Predominately we need to acknowledge The Hon. Philip Dalidakis MLC, former Victorian Minister for Innovation, who attended a UK Foreign Office’s International Leadership Programme in March 2015. Philip met with Professor Sadie Creese the Founding Director of the Global Cyber Security Capacity Centre (GCSCC) and Professor Michael Goldsmith the current Director of GCSCC given his previous professional involvement in cyber security.
Philip was impressed with the work that the GCSCC has completed through maturity reviews in the Asian region and believed that there was strategic intent for the CMM model to be deployed further afield in the Pacific and be done by a locally based partner. This was consistent with the Commonwealth Cyber Declaration which required Commonwealth nations to review their cyber maturity through a CMM model.
The vision was for Melbourne to leverage its existing cyber research capacity and to use its geographic advantage to deliver the CMM in the Pacific. Discussions began during Philip’s first visit to the United Kingdom as a Minister in September 2015 which set the foundation for negotiations to develop what we now know as the OCSC.
Whilst the GCSCC was keen to look at a regional opportunity over a 2-year horizon, due to Philip’s support and the commitment of the Victorian Government, I was tasked to deliver an outcome in 6-months. With the assistance of the Victorian Trade and Investment Office in London, intensive negotiations commenced shortly after the Ministerial visit and by mid-2016, the Victorian Government, the GCSCC, the newly formed Data61 and 8 Victorian universities had agreed to a model which would become the OCSC. In addition to delivering the CMM, the parties agreed that they would use the Centre to coordinate their cybersecurity research expertise and skills to better inform and support the cyber security maturity development and the deployment of the other projects.
One of the first initiatives was for the newly-hired OCSC CMM project team to be trained at the GCSCC and subsequently participating in a mission to Northern Macedonia with the GCSCC and the World Bank. The first Pacific CMM mission under the new model was Samoa in April 2018.