Australian Computer Society
President's Report to Council
September 1997 - V1.1 7 September 1997
I last reported in February 1997 for the first Council meeting of the year. In the months since then, I have chaired the usual ACS Management Committee meetings and moderated the ACS Council mailing list. It has been pleasing for an Internet enthusiasts, such as myself, to see how the ACS has adopted this way of on-line working.
For 1997 I proposed to concentrate on two priorities: industry development; and on-line working. Lets see how well I did.
MediaThere were the usual daily queries from the press, organisations and the government. The ACS issued 26 media releases, roughtly divided into: industry development issues (13), professional (6) and social issues (4):
- 05-09-97 ACS Details IT Outsourcing Problems to Senate Committee
- 27-08-97 ACS Gives Cautious Welcome to IPAC Report
- 25-08-97 ACS Demands Urgent Response to Goldsworthy Report
- 18-02-97 ACS Delivers Strategic Vision for Australian IT
- 03-03-97 ACS Backs Australian R&D
- 04-03-97 ACS Supports Calls for Federal Government Vision for Industry
- 12-03-97 ACS Renews Calls for IT Vision in Wake of New Research
- 23-03-97 ACS Slams Federal Attitude to IT Funding
- 25-03-97 IT Venture Capital at Risk Says ACS
- 13-04-97 ACS Applauds Tasmanian Government’s Initiatives
- 18-04-97 ACS Seeks Input for Australian IT Research Strategy
- 16-05-97 ACS to Hypothesise Federal IT Outsourcing Plans
- 04-07-97 ACS Welcomes Northern Territory’s New Technology Portfolio
- 11-07-97 ACS Urges Caution on Whole of Government IT Outsourcing
- 25-07-97 ACS Welcomes and Endorses Mortimer Report
- 08-08-97 Fund IT Research, ACS Tells PM
- 04-03-97 ACS Attracts World Experts for Requirements Process Seminars
- 16-03-97 Australia Takes Stronger Role Within SEARCC
- 21-03-97 ACS Elects Honorary Life Members and Fellows
- 31-03-97 US Navy to Demonstrate On-Board Systems to Web Warriors
- 18-04-97 ACS Questions ACCC Attack on Professions
- 14-07-97 ACS Calls for Greater Cooperation on Year 2000
- 08-04-97 Keep Infrastructure Costs Low, Says ACS
- 05-05-97 Don’t Censor the Internet, Says ACS
- 16-05-97 ACS Welcomes IFIP Position on Cryptography
- 29-06-97 Wake Up to ‘Net Benefits, ACS Tells Legislators
Visits and TalksOne of my goals was to visit all ACS Branches, during my terms as President and I just about achieved it. Some notable event were:
- ACS talk on USS Blue Ridge in Sydney: After inspecting the IT systems on the US 7th Fleet Flagship at sea as part of my Defence work, I arranged a presentation for ACS members, on the ship in Sydney in March.
- Canberra: Cambridge or Thebes?: In April I wrote a short item looking at "Emulating Cambridge's High Technology Industry Success in Canberra". This was part of my work as the ACS member of the steering committee for the "Discipline Research Strategy for Information Technology" and followed a visit to Cambridge UK last year. Apart from this my work on the committee consisted of pushing for completion of the report and helping its promotion.
- Visit to South Australia: The Annual General Meeting was held in Adelaide in May. This is a relatively formal event, but was enlivened by a talk on the Year 2000 problem,
hosted by the SA Branch.
It was my pleasure to present a certificate of honorary life
membership, awarded by the Council, to Professor Hirst. Also I visited the MFP Technology Park.
- Visit to Victoria: In May I accepted an invitation from Phil Steele to present Mr. Ian Dennis, Managing Director of Whitehorse Strategic Group, with a fellow certificate at the Victorian Branch Forum. Ian specialises in strategic consulting, including outsourcing and he volunteered to prepare material on outsorcing for ACS members. John Reynolds, MD of David Syme & Co gave the branch forum address, with an impassioned plea for leadership in Australia. He criticised "bureaucratic Pentagon style leadership" so I had great delight in handing him my Department of Defence business card afterwards. ;-)
- Senate Internet Reguation Hearing: Also in May, I appeared with Philip Argy, head of the Economic, Legal, and Social Implications of Computing Committee, before the Senate Select Committee on Community Standards’ Inquiry into Computer On-line Services.
- Interact 97: For the opening of Interact 97 in July, I gave a "Five Minute Tour of Australia" and put the keynote address by Lucy Suchman of Xerox PARC on-line.
- Discipline Research Strategy for
Information Technology: The Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering released a draft report on IT Research funding, 8 August 1997. As the ACS's representative on the project steering committee I issued a overview and media release. This was very topical, coinciding with the Federal Government's sudden enthusiasm for IT.
- Meeting with Senator Natasha Stott Despoja: Andrew Freeman, Director of the Community Affairs Board, arranged a meeting with Senator Stott Despoja (Democrats) at Parliament House on 2 September. We had a productive discussion of issues of IT policy, including Internet regulation, outsourcing and IT industry development.
- IT Outsourcing
Senate Inquiry: On 5 September myself and Ian Dennis FACS,
author of the paper on
Outsourcing issues for ACS members, gave
to Senate Finance and Public Administration References Committee.
The committee was concerned to see an emphasis on industry development in
outsourcing policy. The photo shows Dr Ed Lewis (ADFA), Ian Dennis, myself and Professor Peter Weill (Melbourne Business School). Ed and Peter gave evidence after the ACS. The ACS Canberra Branch is holding a one day conference on
"The Relevance of Outsourcing to the IT
Professional" on 1 November and I will give the keynote address.
One More Branch to VisitThere is one branch I have yet to visit, one which I believe no ACS President has ever been to: the overseas branch. Later in the year I propose to hold an event via the Internet for overseas and remote members. This would build on the pioneering work done by ACS Remote.
ConclusionIn my "Request for support for election as ACS President or Vice-President", 11 September 1995, I wrote:
ACS members have spent too long in closed rooms telling each other how professional they are. IT is now of interest to the whole community. It is time to go out to the IT profession, other organisations, Government, and the general community to demonstrate how professional we are.
I hope over the last two years I have achieved at least part of that.
Tom Worthington MACS
7 September 1997
- ACS President's Reports to Council: February 1997 & September 1996
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