14 March 2023

Mamello Thinyane_500x500.jpg South Australia’s digital security has received a major boost with a United Nations computer science researcher appointed the inaugural Optus Chair of Cyber Security and Data Science at UniSA.

Dr Mamello Thinyane brings 15 years of international experience in managing digital development projects in Africa, Asia and Australia. 

The highly respected researcher joins UniSA and Optus from the United Nations University Institute in Macao, where he has led research into citizen cyber resilience and data and sustainable development for the past six  years.

Prior to that he worked at the University of Fort Hare in South Africa and is a former Visiting Researcher at the Australian Centre of Cyber Security at UNSW in Canberra.

Dr Thinyane’s appointment is a co-funded role, building on the strategic alliance between Optus and UniSA announced in 2020, designed to deliver research outcomes that drive technology innovations for Australia’s most critical industries and educate Australia’s next generation of cybersecurity and data science specialists.

He will lead a team within the Cyber Security Research and Collaboration Hub at Lot Fourteen, focused on innovative research and teaching.

Dr Mamello Thinyane

“Australia and the global community will not be resilient to the evolving cyber threats until we strengthen the ‘weakest’ links in the cyber security ecosystem.

“This partnership between Optus and UniSA provides an opportunity to train the next generation of cyber security professionals, undertake powerful applied research, and to find solutions to some of the most pressing societal cybersecurity challenges.

“I am excited to be taking up this position and look forward to strengthening collaborations and partnerships with key stakeholders as we address these challenges and exploit the opportunities before us”.

Gladys Berejiklian, Managing Director, Enterprise, Business and Institutional at Optus

“In 2020, Optus and UniSA partnered to fund research and teachings that would advance cybersecurity innovation and skills for the next generation. Today that commitment hits its first milestone with the appointment of Dr Mamello Thinyane and further proves our dedication to UniSA and our wider university partner ecosystem.

“We know that this investment will go a long way towards helping fight against cybercrime, something we know from experience impacts businesses of all sizes, but more importantly, affects Australians that rely on those businesses.

“I would like to extend a warm welcome to Dr Mamello Thinyane as he develops a world-class cyber security and data science research program at UniSA. I look forward to seeing the exceptional contributions that he and his students will deliver and hope many of them will look to further their careers helping in the fight against cybercrime after graduating.”

Professor Marnie Hughes-Warrington AO, UniSA Deputy Vice Chancellor Research and Enterprise

“It is a real coup for UniSA and the State to secure Dr Mamello Thinyane for this new role, given his global experience in computer science.

“Cybercrime is costing the Australian economy more than $30 billion a year, and increasing at an alarming rate, affecting organisations and millions of individuals right across the country.

“Our motto at UniSA is that cybersecurity is everyone’s business and we have taken this a step further with Optus, joining forces to reduce the risks of attacks through ongoing research and teaching.

“Under Dr Thinyane’s leadership we will develop new technology that Optus and other organisations and sectors, including defence, can deploy to strengthen data security. Our goal is to make South Australia a leading centre of cybersecurity and data science.” 


Media contact: Candy Gibson M:  0434 605 142 E: candy.gibson@unisa.edu.au



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