ACS Canberra has lost one of its founders, following the passing of ACS Fellow Barry Smith, aged 83, on 9 January 2018.
Smith was the foundation secretary of the Canberra Computer Society in 1965, before it turned into ACS Canberra.
He was part of the executive committee that decided to disband the Canberra Computer Society and re-establish as ACS Canberra.
Within ACS he established himself, first as national Vice President from 1967-1969, and then as Chairman of ACS Canberra from 1969-1971.
His path into ICT and computing was an indirect one.
After completing a philosophy degree at Adelaide University, Smith went on to begin his career as a high school teacher.
However, he soon moved to Canberra to continue his studies in philosophy, beginning a PhD at Australian National University.
He eventually discontinued his studies, and in 1958, at the dawn of computing in Australia, he joined the Commonwealth Public Service, and soon began working on programs for the Bureau of Census and Statistics.
Barry (sitting with his back to the camera) working on early computing at Australian National University in 1964. Source: Supplied.
In the Public Service he was made responsible for software development and staff training.
In 1966 he moved back to ANU, where he was appointed as a fellow at the computer centre.
Barry was also a published author, releasing 'The present and future use of computers in Australia and employment implications' alongside Barry de Ferranti in 1976, which can still be found on the shelves of the National Library of Australia today.
Here he was responsible for introducing the first computer science courses to ANU.
His career continued to vary, with time at the Schools Commission, the NSW Computer Education Unit, the Family Court, and as a freelance consultant.
In February 2015, Barry was presented with an honorary membership as part of ACS Canberra’s 50-year celebrations.