowed me to connect with like-minded professionals with much experience and passion to nurture women in security. I have also participated in virtual experience programs and have completed two virtual internship programs as of now, one from SAP on cybersecurity engineering and another by ANZ on cybersecurity management. Currently, I am doing a data science virtual internship program with KPMG.

Can you tell us a bit about your experience in Australia so far, beyond your academic studies?

Australia is a land of diversity, culture and awe-inspiring natural beauty. However, as you look closer at its Indigenous history and culture, you realise that this is what sets the country apart from others. Whether it was visiting museums, galleries, or exploring the natural wonders of regional Victoria, I have gained a deep sense of connection with Indigenous Australians, who share a lot of common values with my home country, especially in terms of their connection to the land, rich cultural heritage and history of struggle and resilience. From living the multicultural experience of the vibrant city to understanding Indigenous culture, my time in Australia so far has been truly transformative.

Radhika at the 2023 Scholars Forum

What do you hope to do in the future, particularly after your scholarship experience?

Looking ahead, I am excited to continue building a network of diverse professionals who share my vision of making the boundaryless digital world a safer space. As a cyber security professional specialising in data science, I aspire to be able to use automation and data-driven solutions to address Bhutan’s present security challenges, making it easier to recognise threats and attacks more quickly and efficiently. I also want to create a local community of cybersecurity data science experts and connecting them to global networks. Overall, I am grateful to Australia Awards for giving me the opportunity to make a positive impact in my country and beyond.

What advice would you give to potential Scholarship applicants?

For aspiring scholars, I cannot emphasise enough the privileges Australia Award Scholarships bring, not only to progress academically and professionally but also to build you as a person with broader exposure. With world-class education, training and networking opportunities, you have access to a plethora of opportunities, tools and resources you need to succeed. Recognise your goals for betterment of the community and an Australia Awards Scholarship will pave your way to your dreams.