Australian Computer Society

ACS President's 1996 New Years Day Message to Members

Photograph of Tom Worthington by Heide 
Smith This is my first opportunity to address you as President. The ACS aims to further information technology and the competence of IT professionals in its use. How can we best achieve the Society's objects during 1996?:

With a new year it is customary to make new year's resolutions; so here are mine for the ACS:

Invitation to IFIP'96

In 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 2001

While 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 Communities

We 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

G.P.O. Box 446, Canberra A.C.T. 2601, Australia
Telephone: (06) 247 4830, Fax: (06) 249 6419, E-mail:


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About the ACS

The 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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