We are off and running in 2021 and I am looking forward to a different year for ACS compared to 2020.

As of 10 February 2021, the ACS Management Committee has been refreshed along with a full complement of ACS Congress members.

I would like to publicly welcome the newest members of Management Committee: Jo Dalvean, Helen McHugh and Chris Radbone who were elected onto Management Committee on 10 February, joining David Cook and Jo Stewart-Rattray who were elected in December 2020.

I am delighted to report that we have three women on Management Committee, acknowledging that this is still a long way from where we need to be, but it is a step in the right direction.

The full list of Congress representatives can be found here https://www.acs.org.au/governance/congress.html and I encourage you to contact your local Congress member, email firstname.lastname@acs.org.au, to raise opportunities and any issues, or simply to reach out and say hello.

I encourage each of you to offer your ideas and views on how ACS and the information technology sector can be better positioned for current and future demand.

With both Congress and Management Committee refreshed, we are committed to progressing the important work: developing an improved member value proposition, improving transparency, becoming a company limited by guarantee, and balancing the roles and capability of central office activities and the ACS Branches.

We are also committed to preparing for our next phase of the ACS strategy. As our current strategy runs to 2022, this year provides us the chance to drive a refresh that acknowledges the changed world we live in, with increased reliance on digital technology and enabling services, as well as changed societal and member expectations of the peak ICT professional body.

We also need to continue to address cultural issues identified within the ACS during 2020 and the SafeWork improvement notice the ACS received.

After the elections on 10 February, Congress was given updates on the internal audit requested in 2020, a presentation from the ACS Innovation Labs and a presentation from the ADMA group. Recommendations from the audit will led to improved internal processes. A better understanding of the current circumstances of the Innovation Labs and the ADMA group will help to inform thinking of how all the parts of ACS can drive value in the future.

I have asked Congress to seek out and bring forward ideas and some grass root actions to improve ACS transparency, improve ACS’s communications, and improve member value. There is no reason we cannot deliver these improvements, even as we confront the major tasks facing us all.

I am personally keen to get back to driving a national conversation on smart cities / smart places and the fundamentally enabling technologies which underpin the ‘smart’ in cities – AI, data sharing and use, privacy-enhancing technology, cybersecurity and IoT.

ACS will play an important role connecting, educating, developing resources, identifying issues and developing frameworks, and your support and ideas are welcome and valued.

Please reach out to your newly elected congress members. Ask for information.

Bring on 2021!