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First female winner of ACS South Australia Young Professional Award recognised for helping autistic workers into tech

The 2019 ACS South Australian Young Professional Award goes to the manager of DXC’s Dandelion Project, the IT group’s autism employment program.

Adelaide, 30 August: Felicia Vozzo, manager of DXC’s Dandelion Program, has won the 2019 ACS South Australia Young Professional award, the first woman to win the prize in its twenty years.

The DXC Dandelion Program offers roles to people on the Autism Spectrum in software testing, data analytics and cyber security. Participants are working in support positions with DXC’s clients which include the Department of Defence, the Australian Department of Human Services, ANZ Bank, NAB, Department of Social Services and the Department of Home Affairs.

Ms Vozzo said on receiving the prize: “I am honoured to be presented with the 2019 ACS SA Young Professional of the Year award – especially knowing that there are other talented professionals out there, who are also worthy of this recognition.”

“I am very passionate about the work I do on the DXC Dandelion program and proud to be involved. This award is not just recognition for the work I do but also for team I work with.”

As manager of the program, Ms Vozzo has designed programs that have built a talent pool of individuals on the autism spectrum and currently leads and oversees their assessment and work experience programs.

The program consists of two streams spread across four states with the aim of building IT careers for people on the spectrum and to address the high rate of unemployment in the autistic community.

ACS South Australian Chair Chris Radbone said: “Felicia’s role in building worthwhile skills and adding diversity to the IT industry marks her as a future industry leader and a worthy winner of the 2019 Young Professional award for South Australia. We look forward to seeing her progress in the industry and the continued success of the Dandelion Program.”

The prize, sponsored by Hays Recruitment, sees Ms Vozzo win $1000 plus two years full professional membership of the ACS.

Ben Pearson, Hays IT South Australian Business Director, added: “We are delighted to partner with the ACS and sponsor the Early-Career Professional Award for the third year running. We have outstanding talent here in South Australia and recognising and supporting our emerging highest achieving ICT professionals is key for the future prosperity of our state.

“It’s such an exciting time to be involved in the technology sector and at Hays IT we are excited about helping top talent to succeed and enabling organisations to thrive”

Nigel Phillips, a senior leader in DXC’s Social Impact Practice, described Ms Vozzo as a key member of the initiative’s team, saying: “Felicia has been instrumental to the success of the DXC Dandelion Program. She has designed a number of initiatives focused on building a talent pool of individuals on the autism spectrum and currently leads and manages these programs.”

“As a direct result of her expertise and dedication, and based on the success in South Australia we have now established ten Dandelion teams across DXC in Australia who have employed over 90 individuals on the autism spectrum.”

“Felicia is a worthy recipient of the award as she has surpassed all expectations in her role. She goes above and beyond to ensure we deliver the DXC Dandelion Program successfully. Most importantly, she is changing lives and our workplaces by fostering a culture of inclusion and diversity,” Phillips concluded.

Ms Vozzo will officially be presented with her award at the ACS SA Early Career Professionals Half-Day Summit at the SAHMRI on Wednesday September 4th 2019.

 

 

-ENDS-

 

Further information

Troy Steer
Director of Corporate Affairs and Public Policy
M – 0417 173 740
E – [email protected]

 

About ACS

ACS is the professional association for Australia's Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector. More than 45,000 ACS members work in business, education, government and the community. ACS exists to create the environment and provide the opportunities for members and partners to succeed. 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 www.acs.org.au for more information.