Chris Sheahan: The Veteran Transition Experience

Tuesday, 9 November 2021

Article by Chris Sheahan, Cyber Security Manager, KPMG



36 year old Cyber Security Manager Chris Sheahan has been working with KPMG for the last two years. Chris is married with two daughters and worked within the Royal Australian Engineers for over eight years. Having an adventurous childhood growing up in a mining family both in Australia and Papua New Guinea (PNG) Chris was never going to be content with an average 9-5 career. Looking toward the Army as an environment to provide the adventure he craved, Chris enlisted as a Combat Engineer and after a few years went on to apply for, and graduate from, the Royal Military College, Duntroon, where he was commissioned and went on to serve back with the Engineers. 

After Chris injured his ankle, he was medically discharged and transitioned into a Security Operations management role; eventually, this transitioned into the Cyber Security field. This work saw Chris conduct tasks in Africa and later as a contractor to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade where Chris was the Project Manager for the National Cyber Security Centre within PNG. When his youngest daughter was on the way, Chris took a role with KPMG Australia so he could spend more time at home. He now works closely with the Australian Defence Force as a consultant in a Cyber Security role. Chris has also spent a significant amount of his spare time as a Volunteer with the South Australian Country Fire Service, where he was a Captain of a Brigade prior to leaving due to work and family commitments. In this role Chris responded to a range of emergency incidents from major bushfires to vehicle accidents, rescues and structural fires. 

His greatest accomplishment has been working closely with DFAT and international partners in providing Cyber Security protection to the APEC 2018 summit, then moving forward and developing Cyber Incident Management Arrangements for PNG on a national scale. With a background in Defence Chris has found his ability to communicate with and understand the intent of Defence teams to be a significant advantage within his role. Chris has been able to utilise his Defence experience in analysis, planning and management to execute a number of high profile engagements in complex environments.  

In reflecting on his work after being a member of the ADF, Chris is proud to have a continued positive impact on Australia’s cyber posture as well as contributing to regional security objectives. Chris values a work environment where supervisors and managers are able to provide their team with the tools and trust required to push forward and achieve a range of goals in support of an objective. Being task focused, disciplined and analytical Chris enjoys finding solutions to complex issues within his role.

In his spare time Chris enjoys spending time with his family and studying, and is set to receive his Graduate Certificate in Cyber Security in 2022. 

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