Close to 800 Sydney Catholic Schools students have gained new technology skills thanks to a coding challenge geared towards filling a critical cyber security skills shortage in Australia.

Marist College Eastwood accounted for a record 560 of the 794 students from Sydney Catholic schools who enrolled in this year’s Cyber Live challenge.

Cyber Live is one of four international coding-based challenges, run by technology education charity Grok Academy, that Year 7 to 10 students from Marist College take part in each year.

Sarah Hasman, the college’s Assistant Technological and applied studies (TAS) Coordinator, said the challenge teaches students valuable collaboration and problem-solving skills. 

The Cyber Live challenge also hones students’ ability to analyse information and helps boost their awareness of current cyber security practices.

“A lot of students think they know about how to be safe online, but they don’t really,” Ms Hasman added. “This developed that knowledge for them.”

Other opportunities to develop web-based skills, including a Grok web design challenge, are embedded into the college’s Year 9 Information and Software curriculum to enhance students’ technological literacy.

After completing the web design challenge, participants each received a certificate with a grade distinction, credit or pass to add to their resume. 


The 2022 Cyber Live challenge asked students to trace clues and work out a way to stop a large-scale simulated cyber attack on Sydney’s public landmarks.

“It sort of felt like an escape room. It was engaging,” participating Year 9 Information and Software Technology (IST) student, Rayneer Liong, said.

“Lots of jobs now are tech based so learning this allows us to have a wider job range.”

Rayneer’s peer, Alex Moujali, agreed. 

“I like HTML and coding in general,” Alex said. “This trains our attention to detail and problem solving.”