Mr Jim Boekel (pictured), who studied information systems as a mature-age student, has been Highly Commended in the 2023 Charles Sturt University Alumni of the Year – Innovation, Entrepreneurship, Creativity category (one of six categories).
Charles Sturt University announced the winners of its 2023 Alumni Awards on Foundation Day, Wednesday 19 July, celebrating 34 years since the University’s inception and recognising graduates who are making a difference in the world, either professionally or as a volunteer.
Jim is the co-founder and CEO of Bluerydge, an award-winning and growing cybersecurity and technology firm supporting government, defence and industry. He established the business while he was studying and completing his master’s at Charles Sturt.
Before co-founding Bluerydge in 2019, Jim studied a Graduate Certificate in Information Systems Security (2019), and Master of Information Systems Security (2020) in the Charles Sturt School of Computing, Mathematics and Engineering and worked in a number of cybersecurity management and technical positions including Cybersecurity Lead for Lockheed Martin Australia.
“Being recognised with an Alumni Award is a huge honour and validation of all the determination, hard work and innovation required to grow a successful technology business. It provides great motivation to continue driving forward with energy and enthusiasm,” Jim said.
Jim is a highly accomplished leader and cybersecurity professional who possesses more than 20 years’ experience in executive, cybersecurity, governance, risk management, compliance and IT positions across government, defence and industry.
This led to Bluerydge winning the 2022 Prime Minister’s Veteran Employment Awards for Veteran Employer of the Year (Medium category) and was also the Overall winner in recognition of its work in the veteran community and its strong employment of veterans.
“Bluerydge has gone from strength to strength by focusing on the consistent delivery of high-quality outcomes for its customers, always putting its people first, and focusing on staying a specialist in the cybersecurity and technology fields,” Jim said.
Jim is known for his strong leadership, approachability, commitment to excellence and direct involvement with key activities across the business. His approach to leadership is one of inclusion and empowering all team members to succeed in their careers and broader life.
He leads the development of Bluerydge’s strategic approach, delivering outcomes to customers, attracting and retaining employees, innovation, growing business relationships, marketing and leading from the front as the company CEO.
“In addition to our overall comprehensive employee package, which includes generous additional provisions for parental leave and volunteer leave to give back to community, Bluerydge significantly funds professional development of our staff,” he said.
Jim has remained committed to industry excellence, growing the cyber security ecosystem and continuous professional development to ensure effective and innovative responses to the ever-evolving cybersecurity threat.
“My vision for professionals in the future cyber industry is to have a workforce that is diverse, adaptable, and constantly learning,” Jim said.
“This means that we need to prioritise and invest in continuous training and development opportunities for our professionals which can include on-the-job training, mentoring, industry certifications and formal education programs.
“I believe that the future of the cyber industry lies in a well-trained and highly skilled workforce. With the ever-evolving and increasing cyber threat landscape, it is critical that cybersecurity professionals possess a deep understanding of the latest technologies, threats, and mitigation strategies.”
Jim and Bluerydge were finalists at the 2023 Australian Cyber Security Awards for Cyber Security Executive and Cyber Security Company of the Year respectively, and have won multiple awards for their work in the cyber security and technology fields:
- Telstra Best of Business Awards – Outstanding Growth Finalist (ACT) 2023
- Telstra Best of Business Awards – Embracing Innovation Finalist (ACT) 2022
- Australian Small Business Champion – Winner 2022
- Prime Ministers National Veterans’ Employment – Employer of the Year Winner 2022
- Australian Defence Industry Awards – Cyber Business of the Year 2021
Australian Defence Industry Awards – Executive of the Year Finalist 2018