Dr Ian Oppermann, Vice President, Academic Boards at ACS discusses his role, key achievements, and why he will be voting yes to the proposed governance changes.

I have been an ACS member for seven years. In 2018, I was awarded Fellow status. For the last three years I have performed the role of Vice President, Academic Boards looking after the Technical Advisory Board (TAB) and its committees.

We have made lots of headway in the last couple of years. The TAB has made significant progress with data sharing frameworks, an important area with worldwide implications. We have produced technical reports and position papers on artificial intelligence and blockchain, and we have a cyber security essentials guide in the pipeline. We are also approached by state and commonwealth governments to provide high quality technical advice.

It is an exciting time to be part of ACS. The engines are fired up and we are making progress. There are so many changes happening in the digital economy, so this is exactly the right time to be doing this work. The TAB is doing our share to deliver on the ACS strategy.

I strongly believe the governance of ACS needs to change to maintain relevance, and for the organisation to be more agile.

By moving from an incorporated association to a company limited by guarantee, we will be in line with current trends on modern board composition and be more accountable to members. Members do not currently vote for who sits on the management committee – this is currently done via the National Congress, but they will be empowered under the new structure. Direct elections mean members can elect who sits on the board.

Our elected members strongly felt during the consultation process that there was sufficient expertise within the ACS membership to fill a skills-based role on the proposed Board of Directors.

As Dr Nick Tate wrote, the proposal also strengthens the ACS commitment to professionalism by enshrining the professional group further into the proposed new constitution. Under the proposal, you need to be a member of the professional division to be elected onto the Board of Directors. All voting members of ACS will then have the opportunity to elect candidates directly. We are anticipating that this will broaden the interest from amongst the ACS membership, and means ACS can attract the best talent to help guide us into the future.

ACS has always been and will always be a member-based professional body.

I will be supporting the resolution to change governance structure and encourage all members to do likewise.