Early Australian video game developer John De Margheriti has been recognised for his contriubtion to the local IT sector by taking out the 2022 Pearcey Medal.
Margheriti founded game studio Micro Forté back in 1985 and saw his company play a pivotal role in the creation of massively multiplayer online games (MMO) through its subsidiary BigWorld Technology.
Chair of the Pearcey Foundation Wayne Fitzsimmons thanked Margheriti for his service to the IT community.
“John De Margheriti’s lifetime contribution to the establishment and ongoing success of the Australian games industry cannot be underestimated,” Fitzsimmons said.
“Without his vision, tenacity and passion, I doubt the industry would be as successful and vibrant as it is now.
“John has effectively had an influence on just about every Australian games studio and developer in operation today, not to mention his contribution to the broader ICT community and the international games industry.”
Margheriti is seen as the ‘founding father’ of the Australian video games industry. One of BigWorld’s biggest clients was Microsoft and its software was used to create the global success World of Tanks game.
He also founded the Game Developers Association of Australia and helped create the original Australian Game Developers Conference back in 1999.
Margheriti’s Pearcey Medal win also saw him inducted into the foundation's Hall of Fame alongside technology journalism stalwart Len Rust and entrepreneur Bevan Slattery.
“Each of this year’s recipients are rightly acknowledged as the very best of the best in our industry, and true visionaries and pioneers in their respective fields,” Fitzsimmons said about the year’s Hall of Fame inductees.
“It’s an honour to elevate John, Len and Bevan to a permanent place in the Pearcey Hall of Fame.”
The 2022 National Entrepreneur Award went to Dr Mark Englund, founder and CEO of infrastructure sensing company FibreSense.
Dr Englund was chosen from seven state and territory Entrepreneur Award recipients.
Chief Judge for the Pearcey Foundation Rick Harvey said all of this year's State Entrepreneurs of the Year embodied the values of risk taking, making a difference, and being inspirational.
“Mark is a fantastic representative for this group,” he said.
“As an awesome entrepreneur, battling against all odds to successfully bring to the world some amazing, innovative, ground-breaking, and all-Australian technology that is making an impact on the global technology stage.”
2022 State Pearcey Entrepreneur Awards
ACT: Instaclustr co-founders Ben Bromhead and Adam Zegelin.
NSW: Dr Mark Englund, founder and CEO at FiberSense.
SA: co-founder and CEO of Fleet Space Technologies, Flavia Tata Nardini.
TAS: Andrew Davies, founder and CEO of Taz Drone Solutions
VIC: Jason Lohrey, CEO and founder of Arcitecta.
WA: Mahmood Hussein, founder and CEO of Global Drone Solutions.