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Melbourne to be most inclusive and diverse capital says Innovation Minister


Melbourne, Wednesday 21 February; Victorian Innovation Minister the Hon Philip Dalidakis has joined senior business leaders in Melbourne to recognise the value of diversity in the technology sector.

Speaking at a breakfast event on the topic of “Driving Inclusion and Diversity in the ICT Sector” the Minister said “Melbourne is globally known as the world’s most liveable city, having the best coffee, being the world’s greatest sporting and event capital…but that all pales into insignificance if we can be known globally as the world’s most inclusive capital, having the best and most diverse workforce. Now that is something to aim for and work towards.”

According to the flagship ACS research report Australia’s Digital Pulse, the ICT workforce continues to see under-representation of key demographics across the Australian population.

In 2016, only 12% of Australia’s ICT workforce were aged 55 years and older, compared to 16% of workers across all professional industries. In addition, women comprised only 28% of all ICT workers in Australia in 2016, a figure that has remained unchanged since Australia’s Digital Pulse was first published in 2015.

The Australian Network on Disability states that around 20 per cent of Australia’s population has a disability and it is estimated that 4 in 10 workers will be aged over 45 by 2020.

Director of Engaging Women Martine Harte convened a panel featuring Tim Fawcett, Director Corporate and Government Affairs at Cisco Systems Australia, Françoise Russo, CIO at TOLL Group, Chris Venter, General Manager Consumer Digital Technology at ANZ and Kistin Gunnis, Founder, Professional Women's Lunches. 

Speaking to a sold out room of 125 guests, the panel pointed to the importance of more inclusive language being a base to develop a more inclusive workforce, but that this must begin in the formative years and through the education system.

ACS Victoria Branch Chair Maria Markman welcomed the growing levels of diversity awareness and desire to break through the status quo.

“Today’s event shows that diversity is being taken seriously by major players in the technology sector and we are on our way to achieving greater inclusion. This will deliver benefits to the economy, the workforce and indeed the community.”

“We have a role to play as the professional association, but it is ultimately up to employers, government and the education sector to take the practical steps to achieve diversity targets. Based on the insights uncovered today it looks like we are on the right track.”

Further information

Thomas Shanahan, 0417 678 474


About the ACS

The ACS is the professional association for Australia's Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector. More than 27,000 ACS members work in business, education, government and the community. The ACS exists to create the environment and provide the opportunities for members and partners to succeed. The ACS strives for ICT professionals to be recognised as drivers of innovation in our society, relevant across all sectors, and to promote the formulation of effective policies on ICT and related matters. Visit for more information.