Australian Computer Society
ACS President's 1996 New Years Day Message to Members
- To further the study, science and application of information technology.
- To promote, develop and monitor competence in the practice of information technology by persons and organisations.
- To maintain and promote the observance of a code of ethics for members of the Society.
- To define and promote the maintenance of standards of knowledge of information technology for members.
- To promote the formulation of effective policies on information technology and related matters.
- To extend the knowledge and understanding of information technology in the community.
- To promote the benefits of membership of the Society.
- To promote the benefits of employing members of the Society.
With a new year it is customary to make new year's resolutions; so here are mine for the ACS:
- Lead the profession and help the community:
The Society has taken the lead on public policy for the so called "Information Superhighway" in Australia.
submissions to Government helped set the direction for Australia.
There is much still to be done on issues, such as Internet regulation and
I urge all members to make practical contributions both on
on public policy and technical issues, for the benefit of the community.
The Australian Computer Journal, our quarterly publication, is
contributions for a special edition on this topic.
- Pratical help for IT practitioners: We must not forget the needs of the IT practitioner in keeping up to date with IT developments. In my own work I have found ACS meetings, publications, conferences and seminars of daily pratical value. We will keep providing help with down-to-earth topics to keep you current.
- Promote the ACS: While supporting reforms of ACS structure and operations, I believe that the organisation is in good shape. We need to direct our efforts outwards: to promote the benefits of the ACS to employers, IT practitioners and the general community. This will be my priority for 1996.
- Continue the reforms of the ACS structure and operations: Reforms of ACS structure and operations are already under way. Your Branch councillors have been discussing how to keep the ACS and the profession up to date with the advances in technology. Proposals were outlined in ACS publications. To become involved, please contact your branch office.
- Use on-line services in ACS operation: You may know my enthusiasm for the Internet. ACS won't eliminate paper in 1996, but there is potential to better integrate networking into the basic operations of the organisation. With our enhanced ACSlink Internet service for members, we can eliminate much of the paperwork which encumbers ACS volunteers. We can aim for electronic distribution of documents and publications as an option, for all those members who want it.
Invitation to IFIP'96In September 1996 we are hosting IFIP'96 - 14th World Computer Congress in Canberra. It's just down the road from my office at the Department of Defence. Please join in. If you can't come to Canberra, there are pre-conference workshops in Sydney and Melbourne, and you can join me in the on-line activities.
Bring Australia to the world by 2001While I have tried to focus on pratical initiatives, which can be achieved during 1996, please allow me one grand vision:
Almost one hundred years ago Australia's founders created a new nation, linked by the telecommunications technology of the day. A few days ago I crossed Australia from Sydney to Perth on the Indian-Pacific train. This follows the route of the original trans-contential telegraph line. That journey took me almost three days. This message was sent back on a fibre optic cable in a few milliseconds.
Five years from this day Australia will celebrate the centenary of its foundation, at the start of a new millennia. As a contribution to the celebrations I propose that we implement project "Australis", first outlined in an ACS submission to Parliament in 1993. This would be the most advanced and complete on-line guide to the culture and people of any nation. Australis will include a "virtual reality" tour of Australia: from Pacific to Indian Oceans, from the Antarctic to the Tropics, from beneath the waters of the Barrier Reef to the top of Mount Kosiosko, from forty thousand years ago to tomorrow.
Creating CommunitiesWe need to remind ourselves that technology is not an end in itself. Peter Drucker wrote that the product of non-profit organisations is "changed human beings". He suggested the challenge was to give community and common purpose and to build the organisation around information and communication, instead of around hierarchy.
We have the opportunity to discover how to give community and common purpose in ACS activities and the obligation to apply that knowledge for the benefit of the whole community.
IT is creating a closer world community. For the few days of IFIP'96 our colleagues around the world will be looking to Australia. During that time I propose to extend an invitation to our sister societies throughout the world, and through them to all people of all nations, to visit Australia and celebrate our centenary. Those who cannot visit us in person, can tour Australia on-line, to see a nation confident in its technical achievements and ready to contribute to the world community.
Tom Worthington MACS
1 January 1996
- ACS Submission on the Olympic Games, to the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology, 28 November 1993; Proposed project "Olympus" for Games information and "Australis" for cultural information via the Internet.
- Drucker, Peter F., "Managing the Non-Profit organization: practices and principles", Harper Collins, New York, 1990, ISBN 0-0601-6507-3; Pages: xiv, xv and 115
About the ACSThe Australian Computer Society is the professional association in Australia for those in the computing and information technology fields. It was established in 1966. The Society has over 15,000 members and on a per capita basis is one of the largest computer societies in the world.
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