With less than two weeks to go before my tenure as ACS CEO comes to an end, I wanted to take a moment to thank the ACS community for its support, and reflect on some of the key milestones that I have had the privilege to be involved with.
I want to begin by thanking and acknowledging the tireless work of the Management Committee and all of our elected members. In any given year, there are more than 180 elected member roles each providing technical insight and demonstrating their passion for the enabling aspects of the IT profession to make a positive and meaningful impact on society. They give their time and insights freely for the greater good. Thank you!
I would like to recognise the Management Committee and National Congress for their leadership as guardians of professional standards and continuing to lift these standards over time, as well as their stewardship to ensure a sustainable and thriving ACS into the future. It has been a phenomenal effort to lift the asset base from less than $10m six years ago to over $33m today. As the economic downturn due to COVID-19 starts to grip, members can have confidence that ACS is well placed to support them during this unprecedented time.
It was this asset base that permitted ACS to roll out a free six-month membership extension to support all members during the onset of COVID-19 in Australia. With no monthly retention processes required for six months, the ACS membership rose to over 50,000. To respond to member feedback on declining professional grade members, this asset base also enabled a free certification campaign for members that saw growth from 4,633 in January this year to 5,347 in August.
Our staffing establishment has increased more than 50 per cent over the last two years. The team is incredible and very passionate about supporting members to thrive.
A number of members in the ACS community have asked what I will look back fondly on. I take the opportunity to share some of my favourites below:
- The establishment of our skills consulting operations being able to assist organisations undertake skills audits and plan professional development activities to address gaps in workforce capability including the release of ACS’ own Skills Whitepaper
- Renewing our Professional Standards Scheme
- Establishing specialisations in Cyber for both certification and accreditation (Deakin University Awarded first ACS Specialist Accreditation in Cyber Security)
- Being involved with the maintenance cycle and consultations for a reviewed Common Body of Knowledge
- Establishing the Reimagination Thought Leaders’ Summit as the highlight in the IT professional development calendar in Australia and being showcased with Special Reimagination Feature in the Australian Financial Review
- Generating broader awareness of IT career possibilities
- Opening the Technology & Innovation Hubs for ACS members in Sydney and opening of the ACS Technology & Innovation Hub in Docklands.
- Our public policy advocacy and in particular the production of #GameChangers Election Manifesto
- Taking a greater focus on tech startups and sharing their stories in Rockstar Aussie Founders
- Welcoming River City Labs and Start-up Catalyst into the ACS family
- Establishing Harbour City Labs and seeing residents succeed, such as Harrison AI as a resident of Harbour City Labs announces $29m capital raise
- Welcoming ADMA, DGA, IAPA, DT&C into the ACS family
- ACS Australia’s Digital Pulse over six years including having ACS Australia’s Digital Pulse 2019 launched by the Treasurer, The Hon Josh Frydenberg from the ACS Technology & Innovation Hub in Docklands
- Enhanced rigour of assessment practices using technology to support ACS role as an assessing authority for general skilled migration
- Working with CSIRO on the production of Tomorrow’s Digitally Enabled Workforce
- Education Services growing from strength to strength
- Launching the ACS Artificial Intelligence Hub in Docklands
- Establishment of the Digital Disruptor Awards
- Supporting the ACS Foundation with Big Day In and Junior Big Day In
- The #Flattenthecurve hack
- Establishing scholarships to support the next generation tech rockstars such as the ACS Indigenous Scholarship with Charles Darwin University and University of Sydney John Makepeace Bennett Postgraduate Scholarships
- ACS Thought Leadership publications, including Technology Impacts on the Australian Workforce
I look forward to cheering on the next stages of ACS’ evolution from the sidelines.
With thanks and my best wishes,