The new year has brought a change at ACS Tasmania, with Dr Tristan Richards announced as the new State Manager.

Richards replaces previous State Manager, Marc Portlock, who has taken on the position of Strategic Initiatives Executive for ACS’ Technical Advisory Board.

Although she has extensive experience across government and industry, it was partly fate that brought Richards to ACS.

In her previous position, Hobart Community Hub Manager at Enterprize Tasmania, she helped ACS Tasmania move into its new offices in the start-up hub.

With her office located next to Marc’s, she soon began to learn more about ACS and eventually applied for the role.

While originally from Victoria, Richards identifies as a proud and passionate Tasmanian, and hopes she can utilise her experience and understanding of the Tasmanian digital ecosystem to assist in the island state’s digital transformation.

“I’m thinking about IT professionals that are working in traditional sectors, like health, advanced manufacturing, agriculture,” she said.

“ICT is really important and is embedded in those sectors, but there needs to be support for those professionals working in those areas because it can be undervalued and underinvested.”

Having previously been involved in the LoRaTAS IoT project, she is invested in growing Tasmania’s knowledge economy and accelerating it onto the global market.

“Tasmania can really grow by exporting its IP, creativity and ideas,” she said.

“You’re actually exporting your intellect, and that’s around skill development, and education and workforce development, that’s what’s really important.

“There’s an opportunity for people who have the right skills to build their own businesses in Tasmania and be part of a global supply chain, be able to contribute globally but still be based in Tasmania – and that’s what we want to aspire to.”

Prior to her position at Enterprize, Richards worked across the Tasmanian public sector, including positions with CSIRO’s Data61, the Department of State Growth, Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment, and the Tasmanian Police.

She also brings with her experience in academia, holding a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Geography and Environmental Studies from the University of Tasmania.